In six years of parenting, our kids’ extracurricular activities have included gymnastics, soccer, T-ball, Beavers, swimming, cheerleading and ballet. It sounds decent in a single sentence, but a lot of their friends have tried all of that along with piano, basketball, tennis, skating and hockey.
Our son and daughter are very social but not particularly “sporty,” so the only activity that’s stuck has been ballet for our daughter (and swimming for them both, only because it’s a life skill). Our son’s enjoyed everything he’s attended, for the most part, but he hadn’t found anything that really, truly clicked. I sold him the idea of taekwondo because he loves the Power Rangers — all eleventy-billion seasons of it — and he started in September.
I didn’t know much about it going in, other than it was likely going to be quieter than Beavers (shudder) and that sounded pretty great. We have friends who have all three of their kids in taekwondo and they absolutely love it.
Well, our six-year-old just wrapped up his first term and I can say with confidence that we’ll be back for more. It’s brand-new to us and we’re still figuring it all out, but so far it’s been interesting (and quiet!) to watch, and our son loves every minute of it.
To give you an idea of what it’s like watching, here are 40 thoughts that run through my head during my kid’s taekwondo class:
1. We’re not late! And I’m only slightly sweaty from rushing here. Success!
2. I hope he remembered to bow when he entered. What’s the gym called again? A dojang? Or is that what the outfit’s called? I’d better not say “dojang” until I know.
3. Hmm. That girl’s uniform is really grey. Is ours going to get all grey?
4. I guess I should wash it eventually?
5. It’s not like he’s crawling around on the floor in it. Or going outside.
6. Maybe if I’m really careful and make him take it off immediately after every class, it won’t get very dirty?
7. I think I did a decent job tying the belt tonight. They probably won’t even have to …
8. Oh wait, they’re retying it. What am I doing wrong?! I’ll have to YouTube it next week. If we’re not running late.
9. It’s adorable that little kids CANNOT do jumping jacks. LOL.
10. They’re just hopping up and down and flailing their arms.
11. How old do you need to be to do a proper jumping jack? Is this something we should be working on at home?
12. I love that it’s so quiet here.
13. Way better than Beavers with all the screaming and running around.
14. It’s all about respect! It’s genius! Exactly what these kids—
15. Oh wait, now there’s yelling.
16. Not a lot though. It’s a nice controlled yell.
17. I have no idea what they’re yelling but everybody looks very official.
18. What language is it? Korean, I think. Must look that up. (Yup, Korean.)
19. They all stand on coloured circles. What do the colours mean?
20. The armless rubber guy looks like he gets into a lot of bar fights. He’s angry looking.
21. He kind of stops at the waist. I guess because you’re not supposed to hit below the belt, literally?
22. Oh, look. They’re so cute running around in those white uniforms.
23. The WiFi is weak. Is it worth using my data to look at grey paint colours on Pinterest? (Yes, obviously.)
24. Awww, they’re playing tag and chasing their instructor. That’s cute. They really — yikes, they’re going to stop before they smash into the parents, right?
25. How many stripes until they get a coloured belt? Is there a cheat sheet?
26. It’d be cool to have a black belt. I wonder how long it takes.
27. I don’t think I’m up for it. Not just for the sake of saying I have it.
28. Little kids in mouthguards are so cute. It’s like they shoved a hockey puck up under their gums.
29. It’s good they’re all wearing cups. Their kicking is a little … erratic.
30. Ohhhh they’re counting to three! I think?
31. Something, something, and what sounds like Spanish for three. Tres? (Nope … Google says “se.”)
32. I wonder if he could count to three in Korean at home if I asked? That’s kind of cool.
33. Wow that uniform is REALLY grey. Did it come that way?
34. Maybe it’s a different brand and it’s supposed to be grey … and short.
35. Or was it just washed with, like, a million loads of dark blue jeans? In hot water?
36. I’m terrible at laundry. It’s why I don’t buy anything white.
37. Which kid is mine?
38. Seriously, where’d be go? All of the boys here look the same. Is dark blonde/light brown the universal colour of six-year-old boy hair?! Did he–
39. Oh, there he is. He’s so cute when he kicks.
40. I love it here.