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4 kittens

The Heft of the Trophies

Posted on 2017.12.03 at 22:29
Good evening!

This week is one of those stories that's hard to tell, because what made it harrowing is exactly what makes it boring. The entire week was packed into Saturday: a soccer game, a karate tournament, a dance recital, with precariously finite transition times.

The days leading up seemed to conspire against Saturday: water mains breaking cancelling karate where they were supposed to test for their yellow belt, karate belt testing rescheduled elsewhere, ( "Can we just skip it?" I wondered. "No," answered Jammies, "Because if they don't test for their yellow belts, then at Saturday's tournament they'll compete at 3:30 with the white belts instead of 2:30 with the yellow belts, and then we'll never get back in time for Ace and Hawaii's dance recitals at the Small Town Xmas Festival"), Wednesday being half-price ride night at the small town Xmas festival, culminating with Friday, in which both Pokey and Ace were diagnosed with strep throat.

On Friday, Jammies and I actually discussed the 24 hour clock that begins when take your first dose of antibiotics, to determine if the kids could still attend their various events. Only if they felt better, mind you, but if they did perk up, we wanted to have that 24 hours of contagiousness done with. We semi-rushed the kids to the doctor in order to beat the clock. (Ace never actually felt that bad - Pokey felt terrible - but the clock was ticking.)

(Have we taken on too many kid activities? Of course! You're so polite to keep your opinions to yourself like that, for which I thank you.)

So How Was Saturday?

1. First up was Ace and Rascal's 9:00 am soccer game.

Ace stayed home, because of the strep throat diagnosis. Rascal threw a holy tantrum. Jammies doubted his ability to coach the team while parenting an uncooperative Rascal, since I would not be there.

This squirrel (photo taken out my office window) symbolizing Jammies going off, by himself to coach a team of 3 and 4 year olds, of entirely other people's children, while I stayed home with all our kids.

We strongly second-guessed our life choices.

2. By noon or so, Pokey was rambunctious and back to normal, which is to say going nuts with cabin fever, so we decided the karate tournament was a go. (Hawaii was very unenthusiastic about the tournament. I need to talk with her about whether or not she is enjoying karate.)(I personally would not enjoy sparring. I do not think I'd like having to attack or be attacked. Too intense.)

This tournament had an actual play-off system, so the kids could advance and spar more than once, unlike the last tournament. We were told that the kids would be in groups of 6-8, single elimination.

It turned out that they split the kids into groups of four. "Wait a minute," I asked Jammies, "So those trophies are first place trophies, one for each group of four?"

"First and second place get a trophy," Jammies told me, "Third and fourth place get medals."
"But aren't they going to run out? With all the white belts after us?" I asked.
"Those boxes under the table are all trophies," he told me, "They keep refilling the table."
It was the Hanukkah Oil of karate tournaments. Or loaves of bread and fish, all over again. Some sort of important miracle.

Pokey spars:

(wearing red) and wins!

Pokey goes to the Decagon of Doom in the middle:

and wins again!

Pokey is given this trophy:

Again Jammies and I question our life choices. If we go to these tournaments every few months, where on earth will we fit these things?

Hawaii spars:

(also wearing red) and also wins! Hawaii advances to the Decagon of Despair:

and loses there. And is upset afterwards, but won't address it, instead focusing on some proximal injury. She got a fairly enormous trophy as well, but we didn't take a photo.


Hawaii looked like one of those jib-jab elf videos that were popular a decade ago.

Hawaii also wore Ace's penguin costume, three years ago, and did the (same) Penguin Cha-cha in 2014.  But Rascal had been born mere weeks earlier, and it seems I did not take photos of Hawaii as a penguin. Presumably I was holding the new baby and Jammies took photos. (Also! We'd just learned that my grandfather had a secret identity, and hadn't yet talked to the other half of his family, and didn't yet know that they knew us! What a crazy time that was.)

(And then Jammies went to Korea for a week, leaving me with a five year old, four year old, 18 month old, and 3 week old, with just a few days advance notice. I was severely not pleased. Thus kicking off that stretch where Jammies travelled for a week per month. I'm so glad that's over.)

Hawaii really owns her performance up on stage. It's hard to explain, but she snaps her movements with a sparkle, and really stands out. Several friends independently mentioned this to me, so I'm not just parent-blind.

Ace made the most darling haunted penguin apparition.

After that, the kids frolicked in the snow - big giant wet flakes being blown from the Christmas-tree-shaped-light-sculpture:

It collects on the ground, and forms sort of bubbles,

because it is soap, not snow.

Pokey kept catching it in his mouth, c/f above, but it really is not edible.

Pokey is the eyes of Santa, Ace is the first elf, the hands are of Rascal, and Hawaii is dangling off the end. (If I didn't write that out, I'm not sure I'd be able to correctly identify them in five years.)

Wise men gonna wise, camels gonna camel.



With nothing to do, we fall apart and scream a lot and misbehave and I'm glad it's almost bedtime.

There was one highlight:

Hey there Beto! Whatcha doing?

On my way to drop Hawaii off at a birthday party in SadTown, I passed Beto O'Rourke doing a bit outside this restaurant:

I doubled back after dropping her off, and saw the newsvan still parked outside, so I headed in, out of curiousity.

It turned out that the restaurant was filled exclusively with Beto's team, and they were grabbing a quick bite between events, and invited me to pull up a chair and join them. Don't mind if I do!

Politicians are so good at blowing smoke up your ass and making you feel like every utterance is a jewel. It's great. They asked about SadTown and I demurred, because I'm really unqualified to weigh in on SadTown's politics. But I did tell them all about Heebieville. They were angling for what makes the town unique, what issues to be aware of, and the best ways to connect with the people. I felt very self-important and pleased with myself.  God I hope we can grind a big fat smelly defeat into Ted Cruz's smug chump-face.

At the SadTown grocery store, they sell mega-packs of intact octopus tentacles. I wasn't expecting that.

One time the kids all played well together:

It was a beautiful ten minutes.


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-12-04 05:16 (UTC) (Link)


We kept my kid in Akido a bit too long. In retrospect, I wish we'd let them quit a year or two sooner.
heebie_geebie at 2017-12-11 05:00 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Karate

I'm curious to know more. What cues would you have revisited, in hindsight?

I like the karate, but I also feel like we're having trouble finding balance because everything seems like a good idea and then you're committed to twelve activities.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-12-11 16:20 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Karate

The kid kept telling us how much she hated it, which, you know, kid do that, but she almost never seemed to enjoy it.

Then also she didn't get any better at it, or she didn't get much better at it, compared to the other kids. Like kids who had come in the same year she did (when they were all five) were already teaching the master class, when she was still an orange belt. (That's the third level.)

Mainly I wanted her in it so she could learn self-defense and also for the exercise and being around other kids -- she was still getting the last two, but she hated it so much, and was so bad at it, that all it was really teaching her was that she was terrible at physical activity. Which maybe even wasn't true -- maybe she's just terrible at Aikido.

So I wish we'd let her quit maybe three years earlier.
(Anonymous) at 2017-12-06 02:05 (UTC) (Link)
Octopus!? Did you show the pictures to the Geeblets?

Fantastic picture of you and Beto!

heebie_geebie at 2017-12-11 05:01 (UTC) (Link)
I did! I didn't actually purchase any to feed and/or freak out the kids with, though. That would be fun on a slow day.

(The Beto meeting was SO FUN! Politician are so good at making you feel like you say smart stuff.)
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