Thursday 22 June 2017


The other day I had one of those parenting moments where I could see the lesson in front of me… know the lesson needed to be learned by the King at some point in life (but really, now??), but wanted to do everything in my mommy power to stop time in its tracks and REWIND.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? The King’s school was having a talent show; or as my husband calls it, ‘an entertainment’ contest (his talent show wounds run deep). The King decided that he wanted to audition and decided he was going to do his first pattern in Kung Fu (patterns are a series of moves that they learn to advance in their belts). It’s an intricate set of moves that he has done at competition and it’s honestly one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen – especially when he hops back and does this little squat maneuver. [Yes, I know very little about Kung Fu]. Anyway, he decided in conjunction with the pattern, he was also going to join his friends in doing a ‘silly show.’ What that entailed I had no idea, but I wasn’t sure if it contained any talent per se.

A few weeks into his preparation, I mentioned that perhaps he should make his ‘power noises’ when doing the pattern; in competition, one can often hear sighs, grunts and loud exhalations as a sign of power. Okay, fine, the first time I heard it, I burst out laughing (internally of course as the Master is damn scary), but understood it was all part of the Kung Fu vibe. The King wasn’t so sure and said he was going to continue practicing, in silence, and gave me the signal that he had this, so to speak, and didn’t need my advice.

About a week out, he alerted me that he was only doing the Kung Fu pattern and didn’t want to do the silly show. Great, let’s do this I thought… Let’s show the world your adorable Kung Fu talent.

Morning of, he takes his outfit to school and is his usual confident self – not much sticks to this kid, so while other parents weren’t fans of the talent show because of the unnecessary competition, I figured, he’s the King, he’ll be fine. So, I wished him luck and off he went.

That afternoon I picked him up. I usually spot him across the schoolyard and he always greets me with a huge grin (followed by, ‘where’s my snack!’). But I could immediately tell something was wrong. VERY wrong. The second the words ‘How did it go’ fell out of my mouth, I regretted them instantly. His face was about to crumple into a million pieces, but trying to save face, he managed a short, ‘Let’s go!’ before the tears started quietly streaming down his face. For blocks, it was just silent tears and him refusing to talk to me (there is nothing more heartbreaking than silent tears). 

He finally stopped in the middle of the road, looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, they laughed. They laughed at me!’ I said who laughed? His response, “54 children!! 54 children laughed at me when I did the noises. You said to do the noises and they laughed at me!!"

Yeah, I now know what it feels like to be gut punched. So thanks to me, I hand delivered my child to be laughed at in front of 54 children. Nice one Mommy. Of course, I launched into a fierce defense of his skill, ability, his misunderstood greatness, the power of Kung Fu, the ‘people are simply going to laugh sometimes’ defense, and that they were laughing WITH him (not at him). Finally, grasping at straws, I said, “Remember when Dave (his instructor) first made those noises, what did you do?” He looked at me and said, ‘I laughed.’ …. Yeah, ok, let’s focus on that then, shall we. You laughed. As did I.  I guess the moral is, Kung Fu power noises are funny.

Then the ultimate kicker, or at least I thought it was, who got through and made it to the final round? Hi pals in the silly show. To his credit and a mirror into this kid's comportment, he exclaimed that their bit was the best, and made him laugh so hard and he wanted to see them perform in the final. Meanwhile, my husband, hysterically chimed in that he had a similar thing happen to him at his talent show when he was young and he never did one again (um, not helpful, Daddy!).

To the King’s credit, he shrugged it off pretty quickly and is already practicing singing Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney) for next year, so I suppose the wound wasn’t that deep. At least one of us is resilient.

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