I went out to dinner with friends for my birthday, so I wasn’t the one to take him to karate. I arrived home as bathtime was beginning. I inquired about karate, dad informed me it was fine. Nothing seemed amiss, although there was a look on Cooper’s face that suggested something was bothering him. I changed my clothes and then joined him the bathroom while he played in the tub. He told me about how they were a little late to class because of the rain (toad strangling torrential downpours), and that he was a little goofy during warm up. “Did Sensai say anything about that?” I asked. No, but one of the older kids who was assisting with class did. “What did you learn?” I inquired. Not to goof around. A report of another kid having to leave class because he kicked another student while practicing back kicks. Sensai had to talk to his parent. That was how the bath time went.
We read a book (Ook and Gluk, Cavemen from the Future, an off shoot of the Captain Underpants series), then snuggled in for a few minutes. I could still sense something was on his mind. “Did you do anything interesting today, learn anything new at school?” Played with his friends, used a heat gun to melt crayons. It’s like a hair dryer, only hotter, I am told. “Anything else?”
“Weeeeell. In the locker room after karate, when I was getting changed to go home, there were two other kids, one with an orange belt, one with a brown belt. I punched the orange belt in the stomach. And he laughed and said he was going to kill me.” And then he covered his head with the comforter.
I might have said “WHAAAAAT????” a little loudly. “You punched another student in the stomach?” Yes. “And what happened?” Nothing. Sensai didn’t see it. The older kid laughed and talked about it. “Was this a good idea?” No. “I am glad you told me. But you cannot do that again. Kicking and punching is for in the dojo only. If you do this kind of thing again we will have to talk to Sensai. You might not be able to continue karate.” NO. I want to do karate. “Then you cannot do that again. Do you understand?” Covering head….yeeeeees. Mommy…what’s a dojo?