Children, Fatherhood, Life, Parenthood

Bad Eggs


eggsWe attended a birthday party for one of Anthony’s friends last Saturday and it was filled with the usual kid-centric activities: pizza, games, a hands-on reptile show, and one annoying little twit that would not leave Anthony alone.

It seems that this mongrel –we’ll call him Chip – had a party of his own the previous day at the same park as this one, a party which included an Easter Egg Hunt.

Ann and I let Anthony go running amuck with his friends and while at it, he came across a plastic egg (much like the ones above). He gave it to me and continued on his way. Then he came across another, then another, then I found one.

In the end, he had about 5 of these cheaply made plastic eggs that he was stuffing little trinkets into, mostly the stretchy rubberband-like frogs all attendees were given as part of a game.

As Anthony was running around I noticed that Chip, in his [Whatever City They Lay Claim to Next] Angels jersey and matching cap, was behind him every step of the way and at one point, even pushed Anthony over. Soon afterwards, I approached Chip and what turned out to be his older brother. We’ll call him, oh, Dale.

I inquired why Chip, seemingly unprovoked, pushed Anthony while chasing him. He explained.

“Those eggs are mine,” he stated. “We had a party here yesterday and left them behind. Those are my eggs.” I stepped in.

“No, they are his now,” I said while pointing to Anthony. “He found them. It’s not my or my son’s fault that you left them behind.”

“But we forgot them.”

“Then apparently they weren’t all that important to you, were they?” Chip looked puzzled.

“My dad forgot them.”

“Sucks to be you or your dad then, doesn’t it?”

“They’re mine.”

This exchange went on for several minutes before I had finally had enough.

“Look, are we going to discuss the semantics of the rightful ownership of these stupid eggs or are we going to have a great time at this party? Anthony found them.”

Ann interrupted.

“And if your dad has such a problem with this, tell him to come over here and talk to me about it.” He never did.

Now I know you’re probably thinking that this whole thing is a bit ridiculous to be fighting over, right?

Well, yes and no.

See, Chip was a little shit and it really didn’t surprise me when I found out he played baseball, but you wouldn’t have known it by his inaccurate arm and weak swings he was taking at the piñata. I don’t know what it is about young boys that play baseball but it seems to me that once they do, a majority of them turn into conceited little pricks that think they’re God’s gift and that their shit doesn’t stink.

Perhaps it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if I hadn’t seen Chip chasing, pushing, and constantly bothering Anthony about them but such wasn’t the case. And Chip was a Angels fan to boot. Color me shocked.

About the only thing a crying, whiny, sissy brat like that needs is a lesson. And that’s exactly what we were giving him.

But despite it all, Chip and Dale were still standing in front of me as if I hadn’t said a word.

“Look, I’m warning you now. Anthony is an orange belt in tae kwon do and if you push or touch him one more time…”

Dale interrupted.

“He knew tae kwon do,” he said pointing at Chip. Knew. At the same age as Anthony. Where did things go wrong?

“So what’s the most important move in tae kwon do?” I asked him.

Despite the cacophony of the party, you could actually hear the gears in Chip’s head come to a grinding halt.

“That’s what I thought. Anthony, what’s the most important move in tae kwon do?”

“The bow because it shows dignity and respect, sir!” Anthony bowed to me as he finished the sentence. I looked at Chip and Dale and threw my hands up.

“They eggs are his. Now get away from me and have fun.”

So the party progressed without any further physical incidents but Chip did continue to nag Anthony about those damned eggs during the reptile demonstration.

Strangely, Chip also attends the same school as Anthony and you can bet that Monday, he was on his tail again about those fucking eggs.

According to Anthony’s account, Chip went so far as to push him again but ah, here’s where things change. Finally tired of Chip’s constant nagging and aggression, Anthony went ahead and defended himself using what he’s learned in tae kwon do class. Nothing serious but just enough to get Chip off his jock and give him the lesson he deserved. Anthony then reported Chip to the schoolyard monitor and yep, Chip was busted for his actions.

But the fun didn’t end on Monday, no.

It turns out that one certain individual was on the prowl on recess and for some reason, thought it would be amusing to start going around kicking his classmates in the testicles. This kid has some problems.

Then he met up with Anthony who told me that he let forth a plethora of moves on this kid, each one protecting his family jewels and other parts of his person. And like Chip, Va-voom was reported and busted for being an ass while not getting one punch, kick, anything in on Anthony.

How do I know that any of this is true?

kickBefore Anthony started taking his tae kwon do classes, we always knew when someone at school was bothering him. It would be difficult for him to tell us and when we finally did, he would start to cry and be really upset over the events that unfolded.

Since taking his classes, however, he’s a changed little man. He proudly tells us when he was involved in any kind of incident at school in which things got more physical than they had to and will, in full detail, tell us what he did to defend himself – with a smile on his face.

While he may only be an orange belt, you have to remember that in a school, every stinking kid is a black belt in their mind. In reality, the black belt they speak of was bought off the rack at Kmart and is holding up their dungarees.

Those don’t count.

punchI’m pleased to say that when it’s come down to dealing with crybaby ballplayers that have separation issues with plastic eggs or flat-out school bullies, the self-defense lessons learned in his tae kwon do classes have given Anthony the upper hand by strengthening him both physically and mentally, and filling him with the self-esteem and respect that has gone far beyond my wildest expectations.

Since the very beginning I have told Anthony that when it comes to fights or altercations in school, “Never start them but if they can’t be avoided and involve you, finish them.” I’ve also told him that his tae kwon do should always be his last resort when bullied*.

It’s apparent to me that he has listened to these rules and for that, I am truly proud of him.

Tomorrow we practice his palgwe il-jang (see video below). I think even I might just be an orange belt by the time we’re done 🙂

*It is also his first line of defense against strangers, should he ever be in such a situation
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