My Family

You Don’t Wanna Mess With the Women in My Family

Last night Julia was sitting on my lap facing me when she suddenly yanked my glasses off with her left hand and jabbed me in the eye with her right index finger.  She smiled really huge and asked "Dat?" as I writhed in pain.

My left eye still hurts today, and there’s a red area just below the iris.

Today when I picked the kids up at daycare, I was carrying her out of the building, Alex gallantly pushing the doors open ahead of us, and she bit me.  Twice.  Just below my left shoulder, right above my armpit.  She warned me first – "Bite!" – and again, she grinned all the while.

JuliaShe has been "written up" at daycare for biting.  Alex went through a biting phase too, but somehow it’s different with Julia.

She seems to understand and embrace her power.

One day she bit a kid 3 times.  Twice because (according to the note on her incident report) he was looking out the window and she wanted to look out too, and she wanted him to move.  So she bit him. 

Not one to suffer fools gladly, she bit him again, just to make sure he understood.  That’s two.

Later that day, Julia was playing sweetly and innocently with a toy or a ball or a machete and this same boy (I think) was beside her, and he invaded her personal space by gently resting one hand upon her shoulder and leaning a bit closer to see what she was playing with.

Clearly his motives were impure, so she bit him.  That makes three.

She hasn’t been written up since then, so apparently he has learned from his mistakes.

And then there’s my sister, Meredith.

She is also not one to put up with fools, but as an adult, she understands that biting is a no-no. 

So she takes karate instead.

Last Friday night I finally got myself down to see one of her belt promotions. 

I went by myself – one of my rare nights out.  Drove the half hour singing along loudly with my "Journey’s Greatest Hits" CD and delighting in not being told "Stop singing, Mommy!"

Meredith was already inside, and her kids and husband arrived a little after I did.  I sat on one of the benches in front, and my niece, Natalie, sat with me.  Calvin and Jacques were somewhere in back of us.

(Natalie, by the way, takes karate too, and, interestingly enough, also used to bite when she was small.  One day my sister was standing at the sink doing the dishes and from behind her came Natalie’s little voice announcing "I’m a bite you!"  And she did.  I believe it was the LAST time she did it.)

I took pictures during the night with a really irritating disposable camera – fortunately it was fast film, because (I discovered later) the flash would only work if you held the button down WHILE taking the picture.  Stupid camera.  Should have brought my REAL camera.

Anyway, there were students of all levels there, and after doing a series of warm-ups, they started doing their katas.  After each student or students reached the limit of what they had learned so far, they bowed and took their places at the other end of the room.

My sister and another kid (he looked like a kid, anyway), the only two getting their 2nd kyu brown belts, were last.  (Mere did I get that right?  I somehow don’t think I did…)

All through the evening, with the exception of the goofy look she gave me at the very beginning, before they started the jumping jacks, she looked very focused, very calm.  In control.  No sign of butterflies at all.

She is so cool.  I really am proud of her.  I admire her for taking the first steps a couple of years ago, and for sticking with it and just being so matter of fact about it.  I overthink everything.  She is the Nike ad.  She just does it.

And she kicks ass.  So don’t get in her way either, if she wants to look out a window.

Go, Mere!!

Maybe next time they’ll let you wear one of the Samurai helmets!!

5 thoughts on “You Don’t Wanna Mess With the Women in My Family

  1. yep- 2nd kyu is right. and the kid next to me was actually a teenager. (a small one)

    thanks for making me sound tough. heehee

    and to add to Natalie’s biting story-she was actually mad at me because I wouldn’t give her a cookie and tried to warn me with “I’m a BITE you” and then ran over at me and bit me in the leg. I had teeth marks on my thigh for a while. But it was the last time she did that to me.

  2. i’m just happy to know that i’ve never said “stop singing” to you. I have ALWAYS appreciated your voice. I’VE even got the tapes to PROVE i love it.
    (copies are available for a small donation to the “ralph gets his phd” fund)

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