* Breaking

I know this is a crappy photo, but it does show Hercules breaking a board with his hand. Yep! That's my Mighty Hercules! He took his belt test for his yellow stripe on Saturday, his first test since beginning Tae Kwon Do in the spring. He did great, although he did show some nervousness at times. At the end, all the students of every belt rank had an opportunity to get graded for breaking, as in breaking a board with either their foot or their hand, or both. Hercules was particularly impressed with one fellow who did a flying sidekick and broke 4 boards. Dude! I didn't actually expect Rio to try it, since this is not something that they've ever done in his class. But they gave him a shot at it, and of course Hercules wasn't about to pass up a chance to break something! With his bare hands!

While all the other students carefully did several practice maneuvers before they actually attempted their break, Rio had other ideas. Well, at first he was more careful about his kick, making sure his foot would hit the center of board. On the third try he actually gave it his full force and it snapped in two. I think that gave him such a rush that he saw no need to practice on his hand break. As soon as they set up his board on the concrete blocks, he gave it one swift CHOP! and it was history. Which is why the photo above is so blurry. I really didn't expect him to do it right that instant. Silly me.

Now the only problem is that Hercules sees every flat, wooden object as a target. We took him downtown to the Festival of the Arts on Saturday and he was trying to take out all the sign boards with the handy maps. We quickly established some ground rules on the breaking of wood.

In other news, I got my first not-so-good report from Rio's teacher this week. He's apparently been rather "argumentative and disrespectful." Ah yes, the dark side of Hercules. He can be one defiant little sh*t, that little love of mine. I just finished a long email to her with some suggestions. But whenever I write those letters (because this was not the first, oh no), I feel as though my suggestions seem pretty weak. Like "try to approach him as an advocate, not an adversary", or "try to prevent his frustrated outbursts before they happen." Duh. And as if that were so simple! As if that didn't require constant vigilance! The truth is, I'm always humbled whenever a teacher asks me how to deal with Rio's herculean behavior, as if I had all the answers! HA! I've always been hoping that these professionals - teachers, principals, counselors - would teach me a thing or two. You know, a Magic Formula for turning even the most defiant, aggressive warrior child into a submissive, compliant happy learner! Hurray!

But then I realize, there is a Magic Formula. It's called Ritalin. And then I realize, I wouldn't change my Hercules for a happy learner EVER. Well, ok, maybe I've had my weak moments. But not today!

Oh, and one last thing. I had to share this bit of comedy, because you can't be too careful these days.


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