Silly

look silly reinactment (words)


RE: Oct. 4, 2010

Seeing Chi in action during TaeKwonDo is a rare treat,  Master N doesn’t like toddlers – especially those who like to run through his office and past hard-earned trophies.  And because Ya is that kid, I miss watching Chi learn her kicks, blocks, and punches.

On Monday, Ya was “behaving” (meaning briefly quiet and interested in the class’s activity).  We entered the gym and stood against the wall. The 20 kids in class were in relaxed push up position – legs extended behind them, palms down on the mat.  Master N claps and says, “Push up, look ceiling!”

All obediently lock their arms and raise their heads toward the sky.  Except Chi.  Yes, my darling had pushed her torso up and arched herself toward her backside, BUT INSTEAD OF LOOKING UP, SHE HAD CONTORTED HER FACE AND STUCK OUT HER TONGUE.

Now from my vantage point I could see her tongue protruding and her eyes fixed on some unknown point in front of her.  Master N was somewhere to her side, but likely could not see her face.  Thank goodness.  He clapped again, and the students relaxed.  Moments later,  Master N claps and says, “Push up, look ceiling!”

Again, 19 students did exactly as instructed.  And Chi twisted her face and extended her tongue.  This time, the assistant saw her and swiftly walked to her, bent down, and said “What are you doing? Look up,” as he pointed to the ceiling.  It was then that Chi glanced around the room at her classmates, sucked in her tongue, and with a sickened look of embarrassed understanding craned her neck upwards in the last moments of the pose before relaxing.

Master N, with his thick Korean accent clapped yet again, calling “Push up, look ceiling,” which in every fairness to his speech sounded a good deal like look silly.  And I knew then that Chi was so determined to oblige every command, that she hadn’t hesitated to clown it up.  If that’s what he asked for, who was she to deny the demand?

Why didn’t she notice no one else was looking silly as instructed?  Well, she later explained, because if she’d scanned the room and seen her classmates’ silly faces, she might have laughed.  And a lack of seriousness in class was guaranteed reprimand.

I suppose none of the other parents and siblings assembled had noticed my child’s error (or if they did, they were kind enough to ignore it).  After class, Chi and I got quite a laugh about her “look silly.”  In truth, her unique translation – her originality in thought and action – is what makes her my Chi. 

10.17 punch
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