The Dormouse had her test to promote from white belt to orange belt in her karate class this week. 

She went from this:

To this:

Yeah, that's a yellow belt.  She skipped right over orange and moved on to yellow. As The Caterpillar says, "Hip, Hip, YAY!"  Now she thinks she's a badass. 

Actually, she was pissed that she didn't skip over yellow and straight to red belt like two of the older boys at the testing night, but we told her they probably paid off the judges with sexual favors were older and more practiced.  We talked it up so much that she eventually bought into the propaganda and became pretty impressed with herself.

Some random observations from the evening:

It's a long story, but she ended up testing with a class on the other side of town with none of her teachers or peers.  In the car on the way over, she must have said, "This is a big night for me" about three dozen times.  I still can't decide if she was nervous or just wanted validation.

The test was held on a night when I have another commitment and The Dormouse knew I wasn't really supposed to be able to be there.  But at some point, I realized this was important to her and she wanted me there, so I blew off made other arrangements and was able to come.  I guess I didn't really communicate that to her during the week because the night of the test when she said, "I'm really sorry you can't come watch me" and I said, "But I am coming with you," she wrapped both arms around my legs and nearly wept with joy.  Sometimes even I get parenting right.

If you're ever testing for a new martial arts belt, it's probably not helpful to bring along your 80s movie-obsessed mother who will sing "You're the Best" from the stands.  But it's a more subtle reference than "Wax on, wax off" so remember, it could be worse.

That mother, however, will forget to bring her real camera and only have a camera phone at her disposal.  So all the photos of you actually testing will look something like this:

My kingdom for a zoom lens.

You could also have a younger sister who yells, "I hope Sister wins!" every chance she gets.

I get that we're all parents trying to see our kids and sitting in grade school facility bleachers which are crowded way to close together, so it's really hard to keep your toddler from kicking and/or bumping the people in front of you occasionally.  But when that toddler begins to CLIMB THE BACK OF THE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU, it might be a good time to explain the rule of personal space.

The Caterpillar was a tiny bit disappointed that The Dormouse didn't fight every one of the kids in the room and leave them all in a pile on the floor.  I think she had some unreasonable expectations about attending her first karate expo.

There is nothing cuter that a three and a half foot tall kid testing for his brown belt and having to spar with a grown man.

It probably wasn't appropriate to continually refer to that kid as "Tiny Bruce Lee" but you knew who I was talking about, didn't you, KoH? 

Grown men who overdo the slap-the-mat sound for effect to make it sound like they really get hit hard when Tiny Bruce Lee takes them down are totally getting points in heaven.

Now that The Dormouse has the highest belt in the family, I plan to let her take over the physical protection detail and walk me to my car when it's late at night. It's like having our very own secret service... without all the whores and booze.