Monday, September 15, 2008

Karate Stars

At Rhubarb and Eggplant's (and HotNerd's too) Dojo, the kids earn stars prior to testing up each belt. One of the stars is earned by performing 10 acts of kindness. This is the record I will submit to the Sensei this week.

Acts of Kindness Star:
It is both a difficult and refreshing exercise to record the children's acts of kindness: difficult because I am not always near a pen/paper/computer to write them down when they happen -- and because there are so many that I sometimes don't even realize it happened until later or never see at all. It is refreshing because it reminds me how kind they really are (helpful on the days when we all feel disconnected, code for "when I want to re-live a college trip to Tijuana that included a good deal of Tequila").

Rhubarb and Eggplant do not know that I have been recording these, nor do they know it is one of the requirements for a star. This will be a surprise star. I thought the acts would be more authentic that way.

Here are 10 for each that I managed to record.

Eggplant:
1. When there was hardly any cheese left to top dinner, Eggplant waited for Blueberry to serve hers, then served a tiny bit for himself and, realizing that Blueberry hadn’t gotten much, gave Blueberry the rest.
2. When a bunch of kids were racing at the beach, a 3 year old was losing the race. Eggplant stayed with him the whole race so he wouldn’t have to be alone or last.
3. Eggplant gave Rhubarb and Blueberry some of his whipped cream (if you know Eggplant’s love of whipped cream, you know how huge this is).
4. Eggplant served snacks to everyone at our homeschool co-op without being asked.
5. Eggplant cleaned the mud that a friend left on the car seats without being asked.
6. When Eggplant saw a child drop sunglasses out of his stroller, he ran to pick them up and give them back.
7. Eggplant created a shelter for a cricket on our patio to be safe from the rain.
8. When Blueberry needed to take a nap instead of watch a video (because she was tantrumming), Eggplant (and Rhubarb) rubbed her back to help her fall asleep.
9. All 3 kids are doing chores to earn money to send to Haiti for hurricane relief. When I gave Rhubarb and Eggplant their first dollar to put in, they both spontaneously matched it with money from their piggy banks.
10. Blueberry gets easily frustrated when trying to make something from Legos. EVERY time this happens, Eggplant swoops in and makes her a Lego creation to call her own. When she is frustrated that she cannot draw a picture, Eggplant creates the picture in dot-to-dot format for her.

Rhubarb:
1. Rhubarb caught Blueberry when she flipped off a raft in a pool and then comforted her.
2. Rhubarb frequently makes and serves my morning coffee (spontaneously).
3. Rhubarb voluntarily made lunch for her, Blueberry, Eggplant and myself when I hurt my back one day.
4. Rhubarb cut up some homemade Candyland cards for Blueberry without anyone asking (we’d printed them all on one sheet of paper and they needed to be separated).
5. Rhubarb also cleaned up the mud in the car that her friend left.
6. After gloating to a friend a bit, Rhubarb realized this was not kind and apologized without any prompting.
8. When Blueberry needed to take a nap instead of watch a video, Rhubarb rubbed her back to help her fall asleep (along with Eggplant — see above).
9. All 3 kids are doing chores to earn money to send to Haiti for hurricane relief. When I gave Rhubarb and Eggplant their first dollar to put in, they both spontaneously matched it with money from their piggy banks.
10. Every night (that Blueberry has needed it) Rhubarb (who shares a room and bed with Blueberry) walks her to our room in the middle of the night when she is scared, needs comfort, etc.

Update: Rhubarb and Eggplant both walked away from last Wednesday's karate class with 3 stars. Rhubarb had already gotten a star for reciting her phone number. Eggplant go this last week. Then Rhubarb recited her address for another, plus she received the kindness star. Eggplant did 10 perfect push-ups for another star and received the kindness star.

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