My girls have become archers.
They take archery lessons once a week and are really enjoying it. They are in a class of homeschoolers and it's quite a large group.
For safety reasons their instructor taught everyone to obey commands by whistle. One tweet on the whistle means "step up to the line". Two tweets means "shoot your arrows". Three tweets means "go collect your arrows". This keeps any over-excited youngster from running out to collect his arrows while those around him are still shooting.
The instructor told the parents that for some extra money he could whistle train them all to clean their rooms and do their schoolwork too.
All the archers wear braces on their left arms to protect them from the bow string. It tends to pop the arm and it packs a wallop. Both the girls have come home with stinging red marks where they've been popped hard.
A couple of weeks ago, Katie was having a hormonal pre-teen type of day. She was cranky and hungry and tired and life just wasn't suiting her particularly and her arrows weren't the right weight and they just wouldn't go straight, etc, etc.
Emily stalked over to me at one point and told me I needed to "speak to" Katie about her attitude.
Katie trounced over in a snit with tears in her eyes. "I hit my arm with the bow string and it hurts and I just don't feel good!"
I took her to the bathroom and let her cry it out for a few minutes. Sometimes just getting the tears out releases the tension inside and you can just take a deep breath and move on with your life. I got her a cold, wet paper towel and got her cooled down with it and assured her that she was normal and this too shall come to pass.
We went back out to the archery range, Katie stepped up to the line and started shooting. The instructor walked over and said, "How's it going?"
Katie looked at him, burst in to tears, and came running over to me, sobbing.
We went back to the bathroom and repeated step one.
She went back out to the range and started shooting again. The instructor came over to me and said, "Did I do something wrong?"
"No," I told him. "She's just a hormonal pre-teen."
About that time another family came in and sat down with us.
And they brought their new puppy.
The next time Katie came to the table she was enraptured with the puppy. She held the puppy, petted the puppy, loved the puppy, and laughed and laughed and laughed over the puppy.
The instructor sidled up behind me after watching Katie skip gleefully back to the shooting line and whispered, "Maybe you need to stop by the pound on your way home and pick up a puppy."
It might just be worth it.