It was a big week for The Little Couple—or, more accurately, for their kids. With the chaos of the holidays behind them, Bill Klein and Jen Arnold decided it was high time for 3-year-old Zoey and 4-year-old Will to begin extracurricular activities and learn some responsibility.
It all sounded simple enough, but we were quickly reminded that nothing is simple when it involves two kids under the age of 5. As Bill and Jen have proved so many times before, however, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
In an effort to help their children learn the importance of holding up your end of a bargain, Bill spearheaded an effort to get the family some pet fish. “We thought adding fish would be a fun way to encourage some responsibility,” he explained as he began the (rather painstaking) process of setting up the fish tank.
Shockingly, neither Zoey nor Will was particularly interested in doing the work involved—until Zoey realized she could use Will’s shovel to transfer the gravel into the tank. Zoey enthusiastically took the opportunity to play with one of her brother’s toys, which he (naturally) was a lot less enthused about.
The setup done, Jen joined the gang to go pick out their fish. Things went off without a hitch (except for when Will tried to eat a starfish, mistaking it for chocolate) and they left with three catfish, one suckerfish, and two goldfish that Zoey and Will had selected as their own. Will promptly named his W—after his own name, not the former president—but Zoey waffled between several monikers. At first, she named her fish Bug, but ultimately, she settled on Nemo.
Will’s at Home in the Dojo
The kids’ exposure to new things continued outside the home too, with Bill and Jen taking Will to his first-ever karate lesson. The toddler seemed more than ready to take on the challenges of martial arts, showing off some of his moves by tackling his sister in the hallway before they walked out the door.
While Jen’s primary concern seemed to be just to get the kids into “activities that get them movin’ and shakin’,” Bill had another reason for enrolling Will in karate, specifically. “I also hope he learns some self-defense moves,” he explained to the camera. “As much as I don’t ever want him to get into a fight or be bullied, it does happen from time to time and the last thing I want is for him not to be able to defend himself.”
Will’s private lesson kicked off with a tough challenge for any 4-year-old: sitting still. The teacher tested Will’s patience by leaving him seated on a mat, alone, for a few minutes. “He did pretty well, but not perfect,” his dad conceded of Will’s ability to follow the instructions.
Will then got the chance to break a (thin) board in half. “I break it!” he proudly declared to his parents. The teacher explained these were “confidence boards” (i.e. boards that are easy to break and thereby build up one’s confidence), which gave Bill an idea. “Maybe we can take some of these confidence boards home” he mused. “Dad could use some of those.”
Though Will had room for improvement, he obviously had a blast. “Clearly Will had a fantastic time,” Jen beamed. “I think we’ll get started on some karate.” At with that, they had one down and one to go.
Next up was Zoey, who tried her hand (and feet) at ballet. “Out of my two kids, she’s the more unpredictable one,” Jen noted with mild concern as the class began—but the 3-year-old rose to the occasion.
“She followed the instructions as well as any of the other kids in the class and most of the other kids had been there,” Bill gushed. “So I was pretty impressed with how well she did.” He soon added, “She’s definitely the cutest kid in the class. I’m allowed to say that because she’s my kid.” To be fair, he wasn’t wrong.
Shortly after the class ended, Jen declared another victory. “Dance was a great fit for Zoey,” she said. “So we’re definitely going to continue on with dance.”
In an unexpected twist, however, Will seemed interested in dance too and after the class ended, he muscled his way into the studio and coerced the teacher to show him some moves. “Who knows if that’s just cause he doesn’t want to be left out or if it’s because he’s so bonded with Zoey,” Jen mused. “But for whatever reason, I think next week it will be Will and Zoey in ballet.”
Wiped out from their activities, Zoey and Will were ready to turn in for the night. “Nobody tells you how awesome it is until you experience it yourself,” Bill reflected as Jen read the kids a bedtime story (which seemed to be about a poor girl whose doctor forbid her from eating cupcakes). “No matter what you have on your agenda… all that stuff just goes to the side and you enjoy the time, as long as it takes, to get them to bed.”
The Little Couple airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.
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