Author's Foreward: This is just me working out the frustrations of teaching a children's martial arts class. We get lots of children with emotional problems and I've had to deal with considerable problems lately. But it's all worth it, as Splinter will find out eventually.

TMNT is the property of Mirage Studios. Star Wars is the property of George Lucas. Big Bird is the property of Jim Henson. Looney Tunes is the property of Warner Bros

But Splinter's headache is all my fault. G

The time had come. It had been five years since I first found them and in that time I had been slowly introducing them to their future. Simple exercises to keep their muscles loose and their bodies prepared for this day. I was excited and anxious to see how they would fare on their first day of training.

I woke them early and told them that I had something special to share with them.

"Is it a toy?" Raphael asked sitting up in bed and wearily rubbing his eyes.

"Is it food?" Michaelangelo wondered blinking and trying to fight off sleep.

"Come along, My Sons," I said with a smile. "You will see."

They all climbed out of bed, chattering excitedly about what the surprise is. I lead them to my training room and stopped at the door. They crowded around me.

"Are we allowed to go in there, Splinter?" Leonardo asked.

Ever since I had first set up this room, it had been off limits to the turtles. There were weapons and other dangerous things that I had brought from Yoshi's home and I did not want then to get hurt.

"When I am with you, then yes you may come in here. Leonardo," I replied. "This is a dojo, my sons. It is a place of respect."

"What do you do in a…, Splinter?" Donatello said peering around his brothers for a better look.

"Let's go in, and I will show you," I said with a smile. My sons crept quietly into the room, looking around at all the weapons and decorations on the wall.

"Hey! Look at this!" Before I could stop him, Michaelangelo had taken off to grab one of the swords from the wall. He leveled it in front of his body and grinned. "I'm a knight. Just like in that book Splinter read about King Arthur."

"I wanna be a knight too!" Raphael exclaimed running for the other sword.

I caught him as he ran past me and then turned to my other son. "Michaelangelo! That is a dangerous weapon. Put it back immediately!"

His lip quivered and his brown eyes filled with tears. This child was so sensitive that any scolding upset him and it broke my heart every time. I knew, beyond a doubt, that I was going to end up spoiling him. He put the sword back, while fighting tears and I took a deep calming breath before saying. "Come here, Turtles."

My sons all stood around me and I tried to ignore Michaelangelo's sniffles as he tried not to cry. "Today, I am going to begin training you in the art of the ninja. I am going to be honest, it will not be easy. But it is important."

"What's a ninja?" Leonardo asked.

1.1 I smiled. "A ninja is a great warrior…"

"Like a Jedi?" Michaelangelo interrupted excitedly, no longer upset. "Can I be Luke Skywalker?"

"I wanna be Han Solo!" Raph piped up.

"Han Solo's not a Jedi,' Donatello said shaking his head.

Raphael glared at him. "You can be Princess Leia, Donny."

Michaelangelo and Leonardo giggled. "Donny's a girl, Donny's a girl," they began to sing.

Donatello crossed his arms and looked at them all angrily. "I am not a girl! And just wait until Splinter finds out you wet the bed again, Leonardo!"

Leonardo turned a bright red as Michaelangelo and Raphael began to chant. "Leo wets the bed. Leo wets the bed."

I could feel a huge pounding headache beginning right behind my eyes. I sighed and shook my head before saying sternly. "That is enough!"

They all looked at me in surprise and I began to wonder whether this was such a good idea. "The first thing you must learn as ninja is the proper respect for your teacher," I told them still keeping my voice a bit stern. "From now on, you will call me Sensei or Master."

"Are you changing your name, Splinter?" Leo asked.

Before I could answer, once again Michaelangelo interrupted. "Can I change my name too? I wanna be Big Bird. He's cool."

His brothers giggled. "More like Tweety Bird, Mikey," Raph said. "You're too short to be Big Bird."

Michaelangelo blushed. His brothers always teased him about being shorter than they were. "Well, you look like a green Elmer Fudd!"

"Take that back!" Raphael said angrily pushing Michaelangelo.

Michaelangelo pushed him back. "You can't make me, Elmer!"

With another sigh, I grabbed each of them gently by the back of the neck and marched them over to opposite side of the room. They kept trying to swipe at each other behind my back, but I ignored them for the moment. I placed Raphael facing a corner and sternly told him to stay there. I lead Michaelangelo to another corner and left him there with similar instructions.

I took two steps when Michaelangelo yelled, "Splinter, Raphael's sticking his tongue out at me."

"How would you know unless you were looking?" Raphael said.

I stopped and realized that if they were going to be training as ninjas, they needed to know how ninjas behaved—especially in the dojo. I didn't say a word, but walked back over to the corner where Raphael was. I rapped him lightly on the head with my walking stick and turned him to the corner once more. He got the message and didn't move. Michaelangelo's eyes got wide as he saw me walking towards him. He faced the corner, but not before my walking stick caught him on the head as well.

I walked back to where Leonardo and Donatello were standing perfectly still.

"Now," I began. "As I was saying, the first thing you must learn is proper respect."

The two turtles nodded at me, looking apprehensively at me walking stick. "Yes, Sensei," they chorused.

Well, I'd like to say that that was the end of headaches for me as far as training the turtles. Sadly, that was just the beginning.