Monday, May 16, 2011

Five Universal Laws of Kid's Weekend Sports


We are FULLY into spring sports here. T-ball, baseball, soccer and anything else that requires a small spherical orb and our entire Saturday. Oh, and the new load of laundry that is now part of Saturday night, which consists of bleaching white pants worn by boys who absolutely must slide into home, despite the fact that the ball they're racing to beat is somehow trapped in the face mask of the pitcher. Who happens to be in left field because he forgot what position he was playing. You'd think the mask would have been a clue...


1. The Relaxation Approximation: Remember when weekends meant relaxing? Catching up on sleep and chores and movies? Those days are o-v-e-r. Saturday morning cereal and cartoons has been replaced by the Saturday scramble of where's-your-glove-get-your-helmet-what-time-is-the-game-GAH!-we're-late-which-field-put-on-your-uniform-what-do-you-mean-it's-in-the-laundry-i-washed-it-last-Saturday and then you show up for 75 minutes of practice followed by a game that's really a speeded up version of Turtle Herding, but for the fact that they all match. And then your husband looks at you and says, "Wow, it's really hard to get all of them to focus on the same thing..." and then you thank Captain Obvious for his astute observations and stab a straw into a portable, single-serving size t-box and hope no one notices that you maybe are sucking it down a little fast. Or, even if they do, maybe they won't notice that it's 10:45am. Oh, and today's game? It's a double header.

2. Maternal Law of Competition Conformation: Team Moms are great. We love them. They keep all the little dudes organized and they're in charge of signing the other moms up for things like snacks and collecting errant gear (and children) after the game is over. HOWEVER, there's always one mom who takes her responsibility slightly less seriously than a German planning the invasion of Poland.

Yes, it's awesome that you can keep a dozen Kindergarteners fairly corralled and focused for 90 minutes, but really, at the end of the day, the score is still going to be tied, and frankly they don't care who's drink they're drinking. While your back was turned, one gave his gum to another kid. And it was ABC gum. We're working with a pretty easy to please group here. How about this? How about you toss some popcorn on the bench, spray 'em with a hose full of Gatorade and teach them how to scavenge for the gum up under the bleacher seats. In their mind, it'll be the best game ever.

(Editor's Note: That's gum that has Already Been Chewed. xo, K & L)

3. The Miscibility Inability: You know that kid who can whack a baseball into that drop zone in the outfield that pretty much guarantees a homerun? He's also the same kid who, while playing defense, will be digging himself his own personal trench with his cleats and staring expectantly at a butterfly. No matter how talented you believe your offspring to be, there will be a moment when you wonder if you should pretend you have no idea who that bizarre child in the outfield is. We'd love to think that our kids would mix in, in equal proportions, the ability to hit, field and throw. The truth is, your kid might be able to zip a 34-mile per hour fast ball past every kid in the game, but hand him a bat and chances are he'll go home with a self-inflicted concussion.

4. Paternal Law of Thermodynamics: Dear *THAT* Dad, Our favorite thing about your kid is that, when he does hit the ball, he hauls tiny little ass as fast as he can -- right to third base. No matter how many parents are helpfully pointing to first, your awesome little dude is going to third. So how about you stop losing your ever loving mind at him, OK?  Because then he stands there at third, crying and terrified to cross the field to first, and all we wanna do it give him a kiss and a high five, and then leave a dent in your skull. They're five.  They're barely able to run around cones without falling down.  There are no scouts here. He'll understand the rules soon enough; in the meantime, he's the kid in scoring position. Ever think of that?
5.The Law of Universal Gravitation: For forty-eight hours, the entire universe focuses around one word. Balls. Looking for a ball, playing with a ball, catching, throwing, hitting, kicking, dribbing, fielding or dropping a ball. We turn into golden retrievers with the sole life purpose of keeping one very-trained, fully-focused, laser-beamed eye on a mur.thur.fur.kin ball. And, if that isn't enough and there's the slightest possibility that one of our sons maybe isn't proximal to a ball, he'll be happy to locate, scratch, grab, adjust, reconfigure, itch, move, play with, or otherwise make contact with one of his own. At least, not until the next inning.

Play (with) ball!


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

26 comments:

  1. Ha Ha! Totally on target. But you forgot to mention how all the kids "need" a snack of juice box/Gatorade and some more sugar in the form of granola bars after the game, because they worked. so. hard.

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  2. I went to the game of a little boy I used to baby sit - he spent all his time in the outfield making daisy chains. I can't wait for my daughter to play sports because I can't wait to take pictures of all the bizarre things she will do when she thought no one else was looking.

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  3. My son was on a soccer team when he was four and the team mom seemed to think the kids needed a half-time snack AND a post-game snack. The games were forty-five minutes, did she really think the kids needed two snacks?? I mean really, half of them never went near the ball, they weren't exactly taxing themselves. She did suggest that the half-time snack be fruit, which is what every kids begs for, right? I can't remember if it was the same team or another season that scheduled post-practice snacks, to be handed out at 6:00. Um, hello...I'm about to go feed my kid dinner. Please don't hand him a packet of cheez-its.

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  4. Hmmm, sounds a lot like MY weekend. Except my kids are older, so the games take TWO HOURS and we leave the morning game with little balls to go to the afternoon game with one bigger ball and despite all the running around, the only real exercise *I* get is hauling the camp chair and yanking it in and out of its bag. Great job, kids; now can mommy have a cookie??

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  5. I live in a small town and the tball games are like major. league. baseball. i NEVER knew how bad these parents would act!!! this is the most hilarious post, its so true!! Thanks for making my day!

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  6. So glad my kids inherited my anti-social, anti-joining, anti-sports genes. We still spend Saturdays in our pj's feeling sorry for all those kids that have to go to yet another softball game.

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  7. Affirmed sports mom here, with three boys who are super into their chosen Saturday/Sunday activities (an occasional Friday or Thursday night too, sigh... My favorite of their sports is baseball because you get to enjoy the great outdoors (hate baskeball season w/all its annoyances like sitting on a hard ass bleacher seat in an overly crowded loud, stank sweaty gym). Baseball encourages me to sit in my oversized picnic chair, drink firmly in hand, book in the other and generally not get too riled up with what's going on out on the field. The other parents all scream at me, "look! your boy just hit another home run!!!"...and I'm all like "yeah, yeah, yeah that's nice" (don't you see I'm reading here). My lax approach keeps me from being too over-involved and becoming one of those psycho parents losing their schmidt because little Johnny or Suzy failed to hit the ball. It's supposed to be FUN, remember that people who are all about to have a stroke along the sidelines.

    The worst part about sports mom life is the other parents who can't seem to understand the meaning of "pot luck" when it comes to planning the end of season banquet. Look lady, if you come up in here with your five kids, your sister and her 3 kids, your momma, the neighbor, and a lost puppy you found on the way over, you are NOT allowed to only contribute a 2-liter of Fanta. So. Not. Cool.

    Oh and why do these sports cost to flipping much? I laid out $100 this weekend outfitting the little ingrates for baseball. And that was at a sports resale shop. At this rate, I'll have to finance their fun & games by selling my blood or sumfin'!!!!

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  8. Single Serving TBOX!!! Yay!

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  9. Thankfully (oh and did I say THANKFULLY) my son isn't playing baseball this year. This makes me happier than I can EVER tell you. We have football in August and that leads right in to hockey which if my husband and his best friend (the coaches) have anything to say about it, will run clear to baseball season and overlap with soccer. Thankfully my son happily pointed out "soccer sucks mom, it's the most boring sport ever". Unfortunately his little sister doesn't think so and will be playing come Fall. She also starts hockey this year so our 4 days at the rink just turned to 6 with one of us traveling to one town with the oldest (probably above referenced coach and his buddy and a case of beer) and one of us (read me) traveling to another to watch 5-year-olds try to stand up straight while wielding a large stick and trying to balance at the same time. You'd think there would be more injuries, but baseball injuries are actually more common in our household than football and hockey. Just wait until they start using actual pitchers and not the "T" or the machine. Those games drag on FOREVER. They have to play 4 innings here. Know how long that takes when you have a really tired 9 year old with bad aim to start with, who's walking every other kid? Yup, so fun! PLUS, those parents we know who's kids did sign up? They are complaining like crazy because in Wyoming we don't get Spring. They played in the snow the other night. Yup, gonna miss that! Not that I wouldn't have gone if he'd wanted to play. I just can't even begin to tell you how happy I was when he didn't!! Although I do miss my social two hours. Just a tip - nothing is worse than when your kid who really isn't great at baseball actually hits the ball and you're too busy gossiping about the lack of clothes on the girlfriend who's on the arm of your other friend's not yet ex-husband to see it. Whoops!

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  10. At 5, my daughter thought that her turn to be goalie in soccer was the perfect time to practice handstands. Not that we were keeping score or anything.

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  11. Catherine SheeranMay 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    You forgot the crazy parents with nicknames for their kids - this weekend we had parents cheering for "Cujo"! I'm betting this kid has few playdates.

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  12. When my daughter played T-ball, she would stand in the outfield and with her thumb and forefinger play "I squish your head" with the people watching the game. Which I found hilarious! Then when anyone actually hit the ball the entire team would run to the side of the field where the ball landed and argue over who got to throw it back to the coach. Good times.

    p.s. It doesn't get any better when they are older. I mean the kids learn to play better but the parents get even more competitive. There was almost a fist fight at my son's baseball game the other night because of an argument some of the parents were having about a call the umpire made.

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  13. You are SO in my head. My boy is playing 8 yo baseball, and we're neck deep in tournament - read super serious. My mom came yesterday to the game and explained that the fence (that is taller behind home plate ya know) is to keep the moms from charging the field.

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  14. What about the awesome mom you meet just because your kids are on the same t-ball team?

    Just sayin'.

    :)

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  15. This year I only have one playing baseball. Thankfully. In years past I have had 1,2, or 3 playing...in 3 different age groups, on 3 different fields, at the same time. Gah. My busy season, however, is football season, which is going to get worse, because I have two that will be playing in the marching bands at two different high schools next year.

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  16. You could add another number. The following all is amplified by 10 when child makes All Stars. Oh, and you have to travel and fundraise. Which means friends and family no longer answer our calls.

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  17. Seriously?!!? You thought you needed to explain what ABC gum is? ;-)
    My kids were swimmers, which is a year-round sport. I spent one birthday at a meet from 7 am with my daughter to 7 pm with my son. My husband shuttled kids in and out. And, honestly, I missed it when the youngest graduated from college. But now she has provided me with grandchildren so we can start all over. And don't think you can fool me. You all secretly LOVE it!

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  18. Two kids playing two different TRAVEL sports here. This is why we only have two. I don't know how we would do it if we were outnumbered. I'm barely upright as it is...

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  19. HI-larious! My son is three and just started soccer. Mostly he alternates standing in the net, and asking me if it's snack time yet. They're so cute and confused (which I guess is part of the cute factor).

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  20. With three boys playing baseball, I so get this! My mommy friends and I call baseball Toddlers and Tiaras for dads. Just change an overweight mom trying to make her daughter smile pretty to an overweight dad screaming to hit the ball. Sigh...

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  21. I understand! but they have so much fun! like for instance 21 hours this weekend at a tourney for 11-12 yr olds, in the rain because we're having the wettest spring on record!!

    the regular season involves an allstar softball rep who umpires in her spare time and 3 x a week for her 9 yr old brother!!!
    we average 3 days/month that we're not looking at a diamond!!!

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  22. Don't forget the parent who thinks they know better than the coach/thinks they should be the coach, who talks down the coach to the other parents in front of the kids. We just have soccer with our daughter to think about this year - her brother decided his one attempt at intramural basketball was enough for him. (Hooray!!)

    You could do an entire post on the joys of being a Boy Scout/Girl Scout parent - just as much fun as being a sports parent.

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  23. We tried T-ball with my son when he was 5. He enjoyed it for two weeks, then it was a battle every practice and game until the end of the season. At the end he finally told me he didn't like a sport where people were throwing balls at his head. You know what, I couldn't blame him.

    Now we're in the 2nd year of year round swimming and we love it. He never complains about going to the pool, even when it's 40 degrees outside. And yes, it's an outdoor pool. The meets make for long weekends, but I've met some great families on the team.

    Oh, and I'm just finishing my tenure as Cubmaster for my son's pack. I totally agree with Laurel, it's just as much "fun."

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  24. This is awesome and so right on!!! I have 5 kids who have all played sports of all kinds...baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball and water polo! I have sat at every type of field, stadium, pool you can imagine! I admit I am a sports mom who loves to watch her kids play. However I am also the mom who's mantra is "it's just a game!" Some parents are SOOOOO over the top!

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