Tag: kids’ sports

Y is for Yawn

Screenshot 2015-03-31 21.10.53

That’s it – I’m tapped out. With two days to go in the A to Z Challenge I’ve hit the wall.

It is Wednesday. So far this week our family schedule has included:

  • 1 lacrosse game
  • 3 lacrosse practices
  • 2 baseball games
  • 2 baseball practices
  • 2 dance classes
  • 2 dance team practices
  • 1 haircut
  • Two band concerts
  • 1 batting practice
  • 3 workouts
  • 1 field crew shift
  • And last, but by no means least, 1 trip to urgent care (which believe me, is a blog post in and of itself)

We didn’t get to all this stuff. But we got to most of it. Oh, and work. I went to work.

But the real kicker is the announcement from my 11-year-old, as he headed off to bed (late) this evening, that he volunteered to bring corn bread to school tomorrow for his challenge reading class.

So after only a little fussing, I made corn bread. Why, you ask, would a challenge reading class require corn bread? I really couldn’t say. And why, you ask, would I bow to such an unreasonable request? Because I was too tired to resist, of course. I am dog tired.

So I’m headed to bed, without a tip for working parents other than this:

You see that list above? Yeah, don’t do that.

Tomorrow….Z is for Zzzzzzz

Read the series at A is for About

T is for To-Go (and 300)

Screenshot 2015-03-31 21.10.53

It’s the bane of every sports parent – the 6:00 game/practice/class that makes it virtually impossible to feed people on a normal schedule. At those times, the lure of the golden arches and its equally unhealthy brethren can loom pretty large.

Well, I decided to compromise on those nights where a family meal is not in the cards. Yes, we eat in the car. But we eat what I was going to serve them anyway.

Granted, this is not my preferred way to deliver the evening meal. But there are nights I just have to admit that I cannot feed my family in one room, at the table, and still get where we have to go.

On these nights, I send my kids to the car where they buckle up, and then I hand them a plate full of food to eat on the way.

It’s not beautiful, but some nights it’s the best I can do. And at least I’m not super-sizing anything.

(Oh, and the 300? Turns out this is my 300th post. Sounds impressive until I realize how long I’ve been blogging and do the math.)

Tomorrow…U is for Underwear

Read the series at A is for About

Glitter: Where Title IX falls painfully short

Glitter: Where Title IX falls painfully short

IMG_0623 - Version 2Title IX was newish when I hit junior high and decided I didn’t want to take home economics. This was back in the day when all girls took home ec, and all boys took shop. Nothing wrong with home economics, I just, personally, thought it sounded like a snore. The boys got to mold plastics and use power tools. The girls learned how to make white sauce. I could not see how white sauce fit into my future.

My parents, in a much-appreciated burst of advocacy, petitioned the school board to let girls take shop, and ultimately prevailed. Although the board’s ruling came too late to save me from Mrs. W’s high-fat cuisine, it did clear the way for kids like my younger brother to learn how to sew an apron and do his nails (I kid you not. He is still, to this day, extremely well groomed.)

Fast forward several decades. Title IX opened up a vast array of opportunities for girls. But while both boys’ and girls’ sports require me to sling hot dogs at the concession stand, write checks so large they make me tear up, and hit the grandparents up with all sorts of fundraising campaigns, there is one key difference.

My daughter is on the dance team. And for the dance team, I have to rhinestone a costume.

Make no mistake; the dance team girls are athletes. If you don’t believe me, try kicking your leg over your head for the next three hours and then tell me whether you didn’t pull a hamstring, a groin muscle, and everything in between. But I have never been asked to rhinestone a baseball jersey or apply sequins to lacrosse pads. I do not have to alter ski gear. And while my boys have occasionally required the use of kinesio tape, neither has ever required the use of Hollywood Fashion Tape® before entering the field. In short, boys’ sports do not require me to use any crafting skills whatsoever.

This inequity makes me uneasy, but frankly, it’s probably not because it throws us back to the days of girls vs. boys as much as it is an aversion to rhinestoning. Let’s just say it is not a core competence.

But as sports parents know, when your kid signs up, you sign up.

And thus, a recent Saturday morning found me beside other dance team moms, coffee at hand, using industrial-strength, cancer-causing glue to attach dozens of rhinestones and sequins to a piece of nylon that wouldn’t cover one of my calves. (I noticed no fathers were present.)

This is my daughter’s first year on the team, and I certainly will be required to rhinestone again. The coach has decided that the girls’ time is too valuable to devote to modifying their costumes. My time, however, carries no such premium.

Just call me the Rhinestone Cowgirl.

 

My next career – professional chaperone?

My next career – professional chaperone?

My recent experience chaperoning 80 junior high band students on a trip to Chicago makes me think there might be a future in this sort of thing. The chaperone is an integral part of a school trip. Without them teacher turnover would be much higher. (Picture the last time you took your kids to the zoo on a busy day. Now multiply that by 30. See what I mean?)

So I’m thinking I might be able to hire myself out as a professional chaperone. I will see theIMG_1254 bus country, albeit bombarded by a dizzying chatter of trivial conversation, in a crowd where everyone is ignoring the sites in favor of taking selfies. I’ll bet there are those among you who’d pay me to go in your place.

But it doesn’t stop there. If your children participate in league sports, you are usually expected to work at the concession stand (or as my kids always called it, the confession stand), that shack full of sugared happiness that subsidizes your sport to an almost ridiculous degree. You can buy out your shift, but in our league that costs $150. Multiply that by a couple of kids and you’re into some coin. I figure I could charge a $100 to work your shift and you’d still come out ahead. I’m experienced, and I’m going to be at the ballpark anyway, so why not? I almost know how to work the popcorn machine so I might even be worth a premium.

So think about it – tired of those children’s museums full of sticky handprints and virus-covered surfaces? Seen the staged version of that classic children’s tale one too many times? Rather watch the game than sling lukewarm hot dogs? Terrified to climb aboard a bus with dozens of hormone-crazed teens?

This gun’s for hire – at an activity near you.

K is for Karate

work-at-homeAnd dance. And baseball. And all the other activities that make it seem impossible for me to hold a “regular” job. Since my husband travels for work, most of the transport for activities falls to me.

It started with one preschool dance class. I would dress my daughter in a tiny leotard and take her down the street to the studio where I would pretend to watch her from the parents’ waiting room while instead chasing two toddler boys up and down the hallway for 45 minutes. Aggravating, but manageable.

But karate started the scales tipping. Karate meant two (and for a brief while, three) kids in activities. It required a drive in rush hour traffic, and it took place during the dinner hour, which made is seem overwhelming at the time. Little did I know I would pine for the days when we had just dance and karate.

Now, my schedule requires the precision of launching the space shuttle – one blip and you have to scrub the whole mission. Here’s what the kids’ activities looked like this week:

  • Monday – two dances classes, and an orthodontist appointment
  • Tuesday – dance team practice, two lacrosse practices, and a dance class
  • Wednesday – two lacrosse games (away), and a dance class
  • Thursday – dance team practice, and one baseball practice
  • Friday – nothing, wow!
  • Saturday – baseball field clean-up, one baseball practice, dance team practice, two lacrosse practices, and an outing to a professional lacrosse game – makes up for Friday
  • Sunday – one lacrosse game, and a dance competition

And then it starts all over again. Once baseball season is in full swing, there are several nights we have a total of four activities on the calendar, all during the same timeframe. Obviously, we won’t make them all. I’ll be throwing a few darts.

This post is part of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. See who else is Blogging from A to Z

Read the series

Read the work-at-home personnel manual

Carting your kids to spring sports? This poem’s for you.

Little Leaguer TM
Well, it’s that time of year again – spring league sports. And just as I’m hauling out, dusting off, and tweaking the sports gear, I’m doing the same with my tribute to those of us with bleacher butt.

Here, with a few revisions because I can’t leave well-enough alone, is my:

Ode to a Sports Mom (or Dad)

I log many hours at the wheel of my car,
I drive you to games that are near and are far,
I lend you some comfort when you are in pain,
I sit through your games in the cold, driving rain.

I follow the rules of inscrutable sports,
I pre-treat the stains that you get on your shorts,
I empty the checking account for your fees,
And patch up your pants when you go through the knees.

I moan your despairs and I cheer for your feats,
I vacuum up crud you track in on your cleats,
I sit in the parking lot during your drills,
Bite my tongue during dust-ups and bruises and spills.

I doctor your wounds to avoid their infection,
Then I’m off to the sporting goods store for “protection”,
For all that I do, I merely exhort you,
To remember the numerous ways I “support” you.

______________

So there it is, my song for spring. If you ever feel like singing it and you can’t remember the words, just turn around in your seat on the bleachers and ask – I’m sitting right behind you.

Logo created by Fat Cat Art Studio

An ode to the sports mom (or dad)

I log many hours at the wheel of my car,
I drive you to games that are near and are far,
I lend you some comfort when you are in pain,
I sit through your games in the cold, driving rain.
 
I follow the rules of inscrutable sports,
I pre-treat the stains that you get on your shorts,
I empty the checking account for your fees,
And patch up your pants when you go through the knees.
 
I moan your despairs and I cheer for your feats,
I vacuum up crud you track in on your cleats,
I sit in the parking lot during your drills,
Bite my tongue during dust-ups and bruises and spills.
 
I doctor your wounds to avoid their infection,
Then I’m off to the sporting goods store for “protection”,
For all that I do, I merely exhort you,
To remember the numerous ways I “support” you.