Thursday, April 23, 2009

Adieu Football

Bon Vendredi du Pere, Toute Personnes! Thanks to the folks at for organizing this wonderful weekly event (even if I didn’t win their Big Spring Contest.)

Since so many of you requested more funny soccer stories (okay, it was pretty much just Weasel Momma), I figured I’d try to oblige one LAST time.

That’s because SOCCER SEASON IS (FINALLY) OVER! (Not that I’m excited or anything.)

I hope I won’t offend the mom of one of my players who reads this blog, but my guess is that she feels about the same.

Since I’m not excited, I won’t sing the following song:

“Soccer season’s finally over, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
I must’ve found a four-leaf clover, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
Oh no, tee-ball starts to-morrow, fa-la-la, fa-la-la, la-la-la.
No rest for the Busy-Dad-E, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.”

I also won’t share with you these top 10 things that I did during our last two soccer games:

10. Tied shoes (several times for several players). That’s going to leave a (cleat) mark.

9. Coaxed kids who were supposed to be playing to leave the sideline and come onto the field. (C’mon, you know you(r parents) want (you) to play.) By the end of the last game, I almost needed to start offering cash to get them to play.

8. Coaxed kids who weren’t playing to leave the field and go back to the sideline. (You didn’t want to play when it was your turn? Now that it’s someone else’s turn, you want to play? Did you come over to my house and watch Big and Little Brother play with toys? Even if it’s been two years since Big Brother looked at a particular toy, if Little Brother plays with it, then it becomes the hottest toy of the Christmas season.)

7. Asked the girls on the team to stop playing “tag” on the field. (Maybe if the YMCA started a Youth Tag league, the kids would show up and play soccer?)

6. Asked the boys on the team to stop playing in the dirt piles. (I started to propose a YMCA Youth Dirt Pile-Playing league, but the boys would just continue to play in the dirt piles.)

5. Escorted hysterically crying children back to their parents after they fell down chasing after the ball, were pushed down, or just started crying spontaneously.

4. Separated players from our own team who were fighting over the ball. (You’ll push and shove your own teammates to get the ball, but if the other team has the ball, you could care less. Hysterical.)

3. Asked Busy-Mom-E to take Big Brother potty during the game. Twice.

2. Carried Little Brother around the field while coaching to keep him from screaming. (Is he the coach, or an overinvolved parent?) Oh well, at least you don’t need your hands in soccer.)

1. Total number of minutes that I actually coached soccer during the last two games.

Let me just say that the soccer season ended on a somewhat unpleasant note for Big Brother. At yesterday’s game, it was unseasonably hot, and all of the kids were a little tired and cranky. Halfway between picking him up and arriving at the field, Big Brother decided he just didn’t want to play soccer.

Trying to change the mind of a stubborn strong-willed child is like beating your head against the wall (i.e., don’t do it.)

Eventually we did get Big Brother to play for one quarter. All it took was saying, “You can take your Blue’s Clues letter on to the field with you and play in the dirt.” He actually did engage in the game briefly, before returning to the dirt piles.

And of course, just as the game was finishing, he managed to throw dirt into his eye. This prompted a hysterical screaming fit. “My eye! My eye! I need a towel!” (There wasn’t a towel.) Big Brother was not going to calm down to let us do anything to help him.

Fearing a scratched cornea, I did the only thing a sensible thing a dad could do under the circumstances. I laid him down on the ground, pinned his limbs down with my legs, and squirted washed his eye with water from his water bottle. Ta-da!

Mom-E swore at that moment she saw a neon sign above my head that said, “Yes, I can control my child. Just not now.”

As much as I complained, it was a good experience. The kids had fun (at least when they were playing tag or playing in the dirt piles). This helped ease the pain of going 0-6 in our games, and losing by a margin of at least 5 goals per game. I had fun too, because for at least a moment (what now seems like a year ago), it made Big Brother very happy.

What else can you do with 3 and 4-year olds who really weren’t that excited about playing soccer in the first place?

That said, without a doubt, our team had the best, loudest, most high-spirited team cheer of any team in the league. Unfortunately, we made it a habit of checking our enthusiasm at the door.

Of course, I’m willing to bet that at the team’s end-of-season party, all of the kids will want to PLAY SOCCER! There can be no other alternative. I, on the other hand, will want to drink mojitos on a floating chair in the pool. Or, if there’s no pool, I guess I’ll just drink mojitos.

Tee-ball, however, will be even more fun (mostly because I won’t be coaching. At least until I get an email from the YMCA the day before saying, “Uh, we need coaches, or, uh, something bad’ll happen, uh, so we’re glad you’re the coach now.”) @#$%-ing YMCA!

So bring on the tee-ball! Wait a minute, did I just get excited about giving metal bats to 4 year-olds? Oh, am I going to have plenty to write about here.

Have a good weekend,


  1. Sports and kids under the age of 20 are not good. LOL. My 6yr old is in soccer and they goof off alot also. It is hard to keep their attention for that long I guess. Happy FF.

    Check out my FF post at

  2. I hate sports to begin with but trying to watch young kids that really don't care is something I have absolutely NO patience with. Good luck with tee ball.

  3. Ugh, I was nauseated reading all of that. :)

    My boys never wanted to play any sports, even though we offered. (Really! We did!)


    My older son started Lacrosse last year in 10th grade. First sport EVER. He loves it. And the games aren't anything like what you described above, thank goodness. Maybe you can bribe your kid to do something else, like singing lessons for now?

  4. I actually cringed when I read the "I need a towel" line. My daughters would say that every time they got water in their eyes while in the bath. What I never understood, though, was that they had no problems going underwater in a swimming pool. Something about the bath made the water (non-soapy, just plain old water from the tap) like kryptonite to their eyes.

    Good luck with tee-ball!

  5. I'll be honest with you all: my oldest never played sports until he was 8, and so it seems for my youngest also. I am not so sure I'd see any point to 3-4 year old playing soccer (aside from the humor, as above), but I also conceed I've never been to one of their games, so I may well be off-base.

  6. So this is what I have to look forward to when my 5 year old starts playing soccer in the fall here?


    I can hardly wait.

  7. They start kids playing sports so young these days. I am a sports nut and I only started at 7. It is a good thing they have Dads like you to shepherd them through the early years.

  8. Oh, God. I am so not looking forward to the "sports-playing" age. Is it wrong that I hope my sun is more interested in computers and comic books like I was?

    I mean, he can jog and stuff like I do now to keep from getting out of shape, but do we really have to play well with others? And worst of all, do I have to coach the others?

  9. It takes a special person to be a coach. I'm not so special.

  10. I'm sure the sand in the eye was NOT funny at the time, but it sure is funny to read this and to picture you pinning him down. I don't think its so unusual for kids to start young. I started taking dance when i was 2! Unorganized and chaotic, yes! But fun for the kids to do something active! Aunt-E

  11. I absolutely agree! Kids need to start being active at a young age. Why not introduce them to an "organized" sport so they can interact with other kids their age, run, and have a great time!? They don't have to truly understand the rules of the sport to learn about teamwork and good sportsmanship.

  12. Is this a game for the kiddos or the parents?

  13. After this, I think will continue to draw attention away from the kids asking to play in sports. I'm going to show Super Mega Mommy THIS post next time she tries to talk me into putting the kids into Soccer!

  14. I'm a little teary eyed that the season is over. However, it will save me a fortune in upholstery cleaning.
    I'm still laughing about the sign your wife saw above your head and can totally picture the wrestling hold you had on him, because I've used it.
    Thanks for a great season and (ducks while I say this) I hope you coach t-ball too.

  15. well, the seasons over for you, good for you. I dont get organized sports for kids, just give them a ball, go in the field, and let them kick it. good luck with Tball.

  16. @Everyone: Thank you for all of your comments. As sarcastic as I got about soccer, PLEASE don't let this post deter you from having your (even young) kids playing sports. I liked to emphasize the chaotic stuff that came with soccer/coaching in my posts, because it made for a good read. The fact is, despite the chaos, I had so much fun. Seriously. Big Brother had fun, too. IMHO, kids SHOULD be playing sports (or doing some other organized activity) at an early age. I say "drag them away from the tv or whatever else they're doing, and go outside and play." The benefits of organized sports for children are many: they promote physical activity/fitness, teach teamwork/following the rules, build self-confidence, and teach our kids about making a commitment to something. Sure, they're kids. They're not going to get it right away. They're going to pout and cry and play in the dirt and have to pee, etc., but that shouldn't be a deterrent to participating. Besides, if they were home they'd be doing the same thing. But I think it's our responsibility as parents to expose our children to as many opportunities as we can: sports, art, music, dancing, etc. Doesn't matter so much what as that they're getting involved in something. I understand that not everyone has the time or patience to coach. That's okay. But let they play.

    @Weasel Momma: Don't put the Spot Shot away just yet! Even if I don't coach tee-ball, I'll be cheering my head off while sitting on the bleachers, so I'll still have plenty to share. I feel guilty every time I have to use the 4-point restraint hold, but man is it effective. As far as your upholstery cleaning bill goes, I have two thoughts. One is for you to invest in a plastic cover for your computer chair. The other is for me to write a "WARNING! HIGH PROBABILTY OF FURNITURE STAINS! ADVISE TO PUT YOUR OOPS-I-CRAPPED-MY-PANTS ON" warning atop any potentially hazardous FF posts.

  17. I think that's a great idea! Call it a Pee Alert!

  18. Hilarious good times! I didn't even need a video to watch the dirt-flinging fun. Get the metal bats on video though, just in case of litigation.

    We started Bea in baby swimming lessons this morning where a third of the babies started crying spontaneously.

    Including me. I mean Bea.

  19. Great job on a wonderful season. Now, wishing you both the best of luck in tee-ball. Thanks for the laughs. Rosi

  20. More stuff more me to look forward to :)

  21. @pete: I hear ya. We have the same problem with bath water being toxic to the eyes. Big Brother has exclaimed "My eye! I need a towel!" enough in the tub, that now Little Brother starts spontaneously blurting out "Eye! Eye!" even though he's only wet below the ankles.