Monday, March 11, 2013

Another Exciting Public Outing

Saturday was opening day for t-ball or rookie ball or whatever the hell it's called for Ethan. Naturally, Nate was working and so it was me against the three, which is always the best combo, especially considering that thousands of people were going to be there, AND we are Little League virgins and had no idea what to expect.

My first critical lesson of kid sports was learned when we dressed Ethan in his uniform that morning. Through some serious disorganization on our little league's part and due to full schedules I had to buy Ethan's stuff the night before, alone, without him being present. I thought I did really good, and felt completely solid about my totally I'm-his-mom-I-know-what's-up guesses. I patted myself on my back as I walked out of the sports store.

Well, I bought a left-handed glove instead of a right-handed glove. He was swimming in his pants.

Just because I'm his mom, that does not mean I can correctly eyeball his size, apparently. I seriously recommend taking your kid(s) with you when you buy their uniforms. Oh, that's common sense, you say? It doesn't help that there is no sizing info on the uniform tags, either, like "Small fits xx weight and height, etc."

We made the pants work because we had no choice, scrapped the glove because he wasn't actually playing that day anyway. Connor chose to represent by wearing a shirt the same color as his brother's jersey and Brandon wanted to wear a cap like Ethan was, too. So Ethan had his own little fan club in his little brothers and that had to make him feel like a rock star. A rock star who looked like he had a full load in the back of his pants.

As we were walking out of the door, I realized that I hadn't eaten. (Who the hell forgets to eat?) We arrived at the ball park and parked a mile away, then sat in the wrong bleacher section because I'm profoundly smart and didn't know how to distinguish A from AA from Rookie. Eventually, we figured out my error and after a half an hour of keeping the younger boys from tumbling down the bleachers or being stepped on by a thousand people, it was time for the teams to be announced and parade out onto the field.

Before Ethan's team came out, we watched 700 teams parade out onto the field. All of the players were excited. They ran, trotted, waved their hats, high-fived the other players. It was cute and I couldn't wait for Ethan's team to come out so I could see him do the same. I wanted to see his excitement.

His team came out. They walked like they were in a funeral procession. I'm not kidding. It was horrible. People in the stands weren't even sure if they should clap because it was like, what the fuck is happening? I'm actually on film saying, "What a bunch of mopes!" and then laughing uncomfortably.

Then we gathered for pictures and as I filled out the picture order form I realized that kids sports cost so much more than the sign-up fee. 

As Ethan was getting his picture taken, Connor and Brandon knocked down the giant rope barricade that crossed a large portion of the field, nearly decapitating a tiny little kid they were playing with. Then a mom that was standing about 30 feet away from me graciously informed me that my zipper was down. I was mortified and could have kissed her for telling me but instead thanked her and silently wished for her to have a thousand nights where her young kids slept all night and then slept in, too. She took her grace even further by sharing that a while back she had been grocery shopping and looked like an unwashed hag, yet a bunch of guys kept checking her out and she couldn't figure out why. Then she got in the car and realized that her zipper was down. 

She goes in my "awesome mom hall of fame" and I probably should have asked her for her phone number to call her up and hang out, but didn't.

Then it was time for Ethan to do his "clinicals." I thought they were in t-ball, not in nursing school but that's okay, I know there are several meanings for the same word. The gist of clinicals is, they're boring for everyone NOT doing them. Connor and Brandon played in the dirt and the mud puddles and the dog shit and the dugout, ate snacks and drank juice and asked to leave a hundred times. Then Connor OF COURSE had to take a dump.

Let me paint the scene for you. Across from the fields, there is a giant forest-y park that a thousand homeless people camp in every night. The restrooms, because they are part of parks and rec, are open during the day, so the homeless people use the sinks for their bird baths and the toilets to take their meth dumps and vomit in and all that jazz. Also, a thousand kids use them because you know, it's a giant parks and rec facility.

In other words, they are the among the most disgusting restrooms you'll ever encounter. They're  worse than gas stations, McDonalds, anything. And I had to take my two-year-old, who licks everything, and my four-year old, who touches everything, into them so the four-year-old could contribute to the grossness. On the way in, I told them over and over to keep their hands to themselves, don't touch anything, blah blah blah is what they heard. In the stall, I told Brandon to stand against the door and put his hands in his pockets and leave them there. He complied until it was time to wipe Connor's ass. I had my back turned and was doing the classic "bend over my kid while he sticks his head between my legs ass-wiping position" when my mom instinct told me to check Brandon.

I half-turned, and saw that he had spread himself prone on the bathroom floor, hands and face splat on the piss-, shit-, and drug-covered ground. As I was holding shit-smeared toilet paper in one hand and spreading Connor's butt cheeks apart with the other, I started yelling "GET OFF THE FLOOR! GET OFF THE FLOOR NOW!" Actually, I was probably screaming, or maybe it just sounded like it because it was loudly echoing off the cement walls. Everyone in the restroom fell silent and you could hear a heroin needle pin drop.

We finished and of course the city doesn't provide soap dispensers for the homeless sink showers, so I instructed the boys not to touch their faces until we could get back to our bag on the field and I could wash them down with wipes and sanitizer. So, Connor picked his nose and Brandon rubbed his eyes and licked his palms.

Back at the field, Ethan, who hasn't yet learned baseball etiquette, ran across a baseball diamond mid-game for another team, causing the coach to halt the game until he finished crossing, while I stupidly yelled and gestured at him from 60 feet away to move outside of the diamond, which further confused him and caused more delay. 

Finally, the day was done and we got out of there. I was exhausted and it was only noon. Pretty typical these days.

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  1. So funny! I can (unfortunately) picture the public bathroom scene perfectly.
    We've been in sports for a long time, so are learning the ins and outs and money saving tips. First off, the photos are not mandatory. We have never purchased them. I'm sure my kids will be offended by that someday, but it is a day in the future that I don't give a whit about. Secondly, when a child is trying a sport for the first time, go to a second-hand store to buy the equipment. Sure, everyone will think we are odd for naming our lily-white child Jose, but it's not my fault Jose's parents weren't enlightened and bought really nice, monogrammed equipment that was only used one season.
    Good luck. Baseball is a loooong season. But really, I think all sports seasons are.

    1. Yeah I hate to admit it but I'm not really looking forward to the advent of sports and obligations, but know that it's good for them. We're definitely hitting up the used sports shops for stuff, too!
      Thanks for your input! Always good to hear from someone who has been there. :-)

  2. I'm taking notes. Our son is only three weeks old, but it's never too soon to get educated on sports... Something I was never involved with before as a child.

    1. Good call on taking notes! And congratulations on your baby boy! How exciting!

  3. Hi Elizabeth! In my 7 years and 18ish seasons of team sports, I have to say I hate most when it's our turn for snacks on game day. First you have to choose what to feed the little effers, keeping in mind that they will want to feed their friends, siblings, and sometimes try to swipe 2 of whatever you're giving out. And someone always doesn't like it, has allergies, blah blah. Then you have to spend the money on it, and then the WORST is remembering to bring it with you. I hate feeding my own kids, adding 20 more is super annoying. I can deal with the other sports stuff... except fundraising. Nope. Not gonna do it.
    Good luck!

    1. Yeah we have a snack schedule... it hasn't been my turn yet but we'll see the fun that that is soon enough.
      Thanks... I'm sure you'll read more about the adventures.

    2. I don't understand why they have snacks anyway. It's not like the game is that long, and if the kid really can't go two hours without eachting, why can't each parent just bring his own snack????? I have always hated the snack schedule.

  4. Oh my gosh! Not only were we there, but I was in the next stall in the nasty bathroom telling my two year old to stop trying to touch everything, too! Of course it could have been another mom yelling at her kid to get off the floor, it's not uncommon, but I have a feeling it was you as I jumped and nearly fell over, while in that same wiping-kid-butt position, when I heard the yell! It actually made me feel great that another mom sounds as scary as me, since most (in public) try to sound like they are the perfect model parent & always talk to their kids politely)
    We are also t-ball virgins. I, too, bought pants I didn't know we needed, the night before (the last pair and last belt!), at least I did take my son, knowing I would get the wrong size, I was right! I thought t-ball was only on Saturdays! It's been a royal pain trying to get to practice and games all random days of the week!
    I also did not know it was a cult! I was mentally unprepared for thousand of people to be there opening day. I never would have found our spot, had I not happen to see the one and only person there on our team I knew and followed her around like a lost dog. No one told us what to expect, so I couldn't prepare my son that he'd have to walk out on a field into a sea of strangers without mom (I had to tell him I would walk behind his team, but then I fell back at the last min, way to go- Mom the Liar), or that we'd be sweating in the sun at the top of bleachers for an hour trying to keep the kids, and the ones who's parents didn't feel like watching them, from climbing the back fence and falling to their deaths early in the morning when they should be running around getting their energy out! *deep breaths* calming down now. If I had at least known what to expect, I could have mentally prepared myself and everyone for the loooooong day. We managed to have some fun, though, hope you did, too!

    1. HA! Yeah, it was probably me... sorry to have made you jump! I hear you on all of the shock of the whole event and little league in general. I'm still adjusting. I too thought it was a Saturday thing only. I'm sure we'll see each other at some of the games!

  5. My husband said it was totally acceptable to abandon both boys in the port-o-potty if that ever happens again.


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