Parenting Sports

At Least He Had Fun

I ran to the Post Office, drove across town, and picked up the boys from school. I picked them up early, thus ruining the last nine weeks chance of perfect attendance, but I picked them up exactly on schedule to make it to the dentist.

We sang a few songs on the interstate. BigBrother told me he did well on his spelling test. (Spoiler: He admitted at bedtime that he did not, in fact, do well. That bedtime confessional still runs true.) I somehow managed to avoid traffic, and we pulled up to the dentist’s office at exactly two o’clock.

I’ve never been on time for the boys’ dental appointments which is exceptionally embarrassing as my mother-in-law works there. I usually call from the interstate.

“We’re coming. I promise.”

Which is better than the time I called and said, “We’re supposed to be there now but I completely forgot and we’re at home.”

I have a paper planner. I utilize the calendar on my phone. But sometimes, and especially during baseball season, I get a little lost in the details. Or completely go off the rails. Either or.

So I smugly walked into the dentist’s office and sat down in the swanky waiting room. The receptionist said hello, and we sat for approximately ten minutes.

And then my mother-in-law appeared.

“Your appointment is tomorrow.”

“I know. The boys’ is today.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Yes, it is. I have a text from…” Scroll, scroll scroll. “The pediatrician.”

I didn’t say “shit” out loud but it was definitely implied.

I rushed the boys out the door, hustled them in the car, and voice dialed the pediatrician.

“Hi. Yes. We have an appointment at two, and now it’s two-ten. I accidentally went to the dentist instead of the pediatrician. We’re about five minutes away.”

The woman on the other end of the phone laughed but said she had to check with the doctor. Which, I understand. I kept driving. And hitting ALL THE RED LIGHTS. She came back on the phone and said they’d hold my appointment. So I kept driving and HITTING MORE RED LIGHTS.

I squealed into a parking space and rushed my not-so-little-kids into the building, waited for the elevator, waited as it stopped on another floor to pick someone up EVEN THOUGH THAT NEVER HAPPENS IN THIS BUILDING, and nearly ran into the office. I told the woman sitting at the desk our name.

“Your appointment was 20 minutes ago.”

“I called. I went to the dentist instead of here. The woman who answered asked our doctor and she said it was okay.”

“She did?”

No. I’m lying. Who makes up a story that makes them look like a total moron?

“Yes, she did.”

“Okay, you have to fill out eleventy billion new papers for this year.”

“Thank you.”

Or something like that.

We didn’t wait long at all before a nurse ushered us back to room eight. She asked about their eating habits and school and baseball. She took them off for weight checks, measurements, and ear and eye test while I wrote the same information on approximately 72 pieces of paper. (It was just two, but why does it always feel like so many?)

The boys returned, donned their gowns, and in just a few minutes our doctor walked in.

Can I tell you how much I love our doctor? We inherited her five years ago when our previous doctor, whom we also loved as he was so patient with my First Parented Child Overreating, retired. We love her. Her smile is contagious. She’s very encouraging. She backs me up with the boys when she asks about technology time and even reinforced with LittleBrother that, yeah, he’s supposed to be in the booster seat for another four and a half inches and, sorry buddy, but just because your friends don’t ride in one doesn’t mean you get to skip it.

Sometimes I want to hug her.

I don’t think that’s appropriate.

Anyway, she found it HILARIOUS that we went to the dentist first. She literally laughed out loud.

“That sounds like something I would do!”

Then I loved her more.

The older of the boys got three shots, which none of us expected, but the nurse who administered them gets a big gold star for knowing what questions to ask and when as she gave him all three shots. Like seriously. Major kudos.

It’s not all great news.

One kid needs glasses. This was not a surprise as I got glasses in fourth grade and my husband thinks he was in fifth grade when he got his. LittleBrother will be near the end of third grade when he gets his. This also possibly explains the headaches he’s been experiencing. To which he said, “Yeah, I sometimes get a really bad headache in class and get aggravated with everyone.” Really, kid. Tell me these things before appointments with the nice doctor, okay?

The other kid’s hearing has worsened in his bad ear. We knew this. He failed the school test. Again/always. His volume when he speaks has increased, and not just because he’s genetically a Swearingen. We have another referral to the audiologist to figure out what’s going on.

Did you know that hearing aids are 100% NOT covered, even with ACA? Did you know that even with vision insurance, we’ll fork over hundreds of bucks for LittleBrother to see clearly and not experience headaches that make him vomit? And some of you want to reduce our health care that we, as a family of four, already pay mightily for? Uh. Okay. Here’s my middle finger.

We got home in time to sign agendas (…) and relax for a bit before the rain started. I thought, “Ooh! They’ll cancel the baseball scrimmage and we can spend time at home.”

It’s like I’m new at this baseball mom thing.

The scrimmage was canceled but our practice was moved to an indoor gym. I got 1.25 miles from home (I know because running) when BigBrother asked, “Did you bring his baseball stuff?”

No, I didn’t. Thanks for asking. So we turned around, grabbed the gear, and then drove a little more quickly to the gym.

After I got LittleBrother pushed into he gym, I read the novel I’m working on for a half hour and then worked for an hour. BigBrother watched practice, but I wouldn’t let him go get his glove to participate because his younger brother needs to be able to experience things on his own from time to time. When he came out of the gym, he was all smiles.

“I had fun.”

Crazy day in which my husband worked and I did all of the things wrong and it rained and I felt alone and like a failure as a mother? Worth it with those three little words.

At Least He Had Fun


What Matters to Me on the Field and Off

Our older son’s baseball team lost their second game of the season today.

First off, I loathe scheduling games on Memorial Day. If I was a Gold Star Family, I’d be on fire to get it changed. But, thankfully, we’re not. My soldier is out of the Army and happened to work at the Fire Department all day today. So, I hung out with the boys until we needed to leave for the ball fields.

Today was hot. Not surprisingly, not all of our team showed up, so we played only nine. (Or as my husband would say, “the way baseball was meant to be played. Whatever.) We played an out of league team, so we came into the game blind. It’s a holiday weekend so no doubt kids had sleepovers, lots of swimming, late nights, and came into today kind of tired. In addition, my kid was battling either severe pollen allergies or the beginnings of a cold.

Either way, we started the game like the Bad News Bears. In two innings, we found ourselves down 8-0.

In the Minors of Little League, they play six innings. So starting that behind in two innings is kind of a big deal. An unfortunate, big deal.

The other team didn’t score another run after those initial eight, and our boys woke both their bats and their gloves up. One of our hard hitters got an in the park home run, and we worked hard to fight out way out of a huge deficit.

At one point, I went to check on him and ask if he needed more cough drops. He said he was fine. As I left the dugout, the coach’s mom stopped me to talk.

“You know what I love about him? He’s really hard on himself, but he’s so encouraging of other players.”

I nodded.

Last year, my eldest boy found himself on a team with a not-too-great-coach who didn’t do anything to stop teammates from talking negatively to one another. My son was made the scapegoat for a number of losses, despite baseball being a team sport and STFU, kids. This year, not only did something click in his brain about how to get the bat on the ball, but his base running is phenomenal and, well, the coaches and kids are all amazing.

It’s really a great year of baseball.

It’s really great to watch him get walked and then advance to third and steal home.

What Matters to Me on the Field and Off -stodpropandblog #baseball #littlleague

I wish I would have kept taking pictures at this point. Here’s why: BigBrother stood up, dusted himself off, picked up the catcher’s mask, handed it to the catcher, and said, “Nice play.” It had been close, but he was safe.

The coaches wife was walking behind the backstop just then. “See! That’s why I love this kid! Did everyone see that?!”

And my sweaty heart grew three sizes that day.

He was bummed after the game. They’ve only lost one other game, and losing is no fun whether you’re on a great team filled with great teammates and coaches or not. Losing sucks. He gave me the silent treatment on the way back to the car, and I let him. I know that losing sucks. I’ve been there, done that for eleven years of softball. I hated losing.

As we neared home, he started to talk. And he talked about how hard they fought to get back to an 8-7 score. He pointed out all the things the other players did to get back to that point. He named them by name, by play, and by who backed who up.

He gets it. He knows that baseball is a team sport. He knows the importance of recognizing the good in one another to get the outcome you want. Sometimes you don’t win. But when you play like a team, it makes it just a little bit easier.

We lost today, but my goodness, I love the way my kid plays ball. With his heart.