Tuesday, May 1, 2012

soccer - it's fun, it's not fun - we can't decide

So, fall (2011) soccer was miserable. Just awful. The boys hated it. They liked practice (most of the time), but hated the games. I'm from a long line of people who finish what they start. Books, quilts, classes, clubs, jobs, marriages (well, at least at a higher percentage than the average American). It might take us a long time (like my Bachelor's degree), but we finish what we start. Bub's family is really of a different mindset. Basically, if you're unhappy, stop doing the thing that causes this unhappiness. (Maybe they're just a more evolved group of people than us back-woods hicks, slogging it out until the end?) Anyway, as parents, we've come to a tentative agreement. And, by "tentative," I mean that Bub is smart enough to know that not letting me get my way on this means that I will blather on and on and on and on and on about how we're not teaching the boys responsibility and allowing them to be quitters. So, they are going to soccer. And, they like it - mostly. Well, they like it better than last fall, that's for sure. Practice is just an exercise in driving the coach nuts. Games are an opportunity to do the same to the parents. BUT, it is still hilarious. During the first game, Meatball got to throw the ball in after some penalty. Really, isn't every move that a 4-year old makes on the soccer field a penalty? They are grabbing the ball, they are tripping each other, they are running into each other because they aren't watching where they are going, they have no sense of "formation," they spontaneously lay down in the middle of the field, they whine to the sidelines. Although I'm no expert, I'm sure that these are all penalty-worthy actions. So, back to Meatball's throw-in. After the coaches got all of the other kids in some semblance of a formation, they finally encouraged him to throw the ball in. You know, both hands on ball, feet don't leave the ground, ball behind the head, and directly onto the field. Well, he decided that he should make sure that everyone (on both teams) knew exactly when he was going to throw it, so he counted down from ten to one as loudly as he could. Then, he threw the ball UP into the air so that it came down, almost whacking the opposing coach on the head.
During the second game, we told Meatball to keep his eye on the ball. So, during the middle of the game, he crouched down and watched the ball! And, then he watched everyone kick and chase it to the other end of the field. So, yeah. Whatever. Peanut is particularly unhappy so far. This is odd because we were sure that he was going to be more into it that Meatball. He loves playing with Bub at home. It's odd. He's happy when he gets to come off of the field.
During the last game, he was so BLAH about the whole thing that he actually leaned on coach Nielsen's leg during a break. It was hard to get him (and, therefore, the coach) moving again.
We have had a great time watching them and learning more about our own children, and they are getting the interaction that we wanted them to get. They've even made a friend, Brax, who is about as interested as they are. The soccer parents - that's an interesting experience. We know none of their names. We know them as "Jaden's mom," and "Jacob's dad," and etc. They probably know us in the same way. So, Jaden's mom is blissfully happy. She manages to laugh and giggle about everything. She seems to be a really good mom, and we both enjoy her company. Jaden is the star of the team, by the way. His singular focus is to get that ball in the goal, and he follows the ball like a cat chases a light on the floor. Jacob's dad is a runner, so I like him, of course. And, he just seems to be a nice guy. Jacob is a little guy, but a sweetie. Sadie and Peyton don't come to all of the games or practices, so we don't know them very well. We do know that Peyton's mom LOVES to enunciate the "T" in her name. "Good job Pey-Ton!" It's very unnerving and out of place here in the land of the soft "T". She sounds like she is from ConnecTicut or something. Brax's mom and dad are the coaches, so we know their names. They are nice, nice people. They are separated, so we know their current other halves, too. They manage to get along very nicely for Brax's sake. Dexter's parents take the cake. We just can't figure them out. His dad is very macho for a guy in his late 30s. He doesn't have much to say to us. She likes to talk about herself - a lot. She's nice enough when she is willing to give you the time of day. (Or maybe it's just us. I'll admit that it's hard for some people to know what/when/how to talk to us. Apparently, we seem much too different from them.) She didn't speak a single word to either of us until the last fall game when I made rice crispy treats with a surprise in the middle. You would think that I had brought individual creme brulees for each kid by the way that she was going on and on. This year, she was a little more friendly as we made small talk about how she should cut her hair. (Small talk - it was torture!) The next week, she came with her new 'do (which is really flattering), and completely ignored my positive comments. Whatever. They are from somewhere in the midwest (Ohio), so I'll assume that this is acceptable behavior in that area. What I DO know is that Dex is one tough little kid. He is like a machine, and rarely cries when he gets hurt (which is all of the time since he insists on jumping off of everything). So, where was I going with this? I dunno. We'll finish out this spring season and then in August we'll figure out what the fall holds for us....

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