Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fun in the little leagues!

In these days where our children are incredibly over scheduled and as stressed out as the CEO of a major corporation, I was hesitant in signing up Ash for T Ball. She already does Sparks (that's the level below Brownies, not a group for budding arsonists), and she will be doing swimming lessons as well. But, we bit the bullet and signed her up. She loves it.

After a little bit of chaos in trying to figure out when and where her team was meant to be practicing, getting uniforms for them all, and finding that ever elusive coach, it was all sorted. On Sunday we went out for Opening Ceremonies and their first game.

Something that has been splashed all over the media in recent years is those over zealous parents who beat the crap out of each other because Little Johnny got called on something and his mommy thinks the sun shines out of his ass, so how dare he get penalized. Parents get into screaming matches and fist fights while their kids look on thinking "what is wrong with those losers". As a result of this, not only are the players now required to take a pledge of good behaviour at the beginning of the season, but so are the parents. I think this is so that if any of us break those rules, the coach can take us behind the dugout and give us a good ass kicking himself, though I've yet to clarify that.

So at the Opening Ceremonies, they announced all the teams and coaches (for the teams that had them..lucky buggers), took a big huge group photo, did these pledges and sang "Oh Canada".

**Side note for all you folks out there who are totally oblivious to how things work when the National Anthem is sung - Face the flag and take your freaking hat off!! Nothing makes me madder than seeing a bunch of adult men standing around with their hats on their heads after all the kids took them off without question.**

PLAY BALL!

I gotta tell you - there is nothing cuter than little folks playing sports. In this case, it was the little kids in their oversized helmets. They were so keen, so ready to go.



After plonking these helmets onto their heads and trying valliantly to stay upright, they got ready to bat. I listened to the whisperings around me and most of it was positive, though I did hear one idiot constantly talk about how "the kids aren't even holding the damn bat right". We were all just enjoying the happiness showing on the faces of our kids.

Here's the thing though. At this level, the kids are 4 to 6 years of age. They have no concept of the rules of T-Ball, of where they're supposed to run (or when), and yet they have an amazing amount of fun. Our lovely Coach Nate got them set up to bat, tried (often in vain) to avoid getting hit with the bat as the kids waved it around, and then let them go for it.



THat's great Coach. I've hit the ball, but now what the heck do I do? Run? Sweet! Run where exactly?

We had kids running in all sorts of different directions. And as us parents are known to do, we want to help. So we're sitting in the bleachers yelling "Ruuuuuun little Johnny!" and waving our arms. Little Johnny sees this and instead of running to third like he's meant to, he runs towards mom. "whadya want Mom?" Yeah, we need to keep our mouths shut and let the coaches do their thing right? Also, it's kind of funny to see 3 kids from the same team all standing around on second base chatting away while the parents all yell "ruuuun!" at them. The kids are probably talking about why they bother bringing their parents to these things, and maybe next week they'll just leave them all at home.



We even had a couple of kids who like to watch baseball at home with their daddies who decided it would be fun to slide into a base. Thankfully, Ash isn't that ambitious. Either that or she takes after me and really really values the fact that her skin is still attached to her legs.



Eventually they all made it around to home plate, albeit through untraditional methods. Some even decided to do a little dance around it. And then it was time for them to go out and field.

My mother used to sing me a few lines from a children's song (I think by Raafi?) about standing out in right field watching the dandelions grow, because this is what I used to do as a child. What can I say? Baseball didn't hold my interest as much as perhaps it could have. I always used to laugh it off and think that no one's child actually does that. Ha! Oh yes they do. In between the chats at the bases where they set up lunch dates, they would take turns counting the dandelions and the daisies that were growing. I hear there's a few hundred out there, though I think they'll be doing a recount on Friday at practice.



By the way. Barry Bonds has nothing on 5 year olds. Ok, I have no idea if Barry Bonds was a pitcher or not, or even who he played for, but I do know that some of these kids can throw. One little tyke (bless her heart) just about kneecapped me when she threw the ball at me.



For the next three months I get to sit and watch these wonderful kidlets hurl balls at each other's heads, try and hit the coach with the bat and yell at each other to "ruuuuun". I also get to hope that none of the parents get so bent out of joint that they pummel each other. Having said that, if this does happen, you bet your behind I'll have a video camera running to capture all the fun.

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