Last week J’s school sent home information about spring little league baseball. My husband thought I must be joking when I suggested we sign him up…
In my most enthusiastic voice I said, “J! Do you want to play baseball this year?”
“Because it’s not very easy,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be easy, it just has to be fun!” I chirped.
“Well… it’s not very fun either.”
And how does he know? He played baseball last summer and this is how it went:
I was standing near third base when one of the coaches crouched over as if she were going to pee her pants, exclaiming to J, “Where are your parents?!”
And when she found me, she tried to stop laughing long enough to tell me that she’d asked J if he’d like to play first base and he’d answered, “I’m just waiting and waiting to leave!”
If baseball is not his thing, I guess the ability to make people laugh is a skill-set of sorts, isn’t it?
On the way to the game, J had said, “Next time we should just watch it on TV!”
My husband gave me a concerned look and I suggested we look on the bright side. Like maybe he’ll be the guy in the “Body by Budweiser” ads some day or something. That wouldn’t be all bad – I’m sure that guy got a decent hourly wage.
If you watch the show Two and a Half Men, my J is alarmingly similar (only much younger) to the boy, Jake. Which is a tiny bit better than being similar to Charlie or Allen. But not all that much, really. J is motivated to do anything if it means he’ll get to eat junk food or watch TV. Even play baseball. (Yes, we went out for an ice cream cone after every one of his games.)
Here’s how the bribe works:
J runs in and touches home plate (after the whole rest of the play is over and every parent within a five mile radius has been shouting, “RUN! RUN HOME! COME ON AND RUN!” for seven to eight minutes.
And then I say, “Great running!”
And he answers, “I’m TIRED of this!”
Then a ball is hit and I shout, “GET THE BALL! GET IT!”
And he stands there saying, “Then will it be time to go home?”
I say, “Almost! Get the ball! GOOD JOB! THROW IT TO FIRST BASE! NO NO NO! OVER HEEEERE! YEAH! EXCELLENT!”
And then I go on, “You got the ball! You threw it to first base! Isn’t this fun?!”
And he deadpans, “Yeah, I did it… can we go get ice cream now?”
And when we talk about it he describes it in a disgusted and exasperated tone saying, “we were just running and running…”
Which is humorous, because the kid likes to run. He really likes it – but only when bats and balls are not involved, evidently.
Even though I know this should be a no-brainer, I feel guilty not signing him up for baseball, but I’d feel guilty if I just made him play against his wishes too. I can’t figure out which is worse… so I had to let my husband decide. And J, at least, will be pleased with his decision.