Monday, February 05, 2007

Evidently I'm Not Raising the Next Babe Ruth

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?”


“Why not?”

“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?”


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.


jennster said...

this post cracked me up! LOL..

Denguy said...

Wow, that brought back some memories.
Although my experiences weren't that funny. I sucked at baseball until my mother bought me glasses. But, boy those years before I could see the ball were hilarious for all but me.

Good post, I like your style.

Jill said...

I think your J and my J are the same person! Like yours, mine likes to run (and believes that he is the fastest person on the face of the earth), but he has no interest in organized sports. This kills my husband.

Last year we signed him up for soccer and my husband signed himself up as coach. Joe sat on my lap during every game and refused to play. Until we quit. That's what known around here as The Great Soccer Debacle. Unfortunatly, my husband is already talking T-ball so we may get to repeat the trauma.

Wendy said...

There's always competitive eating.

Kristen said...

BOTH of my brothers felt the same way about baseball. It's a lot of standing in the sun, doing nothing. I think that's why a lot of people don't really like it. He'll find a sport or something else that interests him and run with it. For my oldest little brother, it was basketball (now at 18, girls) and for the younger who is 15 now- computers (and, of course, girls). ; ) My 2 year old is a fan of "shaka bootee" (shaking her booty).

mad muthas said...

my twins are so non-competitive - but they like cross-country, swimming, windsurfing, skiing ... i reckon thats good enough.

crazymumma said...

That was funny.

My kids used to pick clover in the soccer field.

And I think it is lovely that you recognize who he is and not try and change him.