Tag Archives: soccer

A Letter that Says Nice Things

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Warning: I get a little sappy in this letter to my kids. If that’s not your thing, I get it. Move along; come back another day. I’ll be bitching again really soon.

Dear Loud One, Nibbit & Happy Dude,

I have this vision of you guys someday pulling up this blog and reading through post after post in which I’m mostly complaining about you. Now, I may be giving myself too much credit; it’s possible that you’ll have ZERO interest in reading anything I’ve expressed here because well, I’m your MOM, and omg, why would you ever want to read anything written by your mother? I get it.

But on the off-chance you’re bored one day because all of your friends have gone to the mall but you can’t go because you’ve been grounded for lying to us about being at the mall last weekend when really you were at a person of the opposite gender’s house unsupervised and you decide to pull up this blog, in which case I say GET OFF THE INTERNET! (or whatever the latest World Wide Web Information Super Highway is called in the future) YOU’RE GROUNDED AND YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ONLINE! But if you ignore me and continue onto this site: I want you to read this post. THIS one. The one you’re reading right now.

Because this is the one where I tell you that I think you’re AWESOME.

On Monday night, I took a good look at the pictures recently uploaded from the “good camera,” (as opposed to the iPhone, which we sadly use way more often). They were all taken over the past month or so… and I got a little verklempt. To a stranger, they don’t look like pictures of anything extraordinary, but a few just struck a chord.

First…

Soccer

LO, you have no idea how much Dad and I loved watching you play soccer this fall. Of course we loved watching you improve to the point where you were scoring and even more often, saving goals in every game, but it was so much more than that.

You wore the shorts. And the team shirt. And the shin guards and the socks. And the CLEATS! And you put it all on, by yourself. Every week.

You were EXCITED to get out there and be a part of a team of girls, many of whom you didn’t know in the beginning. Every week.

You cheered LOUDLY (like you’d do it any other way) from the sidelines when you were subbed out and I really think those three-person pyramids you created inspired your teammates in a big way. Every week.

I would jokingly say to other parents on the sidelines that what you lacked in ability, you made up for with enthusiasm. And volume. But honestly, you were pretty good out there! (I’m sorry that I sound so surprised, LO.)

You showed up to play, with determination and enthusiasm EVERY WEEK. And you made us so proud.

And then you gave us the “what? why are you taking so many pictures?” face, which was also great. Because it wasn’t long ago that you wouldn’t even put on the damn cleats. Now you’re a team player.

I know every parent in America has a photo like this one… doesn't make them any less special.

I know every parent in America has a photo like this one… doesn’t make them any less special.

 

OK, so then I got to HD’s birthday pictures…

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… and I felt really sad that my baby is three years old! My YOUNGEST kid is THREE. Three is the official not-a-baby age, am I right?

And while I’m excited for all of the things that having no babies may potentially bring, like sleepful nights and strollerless airport experiences, I LIKE babies. I’m the crazy lady who gets a little too close to your newborn and says things like, “I might just eat you up!” or “I need to take you home with me right now!” (Note to self: stop saying that to strangers or risk arrest.)

This inevitably leads people to ask me if I’d consider another baby and the answer is YES! I would consider it, if only it were not a medical impossibility. And also, certain to lead to divorce.

Anyway kids, the point is, Happy Dude will always be the baby of our family. And it’s hard for me to accept that he’s three now.

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Although if I’ve learned anything from the other two of you, three-year-olds aren’t really THAT close to full independence. Almost-five-year-olds are still pretty needy. As are seven-years-olds. So, I guess I’m still good. 🙂

Listen, I love you guys. Even if you read some of this blog and start to think otherwise, know that I really think you three are something special.

I vent a lot here, and make a lot of jokes, but ultimately, you’re my favorite people in the whole world. I think you’re truly funny (when you’re not being stupidly silly) and amazingly interesting. I’m confident you’re all pretty creative and there may even be a degree of intelligence (but that really remains to be seen). Also, I’m fairly certain you’re growing up to be compassionate and kind, which is most important in my book.

Lastly, I love to watch you chase tackle hang conspire laugh with love each other. Those moments are always my favorite part of the day.

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Love you always infinity,

Mom

PS. Nibbit, I realize this letter is a CLASSIC case of middle-child-negligence … LO rocks the soccer field, Happy Dude turns three and the Nibbit… is ignored. Despite no specifics mentioned here, I think you’re fantastic. And you’re somewhat skilled at taking selfies, as well.

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Note to readers: It’s possible the sentimentality induced by the photos were prompted by the fact that it was Veteran’s Day and I had spent most of the day sobbing at the videos of the surprise reunions between soldiers and their families. (If there is a soul out there who can watch one of those things with bawling, I’d like to meet you. And knock on your heart of STONE.) Thank you to all of our service men and women, and their families, for sacrificing so much of their lives, so that we can enjoy ours freely.

An Update on Soccer (and other things)

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At least four people have asked me how The Nibbit did at soccer this week. (That’s really true. I’m not just writing that as a fake way to introduce this post.) And as I started to write a Soccer Update, I thought you might like an update on some of the other things I’ve discussed this past year.

I debated waiting until December to do this as a nice end-of-the-year round-up, but I have never been one for delayed gratification. So you’re getting it now.

  • The Nibbit had a MUCH better experience at soccer this week. Amanda brought him (at his request), armed with a post-soccer snack and lots of encouragement. He still didn’t love all the drills – he’s particularly unfond (is that a word? it should be) of the jumping in and out of the rope ladder thingy. But we’ve got progress! He played in the mini-game and scored two goals. I think all the positive feedback he received for that should carry him through next week as well. Feed the ego… that’s my strategy.
  • Ben Folds was great. I did NOT receive 30 comments on that post, so there will be no scrunchie photos for you but TRUST ME, I rocked it.
  • Bic has NOT contacted me about becoming the next National Spokesperson for their “Pens for Her” line. WTF? Not even one Goddamn free sample?
  • Squeaky and Pip are doing well THRIVING and The Loud One still loves them. They are still terrified of us. (Wait, maybe they’re not thriving. Well, they’re growing really fast.) Anybody have any idea when they’ll warm up and leap into her arms? I’m afraid she’ll lose interest in them if they don’t start really liking her back soon.
    • We had to bring them to the vet to get their nails trimmed this week because my attempt to do it myself was, um, shall we say UNSUCCESSFUL. Two pet pedicures (yes! they are really called that!) and $40 later, we can hold Squeaky and Pip without looking like we got into a catfight with a drunk girl.
    • Here’s what I’ve learned about guinea pigs: they POOP A LOT. That is all.
  • Despite what you may be thinking, I have not been fired from the EW.com gig (I don’t think). I’ve written a bunch of columns, but they just haven’t been posted yet. I’m not sure that’s a good sign, but I’ll let you know if/when I get the “this just isn’t working out the way we hoped it would” speech.
  • I’m thrilled to say that I’ve noticed less “Just waits… ” happening around me. I don’t dare think my blog has any kind of influence, so I’m going to call it a happy coincidence and just be glad. If you are someone who has decreased your own usage of “Just waits,” WELL DONE!
  • My bag is still a disaster. A quick list of what’s in there right now: Peppermint hand sanitizer; two pairs of dirty kids’ socks from God knows when; an Epi-pen (I’ve finally decided to be more responsible about my kids’ allergies); one Matchbox car; three packs of gum; three gum wrappers; one straw; one used tissue (I’m pretty sure that used tissue makes me an OFFICIAL member of the Mom’s Club, right? That and the gum and the Matchbox car?); one packet of Teddy Grahams; one chip clip (in case we don’t finish the snack-size packet of Teddy Grahams?); a billion receipts from outlet shopping earlier in the week; one old grocery list; one Back to School Night program; all the same lollipops; markers and animal figures that were there last time and a tube of Tylenol. Oh and one giant Tupperware on top.
  • The Loud One isn’t writing as many books as she used to. I am REALLY, REALLY SAD about this. But she is reading a lot more so that’s a fair exchange. And guess what else she still loves? PRETENDING SHE’S A PUPPY. Seems that might never get old. Awesome.
  • I have not gotten a publishing offer for my book about pregnancy yet. I’m not sure why. I feel like women need to know the truth even if it is extraordinarily depressing. Am I wrong?

And I still really, really HATE cancer.

 

You have to carry this around in case your awesome friend offers to make you soup. Duh.

 

A Day of First Things…

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Today was a crazy day. There were so many things. Like big things. Like big first things. Things that were momentous for my kids but really, way more for me. And one of those big things brought up a big parenting question for me, but we’ll get to that. And I know you’re all “what the eff is she talking about?” right now, so I’ll try to get on with it.

The first big first thing was this:

It was The Nibbit’s first day back to preschool (he’s in the Fours class this year, despite not turning four until December… thank you stupid Connecticut State cut-off date) and it was Happy Dude’s first day of school EVER. (He’s in the Twos class this year, despite not turning two until November… thank you stup… you get it.)

I was simply not sure how this day would go. And I was unwilling to guess because in the past, I’ve always been wrong. As the Loud One is my most emotional kid, I always expected her to have a hard time separating and she never did. When The Nibbit started school, I thought it would be Easy Breezy for him and… um, not so much. In fact, he was still having a bad day here and there right up until the end of last year. (I blame it on all the violence in The Wild Kratz… really, what else would cause him to act out like that?)

So we went to preschool today not knowing what to expect. We brought The Nibbit to his classroom first. He was excited to see his friends and teachers. He tackled one of them. Physical Aggression: Check! He dove right in and when I asked for a kiss goodbye, this happened:

I’ll take it.

Then we went to Happy Dude’s classroom and he was barely in the door when his magical teacher got down to his level and shared some truck magnets with him. Well, she had him at “truck.”

He never looked back, and when I went to pick him up, he barely seemed to notice that I had been gone. “And you are…. ?”

Of course, I’m not getting too cocky… I know that the whole thing is not a done deal. The novelty of school will wear off for The Nibbit and Happy Dude may not be as easy to distract next time, especially now that he knows I leave.

But it was a nice first thing.

The second first thing was this:

The Nibbit’s first day of soccer

This kid loves playing soccer at home and has been EAGERLY awaiting his turn to play. He was VERY excited about the cleats (and presumably the damage they would do to anything he stepped on while wearing them) and the rest of the gear.

He counted down the days and it was finally time! We got to the field a few minutes early so he ran out to the field with some of the other kids and started kicking his ball around! This was awesome! (… especially because it was SO not the experience I had with The Loud One.)

Side note: A few years ago, LO told me that she wanted to play soccer. She REALLY wanted to play soccer. PLEEEEAAASSSSE would I let her play soccer?? Despite my misgivings – and I had a few – I gave in and signed her up. We got as far as the sideline. Then, she cried. And whined. And moaned. About the heat. About the cleats. About the shorts. About LIFE IN GENERAL which had treated her so unfairly… by bringing her to a soccer field!! Can you believe the audacity?

But noooo, not my Nibbit! He was out there, doing his thing! I was all set for a quiet hour on the sidelines with my iPad. Right? If I could double-all caps this next word, I would –> WRONG.

The coaches called all the players into a huddle where they presumably said something like, “Hi. We’re your coaches. This is going to be fun. We’re going to learn how to play soccer.”

THE INJUSTICE.

Well. The Nibbit comes running across the field towards me, full-sprint, SOBBING. “I don’t want to play this game! I don’t like soccer! I want to go home!”

COME. ON. Are you kidding me?

But. But. But. There was such promise! You love those cleats!

Nope. He calmed down enough to tell me that the coaches mentioned something about a tag-like game and he does NOT like tag and he does NOT want to play and he just wants to sit with me. So we sat. We watched. We had this type of ongoing dialogue:

Me: Wow, those boys can run fast.
Nibbit: I not going to run that fast.
Me: That games looks like so much fun!
Nibbit: I not going to play that game.
Me: Oooh, I wonder what the coach is saying to the group.
Nibbit: I not going to see what the coach is saying.

 Then, on the way home, THIS happened:

Hmmm, maybe he’s sleepy.

So, all of this brings me to my now-very-predictable parenting question.

BUT before I bring it up, I have one other first thing. Which is not really a first thing, but more like a first thing revisited.

THIS.

She’s back in the saddle!

The Loud One started horseback riding lessons when she was 3 ½ . She took them on-and-off for about eight months, during which her sensory issues got worse and we started having weekly battles about her wearing the required pants, boots and helmet. I couldn’t handle the tantrums every week for something that was voluntary and more importantly, supposed to be fun so I told her that she needed to take a break until she could get her shit together. (Oh relax, I did not say those words to her. I said, “… until you get your SHITE together.” Better?)

Over the years, she brought up riding again once in a while, but only recently really started to push about trying again. I told her the required gear was the same. And she said she would be OK with it.

And GUESS WHAT… she was! Look at that picture again! My girl’s wearing a helmet, boots and PANTS, people. PANTS! Do you know how huge this is?

I was so proud of her up on that horse. Of course, I have no idea how long this will last but for today, she wore PANTS! Oh yeah, and rode a horse!

OK, so back to my question. And I am not kidding about this… I want input. So hit the damn “Leave a comment” button and tell me how to parent my kid. (And when I say “me,” I really mean “us.” KJ totally wants your help, too.)

The question is, what do we do about The Nibbit and soccer?

Obviously, I am hoping that next week is a whole different story and he has a great time. He was obviously tired today and the whole first day of school was draining and blah blah blah. But let’s be realistic, it’s way more likely that he is now soured on the sport and will not want to go. Ever.

Assume we go back next week and he is still not interested. What would YOU do? Would you force your kid to go week after week and try to play? Or just sit there and watch? Do you give in and let him/her QUIT? What kind of lesson is that? Does it matter what kind of lesson that is? What about the money? We can’t get a refund for this, so should THAT be a factor in the decision?

This is not the first time this has happened in our family and I’m never completely satisfied with the way we handle these things. I know he’s only 3½ so I’m not trying to make this a bigger deal than it should be, but you know me, I never miss an opportunity to completely screw up my kids!

So here’s your chance to shine, Parenting Gurus… let him quit or force him to go? START SHINING.