my boyfriend's back

sean's back, his trip was "awesome", and bella remembered who he was. I'm sure that he'll tell you all about it when he goes to work this weekend.

yesterday was trent's first baseball game of the season - which also meant that I wasn't able to take a nap. I got home, we quickly ate some "food" (consisting of hot pockets and steamed broccoli. because if you have steamed broccoli with something, it makes it a meal.) and then we had to hightail it to the field. but because it was like 20 degrees (maybe like 55 or something) we had to bundle up. me, I had on long johns and sweats, 2 sweatshirts over my long sleeved t shirt, and thick socks under my lands end boots. and the scarf I stole from someone who left it behind at nicole and mark's house after their wedding. (is it stealing if they left it behind?) sean just put on jeans and a coat, because he's rugged. and then there was bella. thick sock-like tights, long sleeved onesie (that's for you, theresa!), jlo jogging suit, socks, red shoes, sweater, winter hat, mittens, and a big fleece blanket. sean commented that she looked like maggie simpson when she wears her star suit.

unfortunately, trent's team lost. and unfortunately, when brett (trent's dad and coach) picked his kids in the draft, he had no idea who any of them were. and of course no one helped him. consequently, if there are any children under the average height for 11 and 12 year olds, we have them on our team. I looked over at the green team (we are purple) and some of those kids looked bigger than trent if he were sitting on my shoulders.

so trent's team lost - and lost big time. I think it's going to be a long season. and one in which I am probably going to lose it a few times. being at your child's sporting event is both harrowing and exhilirating. you get to watch them do some great things and know that you contributed to their genetic makeup. that's exhilirating. especially if they do lots of great things. and then you get to watch them do bad things and you want to go out and hug them and you can't. that's harrowing. and then there's the completely crappy stuff about watching your kid's games - other parents. oh how I hate other parents.

they come in a few varieties. some overlap into more than one category. but there are very few of them that I ever meet that I would ever want to have more than a casual acquaintence-ship (is that a word?) with. most, I'd like to throttle.

there's the know-it-all name-droppers who were probably really effing annoying when they were in high school. they know every kid on every team and feel free to talk about them at length to anyone with ears. (how I wish I had no ears sometimes.) this is sometimes good, as in "trent's really fast!", and sometimes bad, as in "his parents are DIVORCED." the thing is, they engage you in stupid conversation that prevents you from watching the game, while somehow they themselves are watching the game. they say things like "did you see the great catch your son just had??" which sucks because a) you were trying to be polite and listen to their inane chatter and you realize they don't give a shit, and b) you just missed a good play that you know your child will be asking you if you saw. these people also claim to know every single rule of baseball, which is total bullshit, and they are almost always women.

there's the clique-ish people who only talk to certain people. they hold seats for these people (fuck you, I brought my own chair, take all the damn bleachers you want) and seem like they are made of wood until the chosen few come along, then they are laughing with abandon. I don't really care about these people - I'm mostly annoyed by them.

there are the stand-alone fathers who sort of mill around, making sure to stand directly in your way when you're sitting in your chair craning to see the batter at home plate. usually this is when your own child is up to bat.

there are the arguers who have nothing positive to say about anything. it could be clear blue skies and 70 degrees and they will find something weather-related to complain about even before the game starts. like there's a breeze. or no breeze. and then it gets worse as soon as the game starts.

there are the trashy people who bring all their 50 million grubby, dirty kids, let them run around throwing dirt at each other and everyone watching the game, while they sit and talk about who they saw at the bar last night and how they wish their kids weren't such total brats. the kids are total brats, but I don't think parents are supposed to say that about them. and they love to flick their cigarette butts ONTO THE FIELD.

there are the over-protective mothers who sit exasperated because their child isn't getting enough play time/is getting too much play time/got yelled at by the coach/the coach ignores/the other kids shun/eats grass/whatever. they may as well have a pad and paper so as not to have to remember all the mental notes they plan to go over with the coach after the game. just write it all down and mail it to him instead. it'll get the same amount accomplished.

and then there are the people that get written about in newspapers - the ones that take the same mental notes as the exasperated mothers, but tend to write them into their memory banks OUT LOUD. and as they get more annoyed, they say them louder and louder and then wind up just making total asses of themselves. or get thrown out. I love when they get thrown out, too. it's excellent. except for the fact that their kids are learning from this. they then begin to act the same way in the dugout, and instead of throwing the kid out, the umpire is forced to take measures against the team as a whole and the coach individually instead.

we had a know-it-all name-dropper and a stand alone father near us the whole game last night. there was a clique on the bench and the other side had 2 trash families, one of which barked whenever they had a good play. (barked, like a dog. so much like a dog that sean and I were trying to figure out where they were hiding it.) bella was well behaved, but cold. she wound up falling asleep toward the end. trent came home in a good mood, which can be rare when he loses. and brett only had to contend with one parent saying her kid sat out an inning when she thought he shouldn't. so it went rather well.

the rest of the season will be spent being annoyed by the other parents, me running to the dugout every few innings to tell brett to calm the hell down, me and brett yelling at trent to not get so upset about everything, and sean only being able to make weekday games. and bella is the wildcard.

it's going to be a looooooooooooong spring. on the upside? trent's an amazing baseball player and I expect that he'll have lots of those exhilirating moments. and I hope I spelled exhilirating right because I've used it several times now.

7 validations:

Kelly said...

The sad thing is, you were describing a child's baseball game and it could have been ANY sporting event. College baseball, football, even NASCAR has the exact same type of people in the stands. It's truly frightening.

Missuz J said...

I feel like there's also the category, "bored mom." I remember a mom at Janzen's t-ball games who sat in a folding chair and read a book the whole time. I always felt so bad for whatever kid she was supposed to be there watching. My secret hope is that Sophie will turn into a kick-ass soccer player, and I'll get to go watch her play.

NME said...

It was harrowiing to read this. As I am so NOT a sports fan I am actually frightened about what sort of sports mom I will be. Which category do you fit into?

Marksthespot said...

Has Trent been on a really bad team before? Every kid should live through a winless season - it helps tamp down those competitive edges.

I lived for baseball, until I told the coach of the high school freshmen that I had to leave tryouts early to get to dress rehearsal for the musical. Oddly, my name wasn't on the final roster.

Sticking to your taxonomy, I guess my mom was a know-it-all name-dropper, but with a frighteningly positive bent. She'd yell "Good try, Bobby," at the kid who'd just dropped a pop-up and allowed the winning run to score.

My dad was a variety of stand-alone dad. He was too restless and antisocial to sit in the stands. He also didn't know baseball that well, having immigrated in his twenties. But he made up for it with his combative temper. He'd be quiet as a mouse, but if he felt someone was being an asshole he'd stand right near them and start clapping with the force of thunder right in their ear when my team did something right. It's amazing he never got punched. Unless I've repressed the memory.

Good times. Thanks.

- Mark
Sayrewoods South Little League
1987 District 10 Champions

patrice said...

trent has been on several losing teams in different sports. in fact, his soccer team one I think like one game in 3 years. and let's not even talk about how badly he lost at basketball when he played that - it was very sad.

what am I? I'm the perfect spectator, of course. I cheer the kids on when they need cheering on, never stand in anyone's way, am levelheaded, shrug off defeat, don't gloat in victory, and smell good.

and there are totally bored moms and I don't get them, either. you'd think the simple fact that they paid probably over a hundred bucks to have their kid play would make them want to pay attention a little.

and mark, your mom wasn't a name dropper, she sounds like a perfect spectator. and your dad just sounds excellent.

TD said...

Oh man. I can TOTALLY see me reading a book at a t-ball game. In fact, for the ill-fated year that I actually played t-ball, I think a read a book whenever I wasn't on the field.

Hopefully, I'll either have bookish, artsy offspring, or some kind of maternal instinct will kick in and turn me into the "perfect spectator."


Jen O. said...

Do you think Trent will continue to play softball/baseball through high school?

I would have played a sport in high school if practice didn't always involve running first. Man I hate running.

Speaking of which, tomorrow is Theresa's Broad Street Run! I will attempt emulate each spectator persona at least once tomorrow.