Well, we're off to a shotgun start for the fall in the household; three boys in football over here. That means three times the laundry, three times the dirty shoes tossed haphazardly all around the first floor of my house, three times the large helmets as centerpieces on the dining table, three times the water bottles growing unknown plankton and scary life forms left in indescribably scented gym bags. Fun. Really.
Honestly, this week has been almost a mini holiday. Especially after the first day, when as usual, I think I know everything and insist that my husband and iPhone toting, Outlook calendar czar that he is (did I forget he trained most of the government workers and NGO people on how to freakin' USE Outlook when we were in Indonesia? Who do I think I am anyway?) got the time wrong. "It's not 6 - 8, it's 5 - 7! Sheesh! How could you forget!" I cackle relentlessly. I don't care what your stupid iPhone calendar says.
And this went on for several weeks. So, hubby comes home in time to load the truck with 5 tons of equipment (keep-the-preschooler-and-toddler-occupied-for-two-hours equipment, not football equipment mind you.) We take two cars in case someone (ME) needs to make a hasty escape with screaming babies (I have been severely traumatized over six years of sports toting small life forms. I'll admit it). We venture into the car; bicker over the iPhone on where to park. Get there; you can hear crickets. No one's at the Inn.
Go home for 30 minutes because it's too stinkin' hot to loiter in an open dusty field in Southern California during July. Trust me. What do I do? Nothing really, in that short amount of time, but,.. sit down,.. ahhhhh. That was nice. VACATION OVER!
So far the wagon full of goodies is working and the newness of the field is making for some serious uninterrupted eye ball time as we parents scan three different fields searching for our helmet encrusted boys. I usually find I've been tracking the wrong kid for a good 20 minutes until they take their helmets off. Thank goodness for water breaks, or I'd never figure out who they are. (no, they are not wearing jerseys with their names on them yet, smarty pants friends.)
Girls so far are waaaaaayyyy easier than boys when dragging them to millions of events they have no interest in whatsoever. Then I realized what it was; K, the youngest, most nefarious and wiggly of the boys was constantly trying to chip down my walls of steel with "Can I go to the snack bar" every 30 seconds until I would finally relent. I tried everything to get him off my back; giving him his four quarters and telling him when they were gone, they were gone - I've never seen quarters weigh more in my life. Or, "you have to wait until half time/the second quarter/intermission/the six inning,.." whatever,.. just to have "Can I go to the snack bar?" replaced with "How much longer until (name your poison)?" I've brought our own snacks, but nothing is as tasty as that snack bar candy. Especially if $1.00 buys you a bucket load of sour gummy worms. Heaven, I'm telling you.
So, as this revelation dawned on me, and I shared my insight with my beloved, what should happen? K runs over, rips of his helmet in prep for his water break and looks at me with astonished, saucer-sized eyes: "MOM! Did you know,... there's a SNACK BAR HERE?"
Anyhoo, the girls are troopers. I have learned, however, that I don't care how fun you try and package organic carrot/applesauce (visualize toothpaste tube in a dayglo orange that you can squirt directly down your throat - fun!) - kid's still don't like it. And the Ginger Cat Cookies I bought? They're SPICY! You know what that means. Now I have to eat the entire barrel by myself. Thanks, Trader Joe's, for nothing. I'll go back to microwaved chicken nuggets and crackers in the shape of talking sea sponges toted in a tuperware container, thank you very much.
So, here in Y-town, there are two teams in each division of Junior All American Football. It doesn't really matter what team you get on; I or II, until you reach J's age. Then the fun begins. We've had coaches calling; assitant coaches calling, neighbors and friends on behalf of rabid coaches, all to get the okay from us parental units that they can have our powerhouse 12 year old. According to them all, J is a 'top pick' and perhaps the 'best 12 year old available.' Which is cool. But it would be a lot cooler if he were, oh,.. say 18 and going to college and it wasn't Randy and Tony calling but Notre Dame and Princeton with full ride scholarships instead of promises to make him a better football player and make him cry during hell week.
But, I'm excited for them all; it' ll be a great year of playing - this is the SECOND year in a row the kids have played in a) the same city; b) with the same kids and c) with coaches who know who they are. What a new concept for us. So, I don't know what y'all are doing during your Saturdays this fall, but we'll be watching six hours of football in various stands in the county. Go TBIRDS!