Friday, April 17, 2009
A Comedy of Errors
Certain things I can have control over: commitments outside of sports, meal-planning, and my attitude, to a certain degree. I don’t have control over: the weather, the game schedule, and school assignments.
I know some mothers of multiple children who don’t seem to plan ahead for anything. Their lives seem to be in constant chaos as they realize they are supposed to be somewhere and then run around like chickens without their heads, trying to get everyone together. I really don’t know how I could live like that. That kind of disorder would make my brain explode, but I do have a special admiration for those who can pull it all together at the last minute, on a daily basis.
I have a color-coded dry-erase board which I consult religiously, and refer all questions to the board. “Don’t ask me about the schedule,” I scold, “I can’t possibly keep it all in my head. That’s what the board is for.”
All day Monday I felt like something was gripping my heart. I was so nervous about how I was going to really handle this season, now that it really was upon me. We have a triple header every Saturday starting this weekend, I explained to my husband. “I can help out with that,” he said calmly. “Yeah, but what about the weeknight games? So far I only have our daughters’ schedules and already there are 3 conflicts. What if I have 3 in one night? I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack,” I whined.
“Do you ever hear about women your age having heart attacks? You probably just pulled a muscle. You’re over-thinking – and over-feeling,” my husband cautioned.
“No, I’m planning ahead,” I argued, “That is how I manage to get a nutritious meal on the table every night at 4:00 and keep a certain degree of order around here.” Really I was just trying to make him feel bad about his schedule, which he cannot completely control either.
“Maybe we should take them out of sports, so you don’t have to deal with it,” he said, with his poker face.
“You know that’s not an option. They get too much out of it to not do it.”
It’s too bad I hadn’t had my voice of reason around earlier in the day to calm me down, but at least he brought my blood pressure down before I lay myself down to sleep.
Last week went okay, with a few laughable errors on my part. None of them really mattered in the long run, although I did feel that I looked foolish. I was just glad to have everyone home in one piece at the end of each night.
It was cold and drizzly all week, and practices were (thankfully) spaced so that each child was playing on a different night. Monday morning I picked up the telephone when the manager of my eldest daughter’s softball team called. My throat was filled with flem, the way it is every morning during allergy season. “Ribbit?” I answered the phone. “Um, hello?” “Ahem, ribbit, I mean hello?” I felt like I had to explain myself when I met her. “I’m sorry I couldn’t talk the other morning, I had really bad allergies, you must have thought I was dumb or something,” I blurted out. (“Did I just say dumb? Now I feel even dumber,” I thought to myself.) “No, I didn’t think that at all,” she said, kindly. (“Oh yeah, she’s just being nice, now she really thinks it,” I thought, and ran off to the playground with the other kids.)
The next day it was my son’s turn to practice. There were about a dozen teams playing on the field, with first-come-first-take being the policy for obtaining a field. I asked my daughter to help her brother find his team, and brought my other two daughters to the playground. About ten minutes later, she was back. “Did he find the right team?” I asked. “Well, the coach said, ‘Hey big guy’, and he said it was his team,” she answered. A few minutes later I ran into another mother from the team, whom I had met on Saturday morning. I pointed to where the boys were playing, “No, they’re over there,” she said, pointing in another direction. Upon close inspection, I saw that she was right. So I hiked across the fields, found my son, and interrupted practice to explain to the coach that this was not his player. “You’ve been traded early,” the coach joked, good-naturedly. Then I brought him to the right team, late for the second time. (We’d also been late on Saturday morning because he couldn’t find his glove, and he wound up showing up with a t-ball glove, which the coach rightly explained to me was not safe to use in baseball.)
No mishaps in my middle daughter’s softball practice. I had been 0-for-3 last week and wound up batting a thousand this Thursday night, the first night with scheduling conflicts that I had been worrying about on Monday. I dropped one off at 5:55, the other two at 6:00, went to get the first one at 7:15, and was back at the second field at 7:20 for the other two, just as practice was closing out. And all with a sick toddler in tow. Phew! I was so glad to have them all together in one spot again! We all consumed massive quantities of chocolate bunnies and chocolate pudding pie that night, with extra whipped cream.