It's spring. Baseball season has started. I mean this both in terms of how often my home TV is tuned to a baseball game and in regards to how our family schedule now revolves around the **&&!! Little League practice and game schedule.
It's grueling. Two or three games a week plus practices. And the other kids have sports commitments, too.
Parents of small children: Unless you want MONTHS of your life dominated by sitting around watching the slowest game in the world, do NOT sign your kids up for baseball. It's torture. Soccer games are over in 60 minutes or so. Ditto basketball (and you don't have to sit in the rain!). Ditto hockey. And all of those sports involve some serious physical activity. In other words, the kids get in shape.
But baseball? Try three hours of monotony and kids spending far too much time standing or sitting. It's boring for spectators and it is incredibly unathletic. It's an art -- an impressive one when done well -- but it is less than athletic for most players.
Our son loves the game, so, being the considerate parents we are, we've been tolerating this baseball stuff for several years now. When he was littler, it was *kinda* fun. I loved T-ball, in fact. So darn cute. And his first team after that was wonderful -- the coach was easy-going and very fair about letting all kids have a turn to play.
I can tolerate just about anything if my kid is having a good time and I perceive the coaching as fair and age-appropriate.
But now he's in Little League MAJORS. Coaches act as if any "infraction" (shirt not tucked in) is justification for benching your kid. Our kid has had to sit out for two games in a row, watching several less talented kids play because of a mistake *we* (the parents) made, not him.
We forgot about the opening day ceremony (and he forgot to tuck in his shirt).
We told the coaches that we had messed up with the schedule; it wasn't our son's fault.
But our son has paid the price for it. (This despite the fact that the coach emailed me and said that he understood our error and that he wouldn't penalize our son for it.)
As if that wasn't enough, our kid has been yelled at by one of the coaches ("Get out there and warm up the catcher!" NOW!") and has had things thrown at him by a coach (my husband took care of that problem, and the coach admitted he had "lost it"). (Apparently, our son wasn't putting on his gloves fast enough.)
Is it worth it to pay all this money for a fancy uniform, for bats, for gloves, for balls, for shoes, for batting gloves and to attend tryouts and practices *and play at least as well as most of the kids on the team* and still be benched for two games in a row because of a mistake the *parents* made?
We're having our son stick out the rest of the season. Dependability and responsibility and discipline and commitment to the team and all that.
And we're encouraging a 100% commitment to soccer and track next year.
Bye bye baseball. You want a kid who can play? (Ours can.) Play fair. And treat your players with respect.
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.