My son finally graduated from T-Ball to Mini Minors Little League this season and I haven’t stopped laughing. As a mom, I don’t have a whole lot of ego invested in my son’s sports career. Most dads are another story.
My experience with dads who volunteer to coach is that they fall into a few major types: the “Super Dad,” who wants the kids to learn a little bit and have fun; the “Winning is the Only Thing Dad,” who feels he’s a failure if he doesn’t make everyone cry at least once; the “I Coulda Been a Contender Dad,” who plants all of his unrealized athletic ambitions onto his kid, and never takes him out of the game; “The Clueless Wonder Dad,” who thinks that he knows all about a sport despite all evidence to the contrary; and the “Dad on the Prowl,” who only picks the kids with the best-looking moms. My husband would never volunteer to coach, but if he did he would definitely fall into this last category, and wouldn’t even pick our own kid for his team.
Despite our child’s lackluster tryout performance, somehow we managed to get a “Super Dad” coach who lives and breathes baseball. Excellent. Maybe Koss–who has never actually seen an entire baseball game–can be the first one in our family to actually take to baseball. He certainly has the long, slow, sluggish pace of the sport down, especially when it’s time to go to school in the morning.
At our first practice we got the list of equipment. Pants, shirt, hat–check. Belt, socks, spittable snacks–check. Mitt, cleats, cup–check. Huh? Cup? A Dixie Cup or a Big Gulp?
When I bought it I felt like a teenage boy buying condoms–on my way toward the checkout stand I grabbed some freeze dried camping food and golf tees, just so that the Champro Youth Athletic Cup wouldn’t look so lonely in my basket.
Speaking of baskets, my next challenge was how to put the darn thing on. Did it go inside or outside of the underwear? Was it really supposed to be made of plastic? My husband was absolutely useless in this regard–apparently the Water Polo team didn’t wear cups either.
Koss tried it on.
“What if I have to go wee wee?” he asked. Wee wee? What kind of sissy expression is that? I may not have any brothers but I know enough to know that wee wee is for T-Ball players, baseball players have to take a piss.
“If you’re going to teach to say, ‘take a piss,'” argued my husband, “you should really go for it. Take a wicked rhinoceros piss.”
Koss ended up hating the cup and not wearing it. Apparently, none of the kids did. I heard that one of the boys wouldn’t wear it because it “made him look too big down there.” All of the dads laughed when they heard this–and none of the boys could ever find their cups again.
Cupless, we were ready for first game–except nobody told us they were 12 hours long. We spent five of those hours trying to decipher a sign that said, “Alcoholic Beverages or Softball Playing.” We were very close to choosing alcoholic beverages when someone pointed out the “No” that had faded from the top of the sign.
The 17th inning started off extra slowly–apparently because they were dressing my child in a Star Wars Stormtrooper outfit so he could play catcher. I guess a full body cup is better than nothing.
“What’s he doing?” I asked my husband, Zak, as the other parents started to giggle. Apparently when the coach told him to “get down behind home plate,” Koss took him literally and did just that. I was laughing too hard to yell to him to stand up. He played the entire inning on his knees, even chasing after balls. Does Knee-Ball come after T-Ball?
We really should take that kid to a Dodger game or something.
It was finally his turn to be up at bat. At the coach’s urging, he took a practice swing that actually looked pretty good. Then all of the sudden he started to do a little dance I recognized. “What’s he doing?” asked one of the moms. Oh dear. Koss dropped the bat and yelled to his coach, “I have to pee,” and ran to find the bathroom.
It brought down the house. Talk about comedic timing. It was my proudest sports moment to date.
“At least he could have said ‘like a rhinoceros,'” said his father, the “Coulda Been a Contender” comedian.