4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.
I admit it. I was equipment-shamed by the guy at Modell’s. And Modell’s by the way? It sort of sucks.
I’d much rather go to Dick’s. Especially with my mother and my husband and all the kids. So that my husband and I can ask my mother over and over again in as many unique ways as possible if she likes Dick’s. Because she will keep answering emphatically over and over again, “Yes, I love Dick’s!”
Which is worth the price of admission, if you ask me.
At any rate, in case you’re not from around here, or you’re living off the grid (with a computer by the way, which would be weird) let me tell you that I mean Dick’s Sporting Goods. Not just whatever Dick’s you find in your neighborhood.
But I digress.
I signed my kids up for Little League. Like all four kids. Because we did soccer in the fall and we did it last spring and we did it last fall and enough already with the soccer for a minute, alright? I mean, I was a field hockey player. I sort of hated the soccer players.
So we’re all signed up for Little League in the next town over. One would think we do that so if I embarrass myself somehow on the sidelines, at least it’s not in my town. But really, we do that because they’re so mellow in the next town over that they allow sign-ups to continue until pretty much after the opening day Little League parade. Which, by the way? Opening day parade?! How cute is THAT?! They don’t parade in soccer. Not at all. Or do the National Anthem. Or throw candy. Or have your coach ride on the back of a pick-up truck through town with a huge speaker between his legs blaring the theme from Rocky.
Also, the next town over gives a sibling discount and if I can get a discount for having too many kids too fast, well that’s a miracle. The world should run by those rules. I’d be getting some free merch, yo.
But the downside to a mellow town that allows slackers and ne-er-do-wells like me to sign up is that, well, they’re soooooo mellow about everything that they don’t tell you when practices are. Or if there are games. Or when. Or if you need equipment. Or what equipment.
So when I went up to the guy in Modell’s and said I needed Little League pants after the opening day parade he pointed out that I was way, way, way too late. Then he asked me what color pants they needed. And what color socks. Do they need a cup? And probably they’ll want helmets. Is it baseball or softball, by the way? And they’ll need their own bat. And also, do the pants need to have stripes? AND WHAT COLOR STRIPES?!
I was dumb-founded. What was he talking about? I pointed at my four-year-old putting on the batting helmet backwards so that her whole face was covered and said, “They’re not playing professional baseball. This isn’t the “Major Leagues.”” (I may have used air quotes here.) “They’re like her, only slightly larger.” And I may have slowed it way down when I said. “This… is… Little... League.”
Gees. They call her group “Bubba” bat. You feeling me? Sounds like she could show up with a tennis ball wrapped in duct tape, a big stick and some barbecue ribs and she’d be good to go.
But then he pretty much repeated his questions about the pants and the stripes and the socks and blah, blah, blah.
So I bought one pair of weird, polyester, baggy, clown knickers in gray for my oldest, who is either A or AA, I don’t understand what the As mean, in all honesty, and then I headed to the sneaker aisle for some cleats.
The sales lady asked for which sport and I replied, “Should that really matter? It’s Little League.” She then showed me the $30 cleats only for baseball, to which I repeated my shtick. “Blah, blah, blah …Little... League…” My seven-year-old isn’t Wayne Gretsky… or Wayne Brady, Tom Brady, Mia Hamm, Babe Ruth, whoever. He’s a kid who never played baseball, and at this rate may never play again.
Needless to say, I left with soccer cleats. Because he’s not going to break his toe sliding into anything just because he’s wearing multi-functional cleats. Gees, Louise.
The whole escapade was ex-haust-ing. And still not cheap, even with the absence of random supposed Little League essentials. Plus I left feeling like a bigger dumbie than I felt going in, and that’s not an easy thing to make happen. I mean, baseball belts? What the what?!
My son was of course thrilled with his clown pants and new
soccer baseball cleats.
And the next day I went to Dick’s. And as my Mom would say, I love Dick’s. They had me at paddle boards and water sports.
And at Dick’s that sales kid got my mojo. He handed me three pairs of polyester, nightmare, elastic-waist, gray pants because “you don’t want to work too hard to keep them clean and for the little guys either white or gray is usually fine.” He said soccer socks were fine (loved that sales guy!!) and that now I didn’t need belts (elastic waist, yo.) He didn’t say a word when my daughter ran around ramming her baseball-helmeted head into metal things to hear what sound it made although he did acknowledge the lice epidemic of Local Little League 2014, of which many of my nearest and dearest partook.
I thought that adorable sporting goods kid did such a great job I bought a lice-free helmet (it’s adjustable!) and even threw in socks to match the team t-shirts of the older kids.
So in the end, I bought a ton of crap, drove all over tarnation and decided that my sons’ junks weren’t worthy of cups quite yet. Although at Dick’s it was hard to resist…
Next year we may just go for soccer again… or girl’s and boy’s lacrosse. I mean, how much equipment could that possibly take?!
(I’d like to dedicate this to the Moms who I group texted from Modell’s and Dick’s to ask what pants I needed and if your kid had a cup and should there be stripes and is a 12″ glove too big for a seven-year-old. You know who you are and you proved yet again, girlfriends are more useful than Dick’s. Period.)
Mother, artist, daughter, wife, and friend: with four children in three years things get pretty crazy. Finding time to reflect on motherhood, identity and making art, brings me back to sanity (or as close as I’ll get in this lifetime.)