Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bad Mama Tales, Part 439

Most of the time we can talk him off the ledge of his convictions, but my boy can be very literal in his interpretations of what people say to him.   When he had his last immunizations, he wasn't upset about the needles--he was upset because no one told him they were going to put "holes in his legs".   If you tell him that you are going to give him something, or be somewhere, or take him someplace, then you had better follow through.   He does not yet understand that things happen that we have no control over, or can't help, and he is pretty vocal about his disappointment.  If you say it, make it so.    
It is probably developmental.  I was a pretty literal child, which delighted my father.  I don't know how many times I fell for the "Pull my finger" gag, but that was probably due to oxygen deprivation. (Those of you who have experienced that particular prank understand what I am referring to.)  Zane is just one of those "concrete" kids, for lack of a better description.

If his soccer coach says that it is Zane's turn to kick the ball, then by God, it is HIS turn.  The other players must therefore part, like the Red Sea, and clear the way for Zane to have his turn. We all know that this is not how youth soccer works for four-year-olds.  Every last child out there, and even a few kids on the sidelines,  are doing exactly what they were told to do:  kick the bejeebers out of that soccer ball.  They don't care if there is anyone ELSE trying to kick the ball, and as far as they are concerned, it's everyone's turn. 

For the past three weeks or so, Zane has been having a wall-eyed fit when the other kids don't let him have HIS turn.  He stops everything and starts bawling his fool head off.  Do the other kids care? 


They are wherever the ball is, a whirling mass of legs and a single thought:  Must. Kick. Ball.  The coach is down there with his players.  Nobody notices the dramatic performance at the other end of the field, because they are where the action is. 

So my sweet precious baby boy(yeah, he's four, but to me he's still that little 3 pound kid gripping my finger with all his might), is having a fit all by himself out there.  What is a mother supposed to do, in these situations?  The other mothers were watching, ready to snap pictures.

Did I go out there, hug him, and offer encouragement?  Did I pick Zane up, cuddle him and take him out for ice cream?  Did I yell at his coach for missing an Oscar winning performance?


I stormed out to the middle of the field, where my son was crying, his hand in his mouth.

"HEY!"  I raised my voice a bit, and put on my Mean Mama face.  Bad Mama.  Zane looked at me, ready to go for the drama, and cried louder.

"SUCK. IT. UP. SON."   Zane looked shocked.  Bad Mama.  

He did stop crying, however, and explained to me in a teary voice about how it was his turn and they wouldn't let him kick the ball....and the rest was lost in those hiccups kids get after a hard cry.  I tried to be sympathetic; I patted his knee and put my arm around his shoulder. 

"This is soccer, son," I said.  Everyone is trying to kick the ball, and if you want to kick the ball then you go and get that ball.  No more whining about not getting your turn. I don't want to hear it."

Then I turned around and marched back over to the sidelines.  I cringed a little, worried about my widdle piddle.  But he was out there chasing the ball like nothing had happened at all.  The rest of practice went perfectly. 


  1. Ohhh God, I would have been at a loss as to what to do. Alex can't play soccer since there are just to many rules and too many ways in which to break them. I'm glad it all worked out.

    Hopefully next practice he'll be in that mass of legs, arms and shin guards trying to find that ball!

  2. This gives tough love a whole new meaning!!! But his future wife will thank you ...


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!