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T-Ball anyone?

Friday, March 27, 2009
Well, it's been more than a month since my last blog. It's probably safe to say that you should hold onto your hat because it's going to take a lot of blogging to get me caught up!

I guess I should start by telling about Bailey's newest adventures in sports. About a week or so ago, Bailey started t-ball for the first time. We decided to sign her up in February, taking into consideration that she loves to play with boys, really enjoys athletics, and that she is so competitive. After researching some of the area teams, I decided to sign Bailey up in perhaps the most competitive league in Lexington. Most of the leagues don't keep score, and to me, well that's just silly. I am a firm believer that you have to teach children to win and lose with dignity... that it's better to understand how the world works from an early age. Learning that you have to work hard to accomplish a goal is a trait that I really want my children to value from an early age. So... our thought process in selecting this league (aside from the fact that the field is right beside of the kids' day care) was that Bailey is ultra competitive and that she throws serious tantrums when she loses. Now is as good a time as any for her to learn that you win sometimes and you lose sometimes and it's all about how you deal with it that matters. With this in mind, we began this new adventure.

The first practice was a little interesting. Bailey, the only little girl on the team, seemed really quiet and insecure. She came to us several different times and asked when we could leave. She had a good time digging in the dirt while everyone else was playing... she enjoyed batting, but fielding wasn't her thing. After practice, she told me she was never going back. So... rough start. We talked long and hard about it and I told her that I really thought she'd like it if she would give it a chance. Again, I know how she felt, I've been that child. As hard as it is to push her, I know it's what she needs. So, we returned to practice the next day. She was not interested at all in going on the field. I begged and pleaded... even bribed her with toys, junk food, you name it. She wasn't going. Of course, it would have been easier to handle, but I'm trying to talk to her rationally, make it fun, and chase Jake, who is chasing every dog he sees, trying to get on each field with a ball or bat, and picking up candies off the ground to eat. It was not a good day. A few minutes into the practice, Coach Tucker and I were able to convince her to go onto the field. Moments later, she had to go potty. By the time she was able to get on the field, practice was more than halfway over. But, she went on the field and the coaches were able to get her attention and make it fun for her. After that hump, she figured out that baseball could be fun. The next couple of practices went much smoother.

Now, I'm saying that practices went smoother. What I'm not saying is that Bailey doesn't have a clue about what's going on. She is in her own little world, checking out the grass, dirt, or whatever else she can find to interest her. Everything except t-ball. Brad and I, being the wonderfully competitive and easily frustrated parents we are, spent one whole practice pacing behind the backstop of the field, fingers running through our hair, half laughing, half shaking, ready to "jerk a knot in her tail" as my dad would say. She was literally doing everything but paying attention. Apparently, the dirt was fabulously fun. I had to refrain from yelling at her at least a half dozen times. I did, on occasion remind her (loudly) to listen to the coaches. I was really trying not to be THAT mom. lol...

So, this past Tuesday, she had her first scrimmage game. We were prepared for the worst, almost dreading it. The parents all laughed when I told them that Bailey would certainly provide entertainment for the audience since she didn't know what in the world was going on. They were all so sweet. They told me funny stories about their kids and one lady even laughed when I told her how frustrated we were because of our competitiveness. She could totally relate and told us that no one would pay any attention to us for being competitive. After all, we did select the most competitive league in Lexington. We were not alone. :)

It was not as bad as we expected. Of course, she didn't really know what was going on. She did hit the ball really well... and chased after it instead of running to first base. She runs completely like a girl and very slowly. But, she did run... to the pitcher's mound... twice. She walked the rest of the time... taking her time to get everywhere... driving me and Brad nuts as we yelled, "Hustle up, Bailey... hurry to the dugout... hurry to the outfield." She looks at us and waves, happy to be doing her own little thing, in her own little world. As she plays outfield, she twirls in a circle a few times, doing some kind of dance. Or she pretends that she's doing some kind of karate kick moves or she leaves the outfield altogether and comes to see us, telling us that she's really tired and needs a "little break." I remind her that I've been chasing Jake for the past 30 minutes in heels, as he makes every attempt to run away or to run on the field or dugout, and that I believe as a 4-year-old, she can make it through the game without a break. She looks mad at me and begins to protest. I remind her of the ice cream cake at home and tell her she can't have it unless she gets back on the field. Out she walks to her spot, stopping to pick a piece of grass or two on the way, but not even noticing that the ball has been hit or what anyone does with the ball when they get it.

It's going to be a great season. :)