“Hey dad, suck my dictionary. Heh.”

“Um, what? What did you say?”

“I said SUCK MY DICTIONARY. Hahahaha.”

That was an exchange between Kendall and Scott in a public place recently. We then banned him from a certain YouTube channel that originally passed our filters.

**************

“Mom, where does money come from?”

“You earn it by doing jobs.”

“But where do the people who give it to you get it from?”

“Well, they earn it from doing their jobs.”

“Okayyyyyyyy, but where does IT COME FROM? Like, does it just, like, appear? In the air?”

“Oh God, it’s way too early to talk about the US Treasury.”

“Treasure? It’s in a treasure chest?”

“Sort of? Yes. Let’s go with that for now.”

“Cool!”

***************

“So I’m going to host a Hyrule Warriors (video game) party, okay? Are you the one who deals with this? I want to invite all my friends, and we’re going to need a lot of snacks.”

Yes son, I’m the one who “deals” with the family party planning. Great job picking up on my job description. Unfortunately all our venues are currently booked and you can’t afford my rates.

*************

Kendall’s been playing baseball since he was 3, but for the first time, he’s now signed up for flag football. We’re used to team sports at this point. Scott actually coaches his baseball team. But football? It’s not going so well.

Kendall has no idea what he’s doing on the field because, well, it’s his first season ever and, um, he’s six. He’s high energy, and he doesn’t focus very well, but he wants to play, he wants to do his best. He just needs some direction, some attention, and some coaching.

I went to a practice/scrimmage for the first time yesterday. It was awful. The coaches were visibly annoyed by him. His high energy and lack of focus caused them to ignore him and put him on the sidelines for the majority of the NOT EVEN A REAL GAME. Not a single one of the 4 coaches took him aside for any one on one time, and 3 of them straight up walked past him when he arrived at practice without so much as even a hello. It was so bad that I was convinced we walked up to the wrong team.

For the first time ever, I witnessed adults recoil at his happy, free spirit, and it broke my heart.

**********

“Oh! I know, mom, how about instead of some Legos, I can get us some flowers for the kitchen?”

I took Kendall to Target with me the other day. Just him and me. Anytime he knows we’re going there, he begins his campaign for something “small.” There was, apparently, some sort of “small Lego set” he really wanted… until he remembered the flowers.

“Uh, well, sure. Yeah. Let’s get some flowers.”

He darted off with glee the minute we walked in the doors, shouting over his shoulder “I’ll be right back! I’m going to pick out the flowers!”

“You know, you used to call these wowers?” I said. “It’s been too long since we’ve bought some. I’m so glad you traded in your Legos for them. Thanks, buddy.”

**********

We caught a Harry Potter movie on TV a couple months ago, but we only saw a little bit of it. It piqued Kendall’s interest, though. He wanted to know if we could watch the whole thing.

“Nope. Not a chance, buddy. Not until we read the books.”

About a month ago, I bought the first Harry Potter book, figuring it would probably go unread for at least a year, but maybe I’d read it alone.

Tonight, I read the first chapter aloud to Kendall, fully expecting him to get fidgety and whine about how long it was taking. He interrupted once or twice, did his fair share of fidgeting, and I just couldn’t tell if he was even listening.

At the end of the first chapter, I started to dog-ear the page, and mentioned we could read the next chapter tomorrow.

“Can we please read another one tonight? PLEASE?”

Wait. What? Did that really just happen? Did I really just read 2 full chapters of Harry Potter aloud to my willing child? Did he actually say he’s excited about hearing chapter 3 tomorrow?

So this is six.

18 thoughts on “So This Is Six”

  1. Oh, the football thing is terrible 🙁 I don’t have much experience with team sports, but could you talk to the coaches, and offer to help work with Kendall during practices if they give you some specific drills? Forcing a high-energy kid to sit through an activity is just making the situation even worse. Isn’t the whole point of sports at age 6 to teach the kids some of the basics about that sport? They shouldn’t be punished for not knowing how to play going into the beginning of a season!

  2. It makes me so sad to read about the football coaches. Hopefully things will be better at the next practice. What a sweetheart to choose flowers for the family instead of legos!

  3. My son just started flag football also. And well, he’s pretty high-energy too. It’s tough because you want them to learn, and you want others to just accept the way that they are, and when the other “adults” shun them away (basically ignore) it breaks your heart. Because they’re only five and six and have a lot of energy and just need to get it out…they’re high spirited, that’s what they do. They just want to learn but need some extra attention to get it figured out. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by it, other times I’m upset by it, and still other times I just accept it and with my eyes say “Screw you, teach him and pay attention to him you &*$#@*% COACH.” Well, thinking it makes me feel better anyway? Lol. Really, I don’t say it out loud. I just wish people weren’t so judgey.

  4. My son is 7 and just started his 1st year of flag football for our church teams. The coaches drive me crazy. They are all about letting their kids who have played before be the main players while everyone else just blocks. They aren’t even giving the other kids a chance. The first game one coach wasn’t there so we rotated players and won… The last two games they have kept the same kids in the same positions and we have lost. They don’t even try to help the other kids learn the positions. It is really frustrating.

  5. My son is only a month younger than Kendall and he plays tackle football. We’ve been having a rough time too, as he’s high energy and distractible like Kendall but loves football soooooooo much. The coaches I think just don’t know how to deal with a large group of 5 and 6 year olds with the attention spans of a fly. My son is actually really good at football, but it doesn’t show and the coaches don’t see it because of his behavior– they just kinda overlook him (plus they never really did drills to see who was good at what…that’s a WHOLE other issue). I hope it get’s better for Kendall.

  6. Unfortunately, some coaches (actually a lot that I’ve encountered, but I didn’t want to generalize) don’t have lots of experience with children other than their own and the whole teaching aspect is kind of foreign to them. They just want kids to “get it” and lots of times, that’s a whole lot to ask for from 4, 5, and 6 year olds. Makes me sad.

  7. Lovely reflections, Jill! Of course, the football thing was disheartening, but hopefully it is something that can be resolved. The flowers exchange melted my heart and how AWESOME about the Harry Potter books. I hope my girls are just as excited about those books someday! Here’s hoping this will be a wonderful year for your little guy!

  8. Shame on those coaches:( They should be so lucky to have such an energetic and willing to learn little boy. And he is six so um, teach him how to play and be a good sport.

  9. I love this. My son just turned 6 this month. I’m not sure he’s trade Legos for flowers but he surprises me often as well.
    I’m so sorry to hear about your football experience. It’s a shame that his coaches aren’t taking a real interest in him. They’re missing out! My son plays hockey since he was 4 and was/is often the smallest kid on the ice. But MAN did his coaches take a real interest in him. And I swear that made all the difference of him wanting to go back week after week even though he was the slowest or fell a lot. We never stepped out the door without a “good job out there, bud” or something of the sort. I think sometimes they forget that coaching really has nothing to so with winning. It’s so much bigger than that. But at least your son has a great momma that adores the person he is and is willing to write letters to coaches to protect it. 😉 Great job!!

  10. My son is 5…this really pulled on my heartstrings. I hope those football coaches change their tune really quick. If not l’d find another team or coaches that nurture & teach. He’s lucky to have a Mom that loves him so much. These posts/excerpts would make a great book!

  11. I hope that the coaches are able to connect with him and redirect some of his energy and enthusiasm. Kudos to you for handling it with grace.

  12. The football experience makes me sad, too, but I don’t know that volunteer coaches are trained in coaching or child development. I don’t see much one-on-one time for any of thes kinds of activities. They just don’t seem set up for it.

    In Ella’s karate class, there are assistants that go around correcting the form of individual students, while the main teacher leads the class, but that is the most of that kind of thing I’ve seen. Kendall might really like a martial art and get a lot out of it. I know team sports is definitely not a good match for Ella, but she loves karate.

  13. Please keep sharing! I have a high energy, almost 4 year old boy. We’re in preschool now and I can’t leave him yet! I want to, but I think he will come unglued… He is so smart and is a good kid, but sometimes his energy and emotions prevail. At this age it seems like adults “get it” but still have a hard time dealing with it. Geez, I am figuring it out every day! I’m worried for his future in full time school (but trying not to project that!) Anyways, thanks for sharing!

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