So you just signed your oldest kid up for soccer or baseball or football… or some kind of sport where you are giddy about the idea of cheering them on from the sidelines. You have others. They are, obviously, younger.
Listen, let me just tell you right now that that vision you have in your head- you, kicked back in a folding chair, monogrammed YETI in hand, snapping pictures of your little athlete and then posting them to IG or sending them to relatives, all while your other kids, like, just leave you alone and play right next to you? I’m sorry. That is not going to happen. It’s a lie. It’s a fantasy.
Having a kid in sports while also having younger kids who are NOT in that particular sport but still need to accompany you to that sport is nothing short of an ass kicking.
Don’t even bring a chair. You’re never going to get to sit down. Plus, you’ll need your arms to carry the mountain of snacks, sidewalk chalk, and *gasp* electronic devices you’ll need to keep your toddlers off of the field. You know, the giant patch of grass where they see 15 other kids running and playing? The one they are supposed to understand they are not supposed to also run and play on?
God help you if they are potty training. For one, I can almost guarantee you you will not be anywhere close to the public restrooms from the practice field you’re at. And if you are, well, they’re public park restrooms, and they are “dark and scary” and hopefully they have toilet paper. But you’ll have wipes with you right? You packed those with your mountain of snacks and entertainment? Have a potty training toddler AND a baby on the sidelines with you? I have lived that hell. You’re going to cry.
Oh, you’re also pregnant? Bless your bladder.
If you’re really lucky, there will be bleachers- metal ones with sharp edges and concrete underneath. Oh, how the little non-athletes love to climb these, up and down. And then jump. And then jump harder. And then drop their sidewalk chalk into the abyss below and cry.
There is going to be lots of crying.
And then there’s the concession stand. Never mind that you brought half of Costco with you, and you carefully packed sliced fresh oranges, and iced water in their Thermos. Once they know the concession stand exists, and that it sells Ring Pops and hotdogs and soda, you’re screwed. They will whine and cry and pull you by the hand, begging to go. Is your athlete up to bat? About to score a touchdown? They don’t care. They literally could not care less because there are M&Ms in that building right there, and you’re a damn fool for packing fruit snacks.
(But still, don’t forget to pack the fruit snacks.)
Did your partner sign up to be a coach? OMG tell them to take it back. If you are fortunate enough to have a partner who could be there with you, helping you manage this chaos, but then they get to be on the field and you have to wrangle this shit show all by yourself? I’m just saying – FROM EXPERIENCE- much resentment.
You know who gets to coach and lounge and watch from the sidelines in reclining folding chairs? Parents who are on their last child.
Parents on your first child? Don’t buy the fantasy. Buy more fruit snacks.