“YES! YES! YES!”
We did it! We finally signed little man up for soccer and I SWORE going into it that this was going to be flawless, easy, a walk in the park…WRONG! What was I thinking?! I should have known the first day would be a disaster two weeks ago when the coach blurted out the number of kids on our 3 year old’s toddler “team”- 30?! THIRTY?! As in: T-H-I-R-T-Y? Like 3-0, thirty?! I mean, I didn’t sign up for a special needs club because really, I know at some point, kid can kick butt no matter who he’s playing with or against. His gross motor skills and competitive drive are intensely on point but, I wasn’t expecting 30 kids. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is a clinic and they don’t actually play scheduled games, and now that I think of it, I don’t even think there’s a time that they scrimmage themselves but, I don’t know how well this is going to go with so many distractions and noises. For any normal toddler this would be difficult but, this kid has super sensitive hearing, can’t bare the sunlight these days, and doesn’t do well with chaos (shocker I know, since we bring chaos wherever we go. Really, I like to think of that as more of controlled chaos).
First Day: The Lineup- Little man had an accident the other day and bumped his eye. Wakes up on soccer day with a swollen eye and can’t open it. Make an emergency visit to the ped. and all is good. Daddy plans a pre-soccer sesh in the front yard before actual soccer and little man passes out on the way home…
By this point, we only had thirty minutes before soccer so, while he was sleeping I geared him up with shin guards, socks, and cleats. No good mom, no good. This guy wakes up in a screaming meltdown over the gear. I knew it. Everything in me told me to wait and let him partake in the dressing of soccer coolness but, FOR ONCE, I did NOT want to be late to something (which ended up happening anyway).
After some deep breaths and calming methods, we got out the door and had 10 minutes to spare. YES! YES! YES! Still time for a quick soccer session with daddy! Scratch that. The sun is too hot. It’s too bright. The ball isn’t right. The backpack can’t come off. The backpack doesn’t fit. The backpack CAN’T come off even though it doesn’t fit. OBSESSED with the BACKPACKKKKK. Time to go in the car. Time to go in the car NOW. Still won’t take the backpack off. Must ride with the soccer ball in lap while reading the most gigantic book ever. Frustrated because soccer ball and book won’t fit on tiny lap. Doesn’t want to play soccer anymore. Doesn’t like soccer at all, FOREVER. Doesn’t want soccer ball anymore. Throws soccer ball. Wants soccer ball. Wants juice. Hungry, FOREVER. Tired. Wants to play with friends. Want to play with friends but, doesn’t like soccer. Loves soccer. Can’t wait to play soccer.
We pull in. Okay, happy faces everyone. Happy faces, happy faces. Open the car door…SCREAMS!!!!!! Seriously? I thought we were in the clear a minute ago, no?
RULE: Can’t bring personal soccer ball.
MUST BRING PERSONAL SOCCER BALL. Breaking the rules. I HATE breaking rules. Sacrifice. It’s done. We’re bringing our bright blue and orange ball while the other kids use the club’s black and white balls. Please, just pick a spot at the very end.
This soccer thing is our big chance. He CAN do this. Can’t give up, won’t give up.
Alright, time to get into lines with dad and stand quietly while the coach slowly teaches warm up exercises and greets everyone (very patient man, I might add).
NOT having it. Meltdown, meltdown, meltdown. This is okay. I mean. I’m just over here in the corner with my 18 month old who’s passed out while an assistant tries, ever so nicely, soothing my child. Sorry lady, just not happening. I do applaud your efforts though but, I’ve got to step in here. Leave sleeping child in car seat with friend’s mom who I’ve just met 5 minutes ago.
Alright, let’s see here. Positive reinforcement, bargaining, trading, swapping, reasoning, whatever you want to call it. It works. Here goes:
Another birthday present added to the birthday list?
Ice cream it is!
After about 15 minutes of back and forth insisting that we don’t give up and at least try, with a few small meltdowns accounted for in between, we found SUCCESS! In the last 5 minutes, little man kicked that bright blue and orange ball down and up the field three times with a smile on his face and you know what? At the end of it all, that was enough for us. Granted, we did end it with a few cold ones and a huge pizza right after but, all of the work that went into the few minutes we got of a smile and a happy boy was all worth it.
Just. Don’t. Give. Up
Until next week…