Parenting vs Baseball

It’s America’s pastime.

Even though I live in Canada, I’m not really a hockey fan. I don’t have a favorite team. Kids in schools ask me, “Who do you go for?” (translation: Who’s your favorite hockey team?) I always give the same response just to see the shock on their face. “I don’t watch hockey.” I usually have to pick their jaw up off the floor. After a few minutes they regain the use of their voice.

My favorite sport to play is soccer. Those hockey kids in school know this from all my days subbing in their gym class. Otherwise, baseball is where my loyalty lies. Particularly with a certain black and orange bird.

We’re now 11 days from pitchers and catchers reporting to the warm climate of Sarasota Springs, Florida. We’re also 25 days from their first spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Argh…

This means we’re also not far from our friendly, family rivalry as DW and Bang are Blue Jays fans.

All this talk of baseball makes me want to compare the game of baseball with raising a family…

1. Training

It’s all about creating and moulding the best team possible. Mind you, I won’t get fired for having too many losing seasons, but I’m still responsible to do the best with what I’m given. Just as the players are responsible for improving their game, we’re responsible for being better than we were yesterday. Perhaps it’s teaching the kids a new skill they need for school or sport or life. Perhaps it’s improving ourselves to be better at whatever it is we’re trying to improve upon. We’re always striving for the next homerun…

2. Patience

There are roughly 150 pitches thrown by each team. Some crazy level of patience is needed to get through the 3+ hours it takes to deliver all 300 of them. Multiply that by 162 games per season and you’ve got 48,600 pitches to watch. When kids are throwing temper tantrums, you’re spouse isn’t paying attention, and you’re afraid your house is so messy it’ll appear on the next episode of Hoarders, you need patience. Though, unlike baseball, parenting isn’t a summer game. It’s all day, every day with no hope of winning a world series and the pay sucks.

3. Coaches

A baseball team needs lots of specialities. There are managers who oversee the whole shebang. There are also pitching coaches, hitting coaches, bench coaches, bullpen coaches, first base coaches and third base coaches. A household works much the same way. I’m the cooking coach. Not because DW can’t, but because I enjoy it more. DW is the paying bills coach. Nobody likes that position. I’m the cleaning coach because I’m home more often. DW is the snuggle coach because she’s so snugly.  

4. Bases

Speaking of bases… 1st base is kissing. 2nd base has something to do with boobs. I’m fairly confident that you can figure out 3rd base and a homerun. Without the homerun, without “scoring”, we wouldn’t have the families we have. No kids, anyway. May you all hit homeruns tonight without gaining extra players on your team…

 

J is for… #atozchallenge

J

is for so many things. I’m being indecisive. I’ve scoured the J section of the Scrabble Dictionary. 

Jaculate – to throw; I’ll jaculate my kids into the river if they keep fighting, making messes, or leaving the hamster’s cage open.

Jenny – a female donkey; “You son of a Jenny” just doesn’t have the same insult factor as its cousin.

Jealous. I’m jealous of those parents who have their shit together. The ones who can honestly use the #ParentingWin and mean it.

Jackass. Sometimes my kids are mean to each other for no reason other than to be a jackass and piss the other one off.

Journey. I did that one last year. Besides, this journey called parenting is too much like Jacob’s ladder. It has no end. Or if you believe the biblical Jacob’s ladder, it leads to Heaven. Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell’s afraid I’ll take over.

J could be Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Justin Time, two shows Crash and Bang can agree to watch together.

In this thing called parenting some things are done better together. Showering isn’t one of them. Like classic peanut butter and jelly we stick together. Everyone’s awake, everyone’s been fed, everyone’s lunch is made, everyone’s ready to get their day started.

Perhaps our sandwiches are made with chunky peanut. Not everything goes smooth.

We have our bumps and lumps in the every day life. One kid can’t find all the stuff he needs for school which results in a meltdown. One kid has a coat sleeve turned inside out and can’t get his arm in. This, too, results in a meltdown. Perhaps we’re not as ready as we thought we were.

This is a joint effort. When one kid takes 45 minutes to fall asleep we call in the reliever. When the kids are on last nerves, we call for backup. When there’s readying to be done we’re there for the assist. Or the 9th inning 3 run homer for the win.

When there’s playing to be done, we do it right. Dirt diggin’. Tower crashin’. Lego buildin’. Soccer kickin’. Trampoline jumpin’. Igloo buildin’. Playgroundin’. Fun.

We try to stay on the same page with the disciplining, too. We try to give the kids a bit of consistency. Not that it always works, but we try. Sometimes the severity of punishment will depend upon how frustrated the one delivering the sentence is. No matter, we try to support each other’s decisions.

There’s no I in parent. But there is part. We’re part of a team. Part of our children’s lives. Part of their success. When our children are successful that’s a #ParentingWin.

 

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