Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pony Basball

My kids love Baseball. I remember being at opening day at the Big A, taking the boy to the rest room and a fellow asked, "Kid's first game?" "Third this year" I replied. (We had caught two pre-season games in AZ that year). We have not gone to that many games this year and I'm not trying to say we're fanatics or even hyper fans. I just mean to say my kids know all the words to "Take me Out to the ball game." My boy owns more bats as a 4 year old than I did in my entire childhood. And after "Dadda" and "Momma", his first word was "ball". The kid thinks the Angels are heavenly and the Yankees are, well... evil.
So he started Pony Baseball Shetland league this year. He has been so excited! He got new shoes and pants, pulled out the old glove and bat, found his baseball belt and was ready to go! This was going to be so much better than Pre-Shetland. They actually play games! So the kid has had two practices and he is yet to hit, field, run bases, or do all that normal team practice stuff. Don't get me wrong, He has a great coach and every other boy on the team has done this stuff, my son just won't. His mom was so frustrated after his shy, scared, defiant attitude on Wednesday, I was taking him today... you know, to show her how it's done. So I got him on the grass playing catch and I dragged him around the bases, literally kicking and screaming. But getting him to willingly join in and enjoy himself...unuh nope it just didn't happen. Please don't think I'm one of those phsyco parents vicariously living out my lost youth through my kids. The boy loves baseball. He is just a little bit shy navigating new places and new people.
Perhaps all of this could have been avoided if he had been placed on his more out going buddy's team like we requested when we signed him up. "It won't be a problem" the director of the entire program said confidently with a smile. "We should be able to work this out" said both the coaches involved when we found out they were on different teams. "It's not going to happen" said the Shetland director after a couple of rude manipulative phone calls. Imagine my response today when our coach says "By the way they're still working on putting your boys on the same team." Really? I don't ever want to be "that" parent, and honestly I've let it go, but the kid's four! Can we help him out just a little bit?

Makes me wonder about all the negative connotations I've heard about PONY being the more competitive of the baseball leagues. You see my boy's buddy's brother is a little bit of a legend here in our sports obsessed town. Is it possible when the draft came around he was a first round pick and the poor spoon kid just wasn't? I don't know . We'll see what happens. Go Padres!

Any tips out there from parents who have gone through this? I've tried threats and bribery; (both with the boy and the league officials). This is going to be quite a bit of time and money for him to sit in dirt and be mad at everybody. I want him to learn the value of not quiting, and I want him to be able to navigate these weird uncomfortable social situations. Maybe it was too soon? Any thoughts? I have a feeling this one might create as many comments as the Kindergarten controversy.

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