Monday, April 26, 2010

Parents behaving badly

There seem to be some general types of parents on the sidelines at kids' sporting events. We have so far been on both sides as parents and AB was a coach this winter for Indoor Soccer. Leif's baseball team so far seems to have the most widely varying and very stereotypical parents we have seen so far.

Here are the types:

A: Yeah, I call them A for a reason. Type A parents are the ones whose kids are the best and most talented and they let everyone know it. (In their eyes.) "Have you noticed that little Johnny can hit that ball everytime? Look at him! See he hit it again. And on top of that he can throw a perfect curve ball. Hey Johnny, come show her your curve ball. Come on son. Show it!"

B: Then there are the opposite. "Look at Billy, how ridiculous. He can't do anything right. Son, what are you doing out there? What are you thinking? Can you at least try to hit the ball?"

C: The chatter moms. "And what did you think the teacher said then? Well of course you know. And those are really cute shoes! Where did you get those shoes? Did you hear we are getting a new restaurant in our part of town!?"

D: The haggered mom with four kids, one of whom is playing. "Tammy I told you not to bother her, no you can't go play on the playground, you guys need to sit right here and watch your sister. No, I don't have any more food, you ate it all. You have your sippy cups. Jamie, aren't you watching your sister? I told you to watch your sister! No, I don't know where the bathroom is. STAY RIGHT THERE."

E: The where did she go mom. "Ok Scotty, if you need anything yell, I will be over with your sister at the playground. I will be watching you if you need something."

F: The varsity dad. "Yeah, I know your coach said to do it this way, but in my experience the best way to hit the ball is like this. Just how we practiced 18 times this weekend. Yeah, I will come out and help you." (Then he never leaves the field and takes over for the coach.)

Seriously we have like all those on my son's team of 12 kids.

I am part C and E depending on the sport. C given the right friends to surround me - which in baseball there are none I am close with. So in baseball, I am mostly E. I refuse to confine my daughter to the sidelines, so we walk the 100 feet to the playground and watch while I keep glancing over my shoulder. When AB shows up we divide and conquer - one of us watches and encourages our son, while the other works hard to wear our daughter out on the playground.

I don't really mind most of the other parent types. Save for one.

Parent type B.

This woman drives me insane. She drags her folding lawn chair with tiny umbrella to her spot and she opens it and doesn't move a muscle but her mouth the entire time.

"Emily, didn't you see that ball? It went right past you!"

"Emily, step on the base. On the base. DID YOU HEAR ME, I SAID STEP ON THE BASE! Go back and step on the base. Yes, that one, third base. What you don't even know what third base is? Sheesh girl."

(Looking at all the other parents.) "I love her I guess, but wow she makes me nuts."

(Who says they "guess" they love their child?)

"Emily, get your tongue in your mouth. TONGUE in mouth! You are going to bite it off and then you won't be able to talk!"

"Hit the ball. You are supposed to actually HIT the ball."


She makes me nuts. She makes us all nuts. She makes the coach nuts.

It's YMCA soccer. In the packet we get a list of 100 ways to praise your child.

Poor child has probably never heard a single one.


I just enrolled Leif in the local more competitive soccer league starting this fall. Yes, registration started March 1st for fall soccer. I am only guessing it is going to get 10x worse in that league.

(Ok, I am done now.)

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