Our first foray into the world of t-ball was with the youngest of our three boys this last season. Don’t ask me why we waited so long to join this all-American preschool pastime – perhaps I’m lazy. The only reason we signed him up in the first place was to get him out of the house, and to learn a few important life lessons, taught by a cockamamie group of sweaty kiddos.
Preschoolers have absolutely no concept of imminent pain.
How can one teach a four-year-old that getting smashed in the face by a hard ball is going to hurt without actually smashing the kid in the face with a hard ball? Chucking the balls at each other from point-blank range, while not necessarily even looking at each other, was the practice norm. I only feel slightly guilty for wishing for a lifelong wisdom-giving mishap.
It takes an average of twelve seconds for a command not related to food to sink in.
Throughout the season, during each game, there were no less than thirty repetitions of the same command: RUN! This was usually aimed at the batters, who had already hit the ball and were just standing there, mouths agape, watching in glorified awe as the ball went sailing. Snack time, on the other hand, was immediately responded to with cheers and trampling each other, racing to the sidelines.
Port-o’-potties the holy grail of preoccupation.
During every practice, one or more of the players left their posts in favor of picking flowers, daydreaming and pottying. “I need to use the bathroom! There’s a potty over there! It’s blue!” Every kid turns to see and subsequently starts the potty dance and intense begging for permission to visit the “bathroom.” Upon their return, they kindly share the smell of port-o’-potty soap with their teammates by allowing them the chance to smell their hands. Ooh, so refreshing.
T-ball is super gross.
Urban myth illuminates the ick factor with the legend of an entire team contracting head lice through the sharing of the batting helmets. Lice aside, it’s pretty unsanitary that each sweaty kid removes the helmet and passes it blindly to the next sweaty kid, who, in turn, does the same. That’s nine different types of sweat, sunscreen and bug spray all mixed up in there. Ew. I just scratched my head while writing this and got goose bumps when I recognized the correlation. Seriously, if my little athlete shows up with a shorn head, you know what we’ve received complementary with a t-ball education!
Where ADHD, ODD and “@%$#!” are a way of life, Rhonda Wilson is a stay-at-home mom to four kiddos (Juliet, 16, Liam, 11, Connor, 9, Jack, 4) while babysitting and writing for other publications and blog (www.alphabetsoupmama.com).