Every year Ryan watches the Little League World Series. Every year I ask if there is anything else on tv (besides the 12 ESPN channels that always seem to have 4 old men talking sports behind a big desk- those “4 men behind a desk” shows annoy the crap out of me). Apparently, for about 2 weeks there isn’t. I think it’s great that these kids have the chance to play in these types of games and get national recognition.
Wait for it….
BUT, each year the looks on these kids faces portray nothing but fear. They aren’t smiling or joking with each other like MLB players do in the dugout. They aren’t jumping up and down and smiling into the cameras for their friends at home to seethem. No, all I see are children being put in such a high pressure situation that they aren’t even taking in the experience; all they know is they MUST WIN. This year, a few of the kids looked like they just wanted to run away and cry.
I recently read an article on what ruined youth baseball of our past. The author seemed to believe that it was ESPN and tv cameras. He remembered the joy kids had playing sandlot baseball in an unorganized environment – the freedom for them to just let lose.
Sandlot baseballRemember what it was like? No fancy bats, no sponsors or big name logos, no reporters asking you about your winning strategy, no birth certificate rules or certifications. Just a bunch of kids with sticks and garbage can lids having fun in the street or in an empty dirt lot.
Today, the neighborhood kids don’t converge in one location outside to play games, they don’t find general household objects to use in games, they don’t catch fireflies in the summer night. Now, kids hide inside all summer in the air conditioning playing video games or on the couch eating junk food while watching tv.
It’s sad. I’m all about organized sports. I’m a firm believer in organized sports’ role in sending kids down the right path in life, esp in inner cities or towns where the alternative can be deadly. I’ve seen if make a difference between a child losing their way in life and becoming successful members of society who are willing to give back to the next generation. I am grateful for every coach I had throughout my life that made a difference in my life. For every coach who was like a second parent to me and believed in me and made sure I was headed in the right direction. For every coach that disciplined me and didn’t fill my head with empty unearned praise but made sure I learned that life isn’t always fair and how to loose with grace while learning from my mistakes.
But I wonder when organized sports took over for just plain fun. I would love to see kids outside just running around and working things out for themselves. Making up their own rules, teaching each other, and just concentrating on the fun – not the fancy LED scoreboard. Sure, even the youngest kids keep score at everything. In my house even a game of checkers is a constant “Am I winning?”. And I see no real problem with acknowledging winning or losing – I just think it shouldn’t overshadow the game itself.
This post started off in a completely different direction so I will have to get to that topic in another post.
Even though I still have another 3 months before our new little addition joins us, I’ve already begun stocking up on some of the baby essentials as I see great coupon and sale combinations. I’ve bought several boxes of diapers in different sizes for next to nothing.
One product I just saw recently is the Little Movers Slip-on Diapers from Huggies. I saw an ad for it and thought this was an interesting product.
Many babies, especially as they enter those toddler years, cannot stay still for even 5 minutes while someone tries to change their diapers. So these might make it a little easier for diaper changers everywhere – they simply need to catch their little squirmer and slip the diaper on in one quick sweep. This can be done easily while holding a baby or picking them up and making it seem like a game.
When Bruce was little, he was definitely a wiggle worm. He can’t sit still now either. So, I used to have to make diaper changes interesting if I had any hope of getting him in a new diaper before he made his way across the house.
Occasionally, i had to employ some creative tricks in getting him to cooperate and settle him down so I could get him into a clean diaper.
- We used to sing songs – The wheels on the Bus was the one song that always made him sit still, stop crying or solve whatever made my normally happy baby upset. He loved that song. So, with 1 verse of that song I could settle down the squirmy little guy.
- I also used to make him smile at me by using eye contact and talking to him really close while I changed his diaper. He was so concentrated on my face that he had no idea what else was going on.
- I found that as long as I used a fun voice and smiled alot, it was easy to distract him from an otherwise unpleasant task.
- Of course, teething type toys or toys that made noise always helped in creating a distraction if I need both hands and mind on the diaper job.
- Bruce used to like it when I made it a game and lifted both his feet up in teh air as I grasped them with 1 hand and laughed. It was fun for him and allowed me to keep him from moving while i removed and put on a diaper.
- I set up 2 diaper stations in my home. Both are completely stocked at all times. It’s much easier to get the job done if you have all your necessary tools handy.
I am looking forward to meeting my little girl and getting to know her personality and traits. That is always one of the most exciting parts of raising children. They are all so different and so interesting. I love it when their little personalities shine through and they show their individual personalities.
Disclaimer: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Huggies blogging program, for a gift card worth $35. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”
I can’t even hide my excitement over the years of Barbies and doll houses in my future. I’ve already been gushing over the cute pink dresses and ballerina tutus. I went a little crazy with girl clothes on our baby registry. It was the closest thing I can do to buying them all on the spot myself. That took restraint. My house is going to look like a bubble gum factory exploded with all the pink that is about to appear.
I’ve already begun mentally decorating the nursery and dreaming about gymnastics and dance classes and mother-daughter spa days. Yes, I know I’m getting ahead of myself.
See, I know my main hope is supposed to be for a healthy baby, regardless of gender. And it is. But I can’t help the fact that I really, really wanted a girl. The obvious reasons are there – I’m a girly girl so I love the idea of doing all that girl stuff.
But there is another reason.
The last few months I’ve been worrying about the fact that for 8 years Bruce had Ryan and I all to himself. We’ve obviously bonded and have been together a long time. He’s not really the jealous type (although I do recall a day when he was much younger and I picked up a baby and he went into a state of panic that there was another baby in his mother’s arms.) and he has always loved having other kids around and been really good at sharing, even as a toddler. But after all this time what if he now feels that the baby took his spot on mommy and daddy’s priority list because we have to split our attention and he’s getting older and less reliant on us?
If this baby was a boy, would I be able to bond with it the same way and truly say I didn’t have a favorite? Would the new baby resent that Bruce had us all to himself for so long and feel like he was not as important to us as Bruce was?
I shared this with a friend of mine a few weeks ago and she said “Don’t worry about it because both of them are going to insist the other one is your favorite anyway!” As an only child, it’s hard to imagine how to juggle 2 children who are so far apart in age. Sometimes I think the age difference makes it easier but then sometimes I’m afraid the differences in needs of each child makes it that much more difficult to evenly split your affection between 2 children.
Those of you who have siblings - Did you think you were mom and dad’s favorite or did you think your sibling was? Did you feel they loved you equally?
Those with multiple children - Is a smaller age gap any easier than an 8 year age gap? Do your children ever accuse you of loving the other child(ren) more?