My oldest (aka: PFB, or Precious FirstBorn) is smart and sassy. He loves cracking jokes and making his friends laugh, but doesn’t always have a good read on the room as far as the grown-ups are concerned. If a wise-crack comes into his mind, it comes out of his mouth, and not always at the most appropriate times. This has led to numerous memos home from his longsuffering third grade teacher, some reward and consequence charts, as well as some come-to-Jesus moment with him in our own kitchen. We’re all agreed on the same thing: he’s a good kid who WANTS to be a good student and do the right thing, but he has some impulse control issues, particular when it comes to his mouth. And so many times I’ve expressed my incredulous frustration that he can’t just CLOSE HIS MOUTH.
I attend a few sporting events in which my children are participating. And suddenly, I’m a GOOD mom who wants to be a GOOD spectator and do the right thing, but I have some impulse control issues, particularly when it comes to my mouth. “Hello, Pot? This is the kettle. You’re black.”
You guys, I’m telling you. My kids are YOUNG. The stakes are not even high. You wanna know what is high? My BLOOD PRESSURE. It’s not even about winning or losing. I don’t feel especially upset after we lose, I just feel especially compelled to call out to the players non-stop for every minute of play. I can’t explain it!
Football was bad enough. I mean, I have a voice on me, and it can carry, but at least we were outdoors and it was spread out over an entire field.
But now we’re in basketball season, and we’re crammed like sardines into these little church gyms, and I feel like I need to bring a written apology to any parent within a 30 foot radius who is taking video and will have to edit out that loud woman’s voice shouting “DEFENSE, BLUE! DEFENSE!”
Speaking of defense, in my own, may I say that 99% of the time, I am yelling encouraging things. I don’t yell at refs, I don’t say rude things about kids on the other team. I *may* slip into some instruction cheering, especially when watching the first and second grade girls team, because: YOU GUYS. It’s like watching little baby deer in matching jerseys staring into headlights. OK, that’s mainly my beautiful redhead, but generally there’s just a lot of glassy-eyed girls who worked really hard in practice, but completely FREEZE when it gets real. So I find myself hollering out helpful things, you know, like “THAT’S THE WRONG BASKET! GO THE OTHER W….never mind.” (True story.)
And it’s possible that I may be a little out of control. This weekend, in particular, apparently I was extra….intense. I got some stares from strangers, and a scolding look from my husband (who happens to be the coach) from across the gym. My sister-in-law pretty much distanced herself completely from me and denied any relation to the loud lady.
I’ve discovered that it is a serious impulse control thing. If I want to stop yelling, I literally have to chew on my lip or look away from the action of the game. I don’t usually think of myself as very competitive, but apparently I’m in huge denial. And the biggest irony of the entire situation is that I’m surely the least athletically gifted parent in the building. But I know my touchdowns from my lay-ups, offense from defense, so I feel qualified to holler out. Besides, my babies are out there!
Speaking of, I asked the babies this week if they ever hear me cheering for them. (That’s what I like to call it. “Cheering.”) They said no. Pfft. I think they’re lying. EVERYONE can hear me.
The good news is, basketball is soon going to be over, so my weekly routine of embarrassing my family members will take a break until the next sports season. And maybe by the time football starts up again, Carson and I will both have made some progress on our vocal self-control. Either that or I will be the one with some rewards/consequence charts.
*If anyone spots the FRIENDS quote in this blog post, you get an extra gold star on your chart.