Out of the mouths of babes. Or teens.
Yesterday MonoBoy tried to call me a couple of times from his basketball practice. I was in a meeting and couldn’t get to the phone. By the time I was able to call him back, my mind had already pictured him in an ambulance with a career-ending injury. Or possibly that rare strain of the flu that was sure to cause sudden death. But I’m not an extremist or anything.
Turns out that is was picture day and his coach forgot to tell him and he didn’t have his uniform. He was able to wear that previously belonged one of the kids that failed, so it all worked out. (I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but the majority of his team failed. They are down to six players. Yep, just one sub. He gets an incredible amount of play-time, but he’s so sore that he has started taking ice baths. It makes me shudder just thinking about it.) He said that there was something else, but he would tell me at home.
Once again, my mind kicked into overdrive. Somebody was mean to him. He’s failing Spanish. Someone stole his shoes out of his locker. He has news that his brother’s girlfriend is pregnant. Seriously, what is wrong with me? Why did I have to get the pessimist gene?
When I finally saw him after practice, he said, “Mom, my coach came and talked to me and I feel sooooo bad. Coach said, ‘You’re dad doesn’t think I can coach worth a flip, does he?'” Ouch. What did you say?
“No sir, but don’t listen to him. My dad is a douche.” You said that? To your coach?
“Yeah, he laughed, but I told him that I was serious. Dad makes me mad just about every time I talk to him.” Did your dad say something to him?
“No, it’s just all of his yelling at the game. He talks to all of the kids and coaches from the sidelines.”
Of course, he does. You know why? He suddenly realized at the end of the season that MonoBoy is NOT going to try out for the baseball team like he wants him to. He is staying in basketball P.E. because he LOVES basketball. So Dear Old Dad decided to jump on board the basketball train and become a participant. Not just a participant, but an unofficial, unauthorized coach in the stands.
He didn’t regularly attend the games before that. Just a week or so ago, I asked my friend, “Is he especially loud today or am I just particularly annoyed by him today?” She agreed that he was louder than usual. Then at a game last week, while MonoBoy was shooting free throws after a foul, his dad was talking to one of his teammates on the court, telling him that he was the leader and that he needed to step up to the plate. “We can DO this,” he said to the kid that was NOT his son.
I’ve been trying to find an AAU team for MonoBoy to play on when the season ends. It’s not easy to crack the Dad code when you are a single mom. My ex has now decided just the team that he should play for. The other teams are too serious, and besides, he’d rather him be on a team where he knows one of the parents and he has someone to sit with in the stands. Well, obviously, that’s the best choice then! Forget coaching styles and competition level! Let’s make sure that you can be social.
Wait a second. Maybe that is a good idea. Perhaps it will keep his focus off of the game and his mouth shut. So MonoBoy doesn’t have to tell another coach, “My dad is a douche.”