Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not Sure This Baseball Thing Is Going To Stick After All

Thing One played baseball for two years, but it really wasn't his sport.  Too slow a pace, not enough action.  Too much opportunity to lose focus and get into trouble.  At the end of his second year, he made his current travel soccer team, and baseball came to an end for him.  I can't say I was terribly sorry about it...the time commitment was significant and irregular and the younger two kids kept getting into mischief during practices, anyway.

So, when Thing Two decided to try baseball this year, I was less than enthusiastic.  I'd already lived the scheduling nightmare, and given that this kid has ADHD to go along with his raw athletic skill, I didn't see baseball as his optimal sport either.  But we figured we'd let him try.  And damned if he hasn't done pretty well at it.  He's still working on sorting out the rules, but he has the basic skills down.

When he was in preschool, he had three rules to follow.  Very simple ones, only six words to make it easier for him with his language issues.

1) No crying
2) No sillies
3) No arguing

Number 3 has always been the real challenge for him.  He's a my-way-or-the-highway type if there ever was one, and he has always been rather vocal about it when things are not going the way he would like them to be going!  This was an issue even back then, when his ability to express himself was much more limited, and it's a real issue now.  He's actually enduring a DS embargo at the moment because of it.

At any rate, his baseball team had a game tonight.  He struck out the first time he batted. The second time, he hit a worm-burner toward third and was narrowly thrown out at first.  Then he started arguing with the coach on first who called him out!  It was one of his own coaches, too, not an opposing coach, and this guy is scrupulously fair.  When he got back to the bench, we had a pointed chat about appropriate on-field behavior and rule #3.

This kid is very competitive.  He hates making outs, and he hates losing.  But what really seems to bother him about baseball is him making outs while others don't (never mind that he is new to this game and comparing himself to relative veterans.)  Having to leave the field when he makes a mistake--as he sees it--is a problem too.  Soccer and basketball don't have this element, so it will be interesting to see if he masters the self-control he'll need for baseball or decides to give it up in favor of one or both of those.

Believe me, I can take or leave baseball.  But I really don't want to see the kid quit because he can't keep his mouth shut, either.  I'd cheerfully trade my spring evenings for a little more gray in his black-and-white world.

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