Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eating and Preparing for Spring Sports

As we start the process of spring sports with three children I wonder, how will I do it all... will I have the patience...

Each practice begins with...

“You can’t wear good school clothes to baseball practice, go change.  Now!”

“Do you have your ball glove, your hat, and your cleats?” 

The searching, finding, and all the preparations for each practice culminate in the mad dash to be there on time, early if you can.  Did we get everything, what did we forget?
Water bottles – Check
Supplies & Equipment – Check
Something for the other children to do while they wait – Umm – Check
We can’t eat concession stand food!!

How long will we be gone?  Will it be long enough to encompass a meal?  Will a piece of fruit do the trick?  Do I need a cooler?

I think most parents are able to grab a few things and run out the door, or maybe not.  I have learned, the hard way, that we can’t just pick-up and go.  We need to spend a little time gathering any items that may or may not be needed, and preparing our youngest for the “outing”.  We have noticed that a little extra time and planning for a calm exit can make a world of difference.

We start with the countdown.  “We will be leaving in 30 minutes” or whatever the time frame is.  This gives him a frame of reference to know that a change in schedule is coming.  He will need to put down the toys or game.  Also, the meal before must have enough time for him to eat, or we can count on a blow-out.  A drink and a packed snack are a must!  

Still working on my greatest take along snack list.

We can count on at least two minutes at the door; "my sock is twisted", "my shoe won't go on", and my favorite "My shoe is too tight".  Have patience and peace, calm voices and a helping hand will get us through this moment.  Frustration and anger help no one.  

I think this year is going to be the busiest of all for us as all three of our younger children are playing ball.  The 10 year old, Ar, is playing her first year of softball and mom is the team manager.  E, 9 years old, is playing his third year and dad is one of the coaches.  The little guy, 6 year old, W, is playing his second year of coach pitch.  There will be no sitting on the side lines this year!

I am reminding myself "Be calm, smile, and don't forget to love your precious little ones!

Now if only I knew… Oh well, we will deal with game treats later… One thing at a time.