As the carefree days of summer* are slipping away, soccer season is beginning again for my little guy. *Sidenote: when I say "carefree days of summer", surely you realize I mean sweltering hot days of excessive humidity, excessive mosquito bites and excessive rain accompanied by weekends jam-packed with birthday parties. The little guy didnt play spring soccer because I wanted him to give T-Ball a chance so he hasn’t played on a soccer team since last year. We haven’t really practiced much at all either, aside from him kicking the ball around the yard a bit here and there. I only hope things will be improved from last year. If you don't recall or are not familiar, the first practice last year resulted in an epic meltdown, followed by a fever and strep throat...and me making a scene and embarassing myself after spilling my purse, getting the stroller stuck in dirt and turning my ankle. Anyway, that is behind us now.
This past Saturday was their 2nd game. The first game was exciting because he’s made such improvements from last year! He is no longer that kid that is oblivious to the game whilst running laps around the perimeter of the field and getting caught in the net like a fly in a spider web. My daughter has made great improvements as well. She actually sits in her little seat now as opposed to running off into the woods, the stream, onto the field, etc. She’s a big 3 year old now so those 2 year old antics are a thing of the past. (ha! yea right - but for this particular day, she was good at the game.)
For this game I had to fly solo. The husband was at work so I was on my own. I’ll be honest, I was concerned but I knew I had been through worse so I was sure we would be ok. We pull up to the soccer field and I’ve never ever seen it like this before. You might have thought it was a World Cup Game. Cars were parked all over the place. People were driving the wrong way, stopping in the road, passing quickly around eachother and all on gravel while small children were walking through. The parents weren't paying attention to the kids, the kids weren't paying attention to the cars and the drivers weren't paying attention to ANYONE. All traffic rules and courtesies were out the window. There wasn't a free spot to be found. People were even parking on the main road outside of the complex. It was nuts. I fortunately found a vehicle about to pull out of a spot. I stopped and put my blinker on as they loaded into their car. There was a line of traffic behind me that felt like it stretched 40 miles. Come on guy, can’t you pull out of the spot already? Clearly you see what's going on out here. Nope. The wife now decides to get out of the car and walk away. People behind me are whipping around me and almost mowing down entire families. They’ve now formed a line of traffic that prevents anyone from ever pulling out of any spot. Smart move, morons. After waiting what felt like years for this guy to pull out, I gave up. The wife must have just left him and remarried, because I never did see her come back. Instead, I pulled into the spot next to him after that person left.
I get both kids out of the car and instruct them repeatedly not to move from the side of the car, because there are too many cars moving around. Neither listens. I get the boy, the girl, his soccer bag, his soccer ball, her purse, her bag of snacks, my chair, her chair and my purse. Somehow I managed to get us all to the field without being run over and without dropping anything. It was a magical moment.
The game starts, the weather is glorious, and my little guy is doing great. I’m so proud of him. Best of all, he’s smiling from ear to ear the whole time. My daughter stayed in her little seat, ate her snacks and didn’t give me a hard time. I actually got to watch his game for the first time. It was incredible.
At about 10 minutes before 12:00 I get a phone call from my Step-Mom asking if we are home. I told her we are at the soccer game, but it’s ending in a few minutes. She said they wanted to stop by and drop off a birthday present for my son. I said we should be home in about 20 minutes if they want to meet me at my house. Now I know full well that we have to be at the local KMart by 1pm so my son can panhandle - oops, I mean do “Tag Day” for the soccer team, but I also know that them stopping by usually only runs me about 15 minutes max.
Itinerary for Every Time my Dad and Step-Mom Stop By:
- they pull into the driveway just as I’m setting
foot in the shower, getting changed, mixing ground meat with my bare hands,
paining the den, etc.
- honk the horn
- wait 4 seconds
- honk the horn again aggressively (this is all my dad)
- if everyone doesn’t burst out of the house
immediately, start shouting and continue honking
- the kids start trickling out of the house
usually barefoot or unclothed and someone trips, pinches a finger in the door,
falls down the steps, fights with the other, or takes off running oblivious to
the fact that anyone is in the driveway waiting to say hello
- I finally emerge and herd the kids back inside
to get dressed or shoes on while I chat for a bit
- the kids come back out, climb in the car and all
over their grandparents
- they let the kids honk the horn 30-40 times
- I say i got to get back inside at the same time
that my dad says he has to get going
- we all go back in the house
- the kids run back out of the house while i yell
for them to get back in
- they drive away.
Again, this whole process takes about 15 minutes start to finish, so if they meet me at my house in 20, I’ll make if for Tag Day no problem. KMart is only 5 minutes away.
I pull up to my house and they
aren’t there. Let me call her cell back
and see if they are on their way. My father answers and the tone of his voice alone tells
me he is in one of his moods. The
conversation went like this:
Me: Dad? What’s wrong?
Me: Okay..um are
you on your way here right now?
Him: I’M WAITING
do you want to just stop by in a little while then? Lorenzo has Tag Day Today at KMart
Him: I GUESS THE
F**KING FISH WILL JUST DIE THEN!!!!
Just like you, I had no CLUE what in the world that was supposed to mean. I called back but now there’s no answer. Alright, well clearly something is going on and I dont know what it is and I dont want to know right now because I am just going to head over to KMart and be somewhere early for once.
As I exit the neighborhood, my cell phone rings. It’s my step-mom’s phone. Should I even answer? I debated and then answered anyway. It was Joanne this time. She sweetly says “Are you home?” So I reply as nicely as I can, doing my very best to hide my frustration. She doesn’t need any flack from me as I’m sure she has no idea what just transpired and the poor soul has to deal with him in that mood as it is. I said “I just drove out of the neighborhood...what the heck is going on? Dad just cursed something about fish and hung up on me. I have no clue what’s happening right now and he has tag day at 1pm..”. She apologetically said “Would you mind coming back? We will only be 5 minutes.” How could I say no? I feel bad for her to have to deal with that mess today. I turn the car around and go back home. A few minutes later, my dad comes zooming up. You might think he had a caravan of police chasing him down the way he whipped around the corner. “What’s his problem?” I ask my clearly frazzled step-mom as she attempts to take things from the back seat of the car. Her response is funny yet, totally accurate for the moment: “He’s an a**hole”. Speaking of a**holes, here comes my friend the police officer. He pulls up right behind my father (in his personal vehicle - there really was no police chase). This seems to infuriate my dad and he shouts “WATCH OUT I HAVE TO PULL THE F**K UP NOW!” and guns it 15 feet while the back door is still open from poor Joanne still trying to get things out. For the record, there’s no reason whatsoever that he would have had to pull up - it was just the bad mood talking.
The reason for all the hurry and “fish” talk is because for my son’s birthday, they bought him a fish tank with live fish. He was delighted. But now we have to run so the bag of fish have to be left home with the cats. Hopefully they survive. I bid a friendly farewell to all the friends and family that gathered on my lawn and hoped they weren’t offended that I had to leave so abruptly.
Off to KMart and the Tag Day portion of the trip was mildly successful. We still managed to arrive on time, but the kids insisted on riding the coin operated ride out front first. It was the longest ride in the history of rides. Even the Disabled Vets (that they pit us against for collecting) commented on how long the ride was taking.
Now that the hour has passed and they’ve gotten junk from the vending machines, climbed under benches and behind signs and have run out of the tiny amount of self-control they have, I have to go inside to shop for a couple things. This turned into a 2 hour ordeal.
Of course my daughter had to pee, because that’s what she does EVERY SINGLE TIME WE EVER LEAVE THE HOUSE EVER. They are both hungry and ornery and I am too. After taking MUCH too long to pick up a few items and chasing them both in opposite directions, we finally make it to the register. I have a talent of picking the slowest line 10 times out of 10. This time the lady 3 people in front of me had a thousand questions, then there was a problem with her card, then the register broke and we were advised to disperse to other lines.
By this time, my daughter who has had the hiccups for 10 minutes has progressed to dry heaving and crying that her belly hurts. I see customer service doesn't seem to have a crowd for once so I ask if they could ring me up there since I’m afraid my daughter is going to be sick. The lady says yes, come around this way and before I make it to the other side of the counter, some old lady has waddled over and now says “I was here first”.
She only had a few items so I hoped she would be in and out. NOPE. She purchased something large and now she needed the guy from the stock room to not only go get it for her, but also go out to her car and check to see that it would fit. Meanwhile, I’m holding my daughter with my hand covering her mouth while she cries “MY BELLY HURTS!!” and while my son crawls away on the floor under the line of shopping carts.
The other lady at the service desk says “I’ll take you over this side”. My daughter is still moaning and now sliding down my side as I’m calling my son and trying to push the cart with my elbows. I get to the other side of the service desk and she says “This is a return, right?” I said NO and she said “Oh I can’t help you then”. I wanted to cry. Back to the other side and a long line has formed, but I’m going right back to where I was initially. Somebody just try and say something about it. The old lady is now attempting to pay but I guess she doesn’t know how to work a credit card and needs help from the cashier. Twenty-five minutes after her initial proclamation of being there first, the old lady FINALLY is moving along. It’s my turn and I can’t get out of here fast enough. The lady rings up my first item. Then the phone rings and she answers it and stops ringing me up. She spends the next 2 minutes on the phone helping that customer, transferring the call and who knows what else. She rings up my second item. The phone rings again and the same procedure repeats itself 4 times in a row. I’m going to lose it.
The Great Escape
I finally get out of there and the disabled vets are shocked to see me. “You’re still here!?” Yup. Over two hours later and I’m still here. I dig through my purse to give them a donation while the kids grab everything on their table. They love it and say they can have whatever they want. However, I don’t particularly want them to have flags on toothpicks because I know my kids and someone will be bleeding or lose an eye in under a minute. They’re too young for gum so I sell them on the blue flower. This took convincing because they BOTH decided that after the flag and the gum, they would each rather have the rocks that they’ve taken off the table that the Vets were using to hold down the papers from the wind.
I’m beat. I made it home by 3:30 and we have a birthday party at 3. We should really just go straight there, but these fish have been on the counter in a bag for pushing 3 hours now. We will have to set up the fish tank first.
We get to the party nearly 2 hours late but had a great time there. I love my cousin and her family. Always a good time and the kids talked for hours about how much fun they had. All’s well that ends well is what they say, right?