Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who's on First

So, there's a great skit by Abbott and Costello about baseball, and if you've never read it/heard it, I highly recommend that you go take a look.

The reason I bring this up is because Gabe has started t-ball. Last night was his second practice and this Saturday will be his first game. Watching five and six-year-olds learning how to play baseball reminds me of the confusion in that skit. I'm also baffled by the convoluted plan the coach came up with to cycle the kids through all the positions and up to bat. It took so much time after each at bat to figure out which child belonged where (Costello: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name on first base. Abbott: No. What is on second base. Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second. Abbott: Who's on first.) Because of this our hour long practice stretch to 90 minutes. 

While I'm not sure that Gabe will ever excel at any sport, he is after all my child, and I have no coordination whatsoever. When it was time for racquet sports in P.E., I had to go play with the wall, because I was so awful. The wall usually won. Any way, to top off Gabe's lack probably lack of coordination, as I've mentioned before, he also has ADHD. So if there is nothing going on, or rather, nothing immediately for him to do, he's trying to build dirt mounds or pick grass. Or anything but paying attention to the coaches and watching the ball. 

It is cute. He has baseball pants, and cleats, and a team uniform. They are the Padres, and as I had to ask someone, the SD on their hats stands for San Diego. They are the San Diego Padres. I wasn't aware that San Diego had a baseball team. But then again, what I know about sports could fit on the head of a ballpoint pen, probably with room left over. I have however purchased a book titled, "The Smart Girl's Guide to Sports: An Essential Handbook for Women Who Don't Know a Slam Dunk from a Grand Slam". I am promised that when I find the time to read this book, I will have a comprehensive knowledge of sports. 

Gabe isn't too bad when he actually thinks about what he's doing and makes an effort. The coordination for catching isn't quite there (and he likes to put his glove on the wrong hand), but he can throw decently and hit decently. But the key is when he pays attention and focuses, which is extremely hard for him. 

The biggest problem I have with t-ball is that practice occurs at 5:30, and makes a long day of having to behave even harder. Yesterday was a prime example. His classroom has four tables each with their own color. Well-behaved tables get awarded a color stick in their color pot, with the goal to collect five sticks. When your table does, you get to pick out a prize from the treasure chest. Gabe's table was the most well-behaved yesterday, so he came home with a prize. 

He then proceeded to be difficult the entire evening, and Oscar and I were sorely tempted to not take him to t-ball practice because his behavior was so lousy. Julie at A Little Pregnant explained it so much better yesterday. It's so frustrating to hear about how good a day he had at school and then having to deal with arguing, complaining, and back-talking. Then to add t-ball on top of it all, and expect him to be fully engaged is a lot to ask. 

I wonder, how do other parents deal with this behavior in their children?

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