Tale of Two Kiddies

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Soccer Tales of an athletically un-gifted 4 year old

Today started out early for a Sunday. The boys & I had to be at the soccer field by 8:45. Soccer is supposed to start at 9:00 but J’s coach wants us there at 8:45 so there’s not stragglers showing up at 9:05, after practice has started. I’m pretty sure he must have gotten a head’s up about my uncanny ability to consistently be fashionably late and created this rule just for me. I proved him a pretty smart guy when I showed up at 8:55. My dad had come to visit for the weekend, just to watch J play soccer – such a great grandpa! – and was staying with my sister. He was already at the field waiting for us. Pulling up and seeing him sitting in his car waiting I felt like I was 17 again and I missed curfew. Except between my dad & I that’s not that big of a deal because he’s pretty laid back & non-confrontational. So really it was just my own guilt I was feeling, now & back then. Anyway, it was such a beautiful morning and we had a blast watching a bunch of 4 year olds play soccer, or their version of it. We especially enjoyed my graceful (like a bull) son perform his version of jumping jacks. I really need to get this on video for you – it is hilarious. My poor kid, the coach could barely count, even he was cracking up. I can’t even begin to describe to you what his attempt looks like. If you’ve ever seen the “Elaine dance” on Seinfeld, imagine that but done by a tragically uncoordinated 4 year old. That’s the best idea I can give you for the awkwardness level. Thank goodness they only have to do 10 of them, so it’s a short-lived comedy put on by my sweet innocent boy. Bless his heart he tries though.

I’m so appreciative for soccer. It gives me such insight into my son that I otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s a unique perspective you get to have on your kid. It’s kind of like a fishbowl view. I’m there, he knows I’m there but gets distracted enough to forget this for a bit. I get to see how he interacts with & responds to different adults without me there. He’s talkative – boy is he talkative, he always has “just one thing” he needs to say. I see what he is like with other kids. He is friendly. I see the motivation he needs. He needs a good bit of encouragement. Left to his own devices, he will wander & get sidetracked. He literally walked off the field in the middle of a game to come ask me a question about where we were going to eat the bagels we were getting after soccer was over. (This is the same kid who before soccer, when I told him he needs to eat breakfast for energy before soccer, lifted his shirt, grabbed his “fluffy” – as I prefer to call it – belly and said straight faced & completely seriously “You see this? *This* belly gives me energy, I don’t need breakfast.”) The coach of the team he played against was so good with J & J responded so well to him, I was contemplating trying to switch him to that team. Haha, yeah right! There is no chance in hell that my kid would let me switch his team. He is so excited to be a Silver Bullet, I could never convince him to be a Ladybug. Can’t really blame him. The Ladybugs? For soccer? I get that they’re only 4 but come on, call me old fashioned but I don’t think that’s a good name for any sports team at any age. Maybe in the fall we can switch. Gives me plenty of time to lobby for a re-name or to convince J that ladybugs are the. coolest. thing. ever.

I am going to make sure that I talk to his school before they assign him a kindergarten teacher for the fall. I have this information now of how my son best needs to be handled in an instructional setting and you bet your booty I will be doing everything I can to set him up for success. He has his kindergarten/Dial screening on Thursday. I’m not sure if I should let them evaluate him first and see what they have to say without bias or if I should bring it to their attention first. What would you do? Have you been in a similar situation, what did you do? Are you -& I will love you forever for the insider info- someone who does dial testing? Also, I am 100%, undeniably aware that he will most certainly be failing the skipping test. Skipping? Worse than the jumping jacks. He kind of gallops with a little hop thrown in and then finishes it with some kind of weird triple-jump-ish thing. Seriously, if you’re a dial tester & you’re in my area or you know someone who is, make sure you have a video camera rolling. You could probably win the America’s Funniest Home Videos grand prize… But only if you beat out the jumping jacks video I’m getting next week!

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