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I am a softball mom.  Correct that.  I am an angry softball mom.  I’m never angry when I get to the field, but it typically happens pretty quickly.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like watching the Goose play softball.  I like it more when her coach actually lets her play.  Unfortunately, in a small town where everyone seems to be related to everyone, the newcomers sit the bench, regardless of how good they are.  But, that’s not why I’m angry.  Well, that might be part of it.  However, I would get angry when we lived in Brandon and she actually got to play.

I usually go to the field happy.  The Goose is excited to play, and I am excited for her.  I’m typically in a good mood.  I’ve got my folding chair so I don’t have to sit on the hard bleachers, and sometimes, I even remember snacks.  Life is usually good at the ball field.  Then, the talking begins.

Mothers irritate me.  That’s just a general statement about life, but it also applies to the ball field.  I know, I am one, so it’s a contradiction, but they do.  Mothers irritate me.  They talk non-stop, and they act like they know what they are talking about.  At the ball field, this is especially true, and the mothers are accompanied by the fathers.  Ugh.  The only thing that irritates me more than mothers is fathers.

There are two ways the talking annoys me.  First, there’s the cell phone talker.  There’s always one at every game, and it’s always a mother.  If a man’s cell phone rings, he may answer it.  Then, he says, “Uh-huh.  Uh-huh.  Okay. Bye.”  No harm done.  If a woman’s cell phone rings, she answers it.  Then, the talking begins.  When a mom gets on the phone, you can expect at least an hour of, “Uh-huh!  Well, that’s not what she said.  She said he was a jerk. HAHAHAHAHAHA!  I agree, girl!  You’ve got a point there.”  (These are direct quotes from the mom who was on the phone at the Goose’s last game.)  At some point, the people around her will start looking at her, as if to say, “Your child is up to bat.”  Then, the looks turn into sighing, shifting and glaring.  By the end of the phone call, it is usually all I can do to control myself from saying, “JUST!  SHUT!  UP!”  I have so much self control….

The other way the talking annoys me is the constant chatter at the players.  Fact #1:  Most of these parents have never touched a softball (or at least they haven’t touched one since they started being yellow instead of white).  Fact #2:  If most of the parents (me included) tried to run the bases, we would be winded and sweating by second base.  So, for parents to sit there and tell kids how to play drives me absolutely crazy.  They don’t tell us how to file our taxes, so we shouldn’t tell them how to play.  Just sayin’.

The chatter from the parents takes two forms.

The first form is the ugliest.  This is the, “Why can’t you play better?” form.  These are the parents (usually fathers) who are screaming at their kids for not stealing the base or for swinging at a ball that was too high or for not catching a ball.  This chatter will make the hair on the back of my neck stand up faster than anything else.  And, I dare any parent or the coach to direct this form of chatter toward my child.  I will go Mama Bear on them so fast they won’t know what hit them.  I proved this once when the Beetle’s baseball coach yelled at him for not stealing a base, and my response was a full, out of my chair, “WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT MY KID???”  I wrote him an apology email later.  I didn’t really mean it. (The apology, that is.)

The other form of chatter that makes me batty is the stupid phrases that are used at softball (or baseball games).  Last night during the Goose’s game, I started making a list.  There was plenty to choose from.  Here are some of my least favorites…

- “Good eye!”  (This is what they say when a batter chooses not to swing at a ball.  It’s just a dumb phrase.  They have two eyes, not one.  What if they swing at the wrong pitch?  Does that mean they have bad eyes?  And, why must we yell, “Good eye!” when a child chooses not to swing at a ball that is 4 feet above her head?  Does that really require a good eye – or eyes - to be able to see that she shouldn’t swing?)

- “Kid “ (They call the kids, “Kid.”  Why??  Don’t these children have names for a reason?  If we know their names, why not call them by their names?)

- “Eat it!” (This is the term they use when the pitcher should hold the ball.  It just gets on my nerves.  I have no explanation.)

- “Way to go, 1. 2.”  (They call them by their number but have to simplify the numbers.  I guess anything over 9 is too hard for them, so instead of 12, they say, “1.  2.” Again, don’t these children have names for a reason?)

- “Let her pitch to you.”  (This is what they say when telling a player to wait for the ball to come to them.  However, isn’t the whole point of the pitcher to pitch to the batter?  That’s why the batter is standing there, right?)



-"Hefty Lefty" (On behalf of all lefties in the world, I am offended.)

- “Only swing at the strikes”  (Well, duh.)

- “Wait for your pitch.”  (Why else is the batter standing at home plate?)

- “Way to get a piece of it.” (They say this when the player tips the ball but does not get a good hit.  It just gets on my nerves in large proportions.)

I told you I was angry.  I don’t know why these things irritate me so badly.  It must be in my genes, because they irritate my mother too.  When she is at a game, she and I sit there and roll our eyes together every time someone says, “Good eye!”

Now that I have confessed this, I feel better.  Of course, I have to hope no one from the softball league reads my blog.  Otherwise, they will know how much they are irritating me.

I must say, though, that I really can’t complain too much.  At least these parents (other than the cell phone talker) know what is happening in the game.  Mr. Everything keeps score pretty regularly, and many times, he’ll ask me, “Was that a strike or a ball?”  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to admit I wasn’t even paying attention.  As I sit there watching the game, my brain goes into hibernation.  There have even been times I accidentally cheered for the other team.  I’m sure the other parents roll their eyes at me just as often as I roll my eyes as them. 



By the way, on an unrelated topic, why haven't I made any friends at the ball park?  -Al

 


Comments

10/16/2013 11:54am

Alison you crack me up. You have described my sister to a T. My nephew played baseball from the time he was old enough to hold a bat until he was too old for little league. My brother-in-law always coached the team (making my sister the team mom). My family would all sit to the side rolling our eyes at my sister. The ones who made me the maddest were the dads that would curse out their kids for not playing good enough. The last year my nephew played there was a boy on the team that would curse out his dad for cursing him out. I actually got into it with a mother the last year. Her son was a bully. Picked on the other kids on the team, thought he didn't have to listen to the coach etc... The coach benched him and so the mother sat behind the batter ridiculing each one as they got up to bat. When it got to my nephew the first word she said got me so mad I stood behind her and basically let her know if she didn't shut her mouth I would shut it for her and her son would not play another game all season. I got several pats on the back and atta girls out of it. Needless to say she shut her moth. ( the coach also kicked the boy off the team and the league band his family from ever coming back to the field.)

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notyouraverageal
10/16/2013 10:35pm

All in the name of a children's game. Gotta love it...

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Deb
10/16/2013 12:49pm

Lots of laughs. At least you could make a poster that says, "If you are here to watch your child's game, why not UNPLUG?". I am seeing a lot more about UNPLUGGING at the dinner table, when out to eat, at weddings etc. etc.. That new commercial of everyone taking their kids' pictures at an elementary school play is pretty hysterical. Been there and done that....I did have my big camera, but really, an iPAD is huge when held up to make a photo and even worse when making a video. That screen can block two heads from seeing nicely. Hey, write something about that! Love your blogs!

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notyouraverageal
10/16/2013 10:36pm

Okay, I can't preach too loudly about unplugging at the games. I have been known to have my laptop there you know.... I try not to do that during a game if I can help it, but I work a lot when she is at practice. Well, I did in Brandon. My cell phone's internet stinks here, so I can't. (Yet another reason I am excited to be back in Brandon!)

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Meg
03/07/2014 12:23pm

I'm so guilty of some of this. Both the cliche phrases and the angry softball mom. Usually I get stuck with the score book and that helps me shut my mouth. I have been hyper aware of my yelling tendencies. I sit through pitching lessons and practices with my kid and I want to give her reminders to help her stay on track. I know she wants to throw strikes. I know she wants to hit it over the fence. She can be harder on herself about her performance than anyone, including the coach. It is this awareness that has me on the path of only yelling during practices and not games. Games and tournaments are tough enough without my adding to it. Now I give her hand signals. Ones we worked out between us. She appreciates my not yelling. I appreciate that she looks to me for support.

Great blog entry, by the way! ;)

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