It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most that the Maiden is incurably girly. She will wear pants under duress (or under a dress), but princesses, fairies, ballerinas, waitresses (think Princess Tiana), cheerleaders, and other entities that involve pretty hair and the possibility of poufy skirts figure prominently in her daily make-believe.
Now I am all for girliness myself. I love clothes, shopping, and shopping for clothes. I change my hair color every few weeks. And pedicures make me smile. However, being the admirable parent that I am (and hoping to avoid last summer’s fiasco, in which the Maiden refused to go outside because she might dirty her dress, and would not countenance the thought of changing to pants), I decided to try to broaden her interests. I attempted to introduce her to the wide world of sports.My description of baseball piqued the Maiden’s curiosity (an activity that doesn’t involve wearing a dress is quite the novelty in this house), and she determined she’d like to play on a team this summer. I was delighted. For all my pink-ness, I’d umpired t-ball for years, and played baseball right through my teenage years and in law school as well. I signed her up for the kiddie t-ball league, and planned my strategy.
Sunday last was Day 1 of the Sports Experiment. I took the Maiden to Target for the Great Buying Of The Baseball Glove (and $35 worth of other stuff we didn’t need). She was enthralled, and chose (of course) a tiny pink glove. I persuaded her that her “too-big” hand made her look like a “real sports girl.”
The real sports girl, tingling with excitement and utter sportsness, then proceeded to parade through the aisles at Target, proclaiming to passers-by that she was wearing a “football hand”.
So much for the career in the major leagues.
In the car, it got better. I realized there might be a little sports confusion, to which I had probably contributed by reading her Angelina Ballerina instead of Angelina the Shortstop. Therefore, I laboriously outlined the finer points of the game. Did she understand? Of course she did! But Mommy, when do they kick the ball?
Um…I’ll have to check the rule book on that one.
Now, we’re less than a week away from her first game. The Maiden can’t catch. In fact, she thinks it’s funny when the ball rolls by her. Oooh look, I missed it! Tee hee hee. She has a good arm, but has an unfortunate tendency to aim the ball in the direction of the head, particularly when the intended recipient has gone back to pruning the hedges. Part of the problem is that she’s very strong– so her teacher told me. Yes, Maiden’s Teacher, I am the one whose arm nearly gets dislocated every time I need to drag my unwilling daughter away from whatever purchase she wants to make and I don’t. I definitely know she’s strong.
However, she can hit the ball, and hard. Impressively so (just ask my right knee). Unless, of course, she forgets to hold the proper end of the bat. And unless she stands with her back to the tee. And unless she gets distracted by the antics of her imaginary puppy, Krypto.
I think she was switched at birth.
Yet despite it all, I willingly and happily pay $70 to sit in the hot sun once or twice a week all summer to see her games. And why? It’s side-splitting. Who wouldn’t want front-row seats at the most hilarious comedy act on earth, starring my kid and her possibly equally hopeless teammates?
I can’t wait til soccer starts up in the fall.