We have been waiting since he signed up for his first big game. I made sure he ate well all day. I made sure he had a nap. I made sure all his gear was clean and ready to be put on when he woke up from his nap. Maysie had her Flip to record all the fun stuff, Zac had the water bottles ready to go, we all rubbed Sky's magic belly for good luck, D got home a little early so we could all ride together.
Excitement in the Williams household.
Did all that preparation work for me?
Before we left Z told CB he'd have to tuck his shirt in. The little kid's shirts are too long. I had personally hoped they wouldn't have to be tucked in at the age, cause that would be a lot of tucking. But alas it was a rule that must be obeyed for the game. CB almost had a melt down at the house about tucking that shirt in. I had asked Z to just leave him alone I figured once we got to the field I would casually tuck it in and we'd move on.
D casually tucked his shirt in once at the field and all was well in the universe. All the stars lined up properly till CB burst into tears and wanted his shirt untucked.
About this time I was walking up with the cooler full of after game drinks and snacks. I am like what the heck is wrong now? M, Z, D, & CB all at once try to explain to me that CB will not tuck his shirt in. No shirt tucked in = no playing(to put the pressure on).
Z is in shear panic the whole game cause CB isn't going to get to play and CB is sabotaging himself with his pride...it is literally making Z crazy. May is going on about how she can't film him and trying to guilt him. Sky is rubbing it in his face that he is not going to get to have a Capri-Sun drink and fruit roll up by drinking a Capri-Sun drink in his face. CB doesn't care his pride is now firmly cemented. I am embarrassed by his behavior and trying to do the right parenting thing. Secretly on the inside, I want to insist that he get his butt on the field and play like he is supposed too or pull my hair out strand by strand with a pair of tweezer in sheer torture.
To make a hour and a half long story short. I told him we had paid for all that gear and he committed to playing on the team, now Dad had committed to coaching and by golly HE WAS GOING TO TUCK THAT STUPID SHIRT IN EVEN if he sat in the chair on the sidelines.
Which is what he did.
That little boy had determined in his mind that if he had to have his shirt tucked in, he WAS NOT GOING TO PLAY...even if Jesus came back I don't think he would have got up out of that chair, he was so full of himself. Strand by strand I tell you......
Not once did he ask me to get up, not once did he say he would play. He would only convey that I was being mean and he wanted his shirt untucked.
After the game he did not ask for a Capri-Sun or fruit roll up not even in the car on the ride home. D handled the whole thing much better than I thought he would. I thought he would read him the Right Act about his attitude, but he didn't. He conveyed his disappointment and explained how the team had to work harder because he didn't do his part. Explaining how other team members had to be extracted from the opposing team to fill in his spot and relayed what we put down as parents for him to play. When we got home we made him go to his room for a while and then onto bed. He was not happy about that at all.
I conveyed to D that I was proud of him for not losing his temper and handling CB so well. The other kids clapped for him and gave him the standing ovation treatment. They were proud of him too.
In the end though, when I kissed CB goodnight, he was happy. It was as if that evening had never happened and had been erased from his mind.
CB- Goodnight Mommy, I want to give you a kiss on the lips(its his thing).
A- (kiss, big squeezy hug) Okay CB see you in the morning. After tonight we are never going to bring this up again okay. You are going to be expected to do better with out having to be reminded of this day.
CB- I know Mommy. I am going to play next time. I want to play soccer. I'm going to wear my shirt tucked in. (He is telling me these things so easily, they are just flowing out smooth and velvety....I just can't understand why he so happily says them now and so stubbornly refused them just 3 hours earlier.)
A- Okay, sounds good( I give him a big hug and leave)
CB- Go get Daddy and tell him I want a kiss goodnight please.
I tell D.
D and CB have some conversation I can't hear over the air purifier though I am trying so hard to hear it my eyes are squinting for better reception. I can't make it work and move on.
Later that evening, I was conveying to D my severe agitation at having to tuck the dumb shirt in anyway, cause they were too long. To which he said something along the lines of - Thats what's wrong with kids. They aren't made to follow the rules, they make them up as they go along and they expect everyone in life to play along. When kids don't get their way they pride up, people give in and, they learn that if they stomp their feet long enough they get what they demand and don't have to earn it and to heck with respect for themselves or anyone else....the shirt tucked is a principle point about respecting the rules of the game, himself, and his team mates, and his coach. (in a quick nutshell)
I understood that perfectly and it was very valid.
Ugh!! My inability to know how to deal with it publicly was frustrating. It put me on the spot about my child's pride issue. All the peeps in our little family pull their weight pretty good, especially when pressed. Last night Cole did exactly the thing that none of my children have ever done...wait me out and won, while wallowing in pride. I commented to one parent, half joking-half not, that I ought to make him wear his pajamas tucked in to bed tonight. I didn't though...cause he sleeps in his underwear....
I have seen kids do that kind of stuff before, but I had always had the whole "not my kid syndrome." Consistently, CB has been the one who teaches me how to handle parenting skills that I have never had to access before.
I mean it really is a truth that no two kids are the same. Some may come close, but they are not the same. I can see distinct differences in all 4 of my children.
This goes back to me saying 100 times.....
Parenting is freaking hard work!
I have to just keep telling myself.....he's only been alive for 4 years, he is still a super young human with a lot more lessons to learn....
......and teach me about parenting apparently.
Thank you God for grace, I crave it.