The Monkey had his very first flag football game last weekend. He’s that cute one there running with the ball. He didn’t score any points or make any big plays, but he had fun doing it.
And isn’t that the whole point?
So I’m busy looking through my camera lens and the Golfer says to me. “Point your camera at that kid over there. You’re going to want to blog about this.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Just look,” was his only response. Because he was laughing and couldn’t explain. And when the Golfer says I’m going to want to blog about something, I pay attention because it’s probably pretty good.
Now before I go any further, I just want to say that I don’t know this mom or this child that I’m about to expose. I’m sure that she is a wonderful woman and mother and the child is no doubt a total delight. Usually I only use this blog to point out my own flaws as a woman and a mother, but this was too good not to share.
I point my camera to the other end of the field and this is what I see…
The next play is getting ready to start and I see this mom, carrying out her son onto the back field who is kicking and basically throwing a fit. This mom stays out on the field with her small child who CLEARLY does not want to be out there. She stands behind him, putting him in between her legs with her baggie full of treats.
And he suddenly spots the treats and starts to calm down…
…and then the mom stands there during the game and feeds him like some kind of five-year-old baby bird. (i.e., Pavlov’s dog–get him to do what you want by feeding him.) Do you think she’s read anything recently about the child obesity epidemic? Mighty Mite flag football is supposed to be a time to get our kids to run off the calories, not consume extra.
What killed me was that there was an actual football game going on during this whole time. Kids running the ball, pulling flags, and making plays all without their parents feeding them on the field. So what happened when the play started to come his way? The mom grabbed his shoulders and ran him in the direction of the play. And what did the kid do? He started to cry, dug his heels in, and desperately reached for his baggie full of treats.
I’m shocked I was able to take pictures I was laughing so hard.
Now, don’t think I’m mean. Please don’t think I’m awful. But really, I had never seen anything like it (and I’ve seen some parents act like real idiots at these games.)
Yeah, um, I’m not the brightest or the best parent out there, but I would think that if I had to FEED my child throughout a football game to get him to “participate” then the chances are fairly good that he DOESN’T WANT TO PLAY. And as much as we parents want them to play a great game like football, sometimes we have to stop and think that what we want and what the child wants might be drastically different. And that’s okay.
Take the Big Cheese for example. He’s played flag football for the last two years and then this year he decided that he didn’t want to play. We were sad because we love football and we saw his potential. He was our little Rudy Ruettiger. But he simply didn’t want to play. He wanted to take art classes and soccer lessons. So you know what he’s doing? He’s taking art classes and soccer lessons and I don’t have to feed him to make him do it.
God bless this sweet mom for trying, but I don’t see the NFL in this child’s future. I don’t think she couldn’t find a baggie big enough to keep him out there.