When Aidan was a toddler, he was nicknamed Chicken-Bone because like many kids, he loved to gnaw on the bone when we ate chicken wings. He no longer gnaws on bones....actually, he won't even touch them I don't think, but he still loves chicken, usually...ok, when it looks like a yellow dinosaur and is dressed in ketchup.
At any rate, Kurt recently renamed him "the Family Snail." Now, that sounds like a mean thing to call your kid but have you ever heard of the unhurried child? How about a dawdling child? How about the "hey-mom-if-I-move-slow-enough-maybe-I-can-get-you-to-bash-your-head-against-that-wall-for-the-tenth-time-today" child? You have? Great! That is Aidan. He makes Eeyore look like a bursting ball of fast twitch muscle. It isn't that he is inherently slow, that he can't actually move fast, he just chooses not to....ever...it's like he is up against the world and gosh darn it, he will......not.......speed........up........to........make..............that............green..........light..........doh...... missed it......again
Anyway, this quality of Aidan's, this lack of ambition to move faster than an ameba, became painfully obvious today at his first T-Ball game. I could see the frustration mounting in the overly zealous coach's eyes about the third time Aidan missed catching the ball during warm ups. And he walked soooo slowly, on his knees, to retrieve it, and then even slower back to his place and then, at about the pace of a dying whale, he drew his arm back and did something that resembled a throw in the right direction, kind of....and there is the coach's grandson, the superstar of the team, (I think he plays for the Angels during school breaks....) pitching...side-armed....curve balls.
Well, in Aidan's defense, I had asked the coach if maybe he could help Aidan with his throwing before the game and the coach dismissed me saying, "Oh, that will take some work." And I didn't know what he was talking about, I mean, they never would have seen the red bouncy ball in the tree, on the other side of the field, almost out of sight from the ball park, during the last practice had Aidan not leisurely wandered in that direction while the other kids excitedly ran to the tee to practice batting.
"Aidan, what are you doing way over here?" I had asked him once I caught up.
"Mom, look! I found a red ball! IN A TREE!" He had exclaimed.
At least he has good eye sight?
Oh yeah, the t-ball game. So, there we are at the baseball field, which I am apparently allergic to. (My nose and eyes outran Aidan by about 3 laps.) Lily and Madeline have decided that playing in the chest deep grass behind the diamond is a great idea (you know, because snakes couldn't live in there right?) And blessed little Liam slept...for about 5 minutes...until he decided that screaming would be much more productive to getting fed....and, over the sound of my one month old shrieking eel, I ask the team mom (whose kid happens to be Superstar) how long (SNEEZE) the games (SNIFF) usually are (DOUBLE SNEEZE) and she happily announces that they are either 4 innings or an HOUR AND A HALF depending on which comes first.... ARE THEY OUT OF THEIR FRICKIN' MINDS? I mean seriously, we are talking about a group of 5 year olds! And I have 4 little kids! And allergies! And Kurt can't make 4:00 games and my kid makes a dead bunny appear zippy, and oh my gosh, what have I gotten us into? Panic sets in until I glance at the field and remind myself we are doing this for our pokey little puppy...(who happens to have a great disdain for sports....especially ones he has to play...why are we doing this again?)
So, the game seems to be going smoothly. It almost looks pretty good I would say. And then, it's Aidan's turn to bat. He hits the ball on his first try and oh, I am feeling all proud of him for doing so well. It was a solid hit might I add and Aidan made sure of it, as he stood there, at home plate, holding his bat, watching (my pride slowly leaking away...). And then, after about the 3rd time the coach yelled at him to run, he dropped the bat and did just that....straight after the ball, into the middle of the infield! And man, he was pretty quick, for the Family Snail. But fortunately, once they redirected him to first base, he made it safely there. (Of course, this was totally due to the fact that about 5 of the players on the opposing team had all jumped on the ball and were wrestling their way out of the dog pile to see who would come up and throw it, about 10 feet over the first baseman's head. And also because no matter whether you get there before the ball or not, you still get to stay and run the bases.) But safe is safe. GO AIDAN!
Running to second base brought on similar challenges as he wasn't exactly sure where it was. (The base coach told him to run and he again started toward the pitchers mound.) BUT, I am happy to say that by the time it was his turn to run to third base he had the hang of it. But that poor kid playing shortstop....he took an elbow to his head because he was in Aidan's path....and by golly, if he is running, you had better not get in his way. He may not be the fastest out there, but neither is a bulldozer...
And sadly, as he ran from third to home (only because he was being pushed by 2 other teammates piled behind him) I think he actually enjoyed slowing down (maybe so that he could leave a trail of slime behind him?) and walking across the plate while the coach physically held the other kids back so they didn't push him out of the way. Perhaps "snail" was too generous. Perhaps we ought to have gone with something less, um, alive...But perhaps there is a lesson here about life. Maybe that red ball in the tree on the other side of the park has more to do with happiness then being a superstar ball player. I know it does to Aidan. And in the long run, slow and steady sometimes does win the race.