Monday, October 15, 2007

What Goes Around Comes Around

Call it Karma. Call it justice. Call it retribution. Whatever you call it, I call it about time. Let me explain.

For over a month now, I’ve been writing about my male-dominated household (MDH) and the experiences I endure while living in my MDH. A lot of the experiences and adventures that occur in my MDH are perpetuated by the big boy of the house, my husband. Once he starts the boys down a path, it is hard to get them to stop. Like, for example, the game of football the boys invented. John throws the ball to them, they catch it, and then barrel at him like a runaway train head first knocking him backwards into the pile of pillows. This is a game that I am expected to play as well, and I just can’t say no to the boys when they turn on the charm. John finds this all pretty amusing. I find it pretty painful.

Last week, I had the pleasure of witnessing fathers finally getting a little taste of what they have been enabling all these years. Jack is on a soccer team made up of first and second grade boys. At practice last week, I watched the dads try to coral the boys, hold their attention, and get them to run practice drills. My first instinct was to help the coaches, to tell the boys to settle down and do what their coaches asked. I looked around at the other moms, who were watching the practice unfold with knowing and somewhat satisfied grins on their faces, and decided the best thing I could do was join the other moms. After all, it’s not often that moms get to witness the tide turn. My only regret was that there weren’t more of the dads trying to help coach so that they could get a little taste of their own medicine. Was that malicious of us? Perhaps. But it sure was fun to watch.

The boys were wrestling, they were chasing each other, they were picking each other up into the air. The small cones used to mark boundaries were used by the boys as weapons. They threw the cones, they hid the cones, they jumped on the cones and tried to crush the cones. While the coaches tried to talk and direct, the boys yelled and chattered and giggled. They tried to keep the balls away from the coaches when the coaches were trying to gather them. I heard coaches say, “Do that again and you’ll have to sit out,” or, “If you’re not listening you need to go sit down,” only to be totally and completely ignored by the boys. The coaches oozed frustration. The moms oozed gratification.

The head coach, Danny, is a poor young sucker that got talked into coaching this team. He does not have kids, and I doubt after this experience that he ever will. He does seem to be gaining a little insight into the workings of boys, however. Near the end of practice, he took the “If you can’t beat them, join them approach,” and set the boys off running back and forth across the field. No balls, no rules, just run as fast as you can for as long as you can. They ran like maniacs. And, of course, while they ran they screamed, and giggled, and tried to trip and tag each other.

A saw a young girl walk up to watch the end of practice. Maybe a sister of one of the boys? She just stood there and shook her head, her own knowing look discernible on her face. We know, honey, we know.

Here is our pillow dive game, invented when Luke was still in diapers. This has been upgraded to football tackle.

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