Today I went to N's T-ball game. I hated it. Every single, boring, irritating minute of it. In fact, as cute as N. looked in his little uniform, I couldn't wait for it to be over.
For those of you unfamiliar with T-ball, it's pretty much baseball on a stick. They sit a baseball on a large tee, and let the kids hit the ball off the tee.
The really sad part is that most of the kids STILL MISS THE BALL.
I mean, it's on a STICK! It's not moving! There are no curveballs or sliders, it's never high or low, it's stationary.
And they still miss it.
Now me, I think this means that these six-year-olds just aren't developmentally ready for baseball yet. That's okay; they can wait another year, or two, until they are.
Apparently I'm in the minority on that one. Tom thinks it's harmless enough and teaches the kids the most basic principles of how to play baseball: i.e., you try to hit the ball and if you do, you run; you can't throw the baseball at the runner like a dodgeball; the game is played in a diamond shape.
N.'s game took two and a half hours. It was only three innings long. The game is so damn affirming and positive that each kid on each team gets to bat. They can only do three "innings" of this, since there are about 12 kids on each team, so letting each one bat takes about 45 + minutes when all is said and done. (No one keeps track of outs or runs.) In the meantime, the kids in the field are picking dandelions, picking their underwear, picking their noses, and doing just about anything other than trying to catch the ball. Their parents are cheerfully yelling positive, affirming things, like "Great try, Declan!" and "Good hustle, Chase!" (or do I mean "Good chase, Hustle!"?) while the coaches are teaching the kids waiting to bat to singsong "Let's go, Leighton, let's go!" [clap clap], like apathetic -- and slightly demonic -- monks.
The saving grace on N's team is a kid named Daniel. Daniel is the anti-T-ball player. He packs quite a punch of contrariness, does Daniel. When the kids are singsonging for Leighton to get a hit, Daniel singsongs, "Strike out Leighton, strike out!" [clap clap] When it's Daniel's turn to bat and the coach tells him "You're up, Daniel!", Daniel says, "Nope. I don't feel like batting."
"But Daniel, it's your bat!"
"I don't feel like batting right now."
"C'mon, Daniel, the team needs you!"
Studied pause. "Nope."
Best of all, when the "game" is over and the two teams file by each other you can hear Daniel muttering, "Bad game" "Bad game" to each proffered high five that passes by.
Now that's my kind of T-ball player.