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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Runaway Baby, ADD Dad, and Funnel Cakes

Today started out okay.  I took Jackie to her first soccer practice.  I am also the coach of her team.  Now I never, ever thought I would be a coach.  When the director of this program (Upward) called me to ask if I could help out with coaching, I reluctantly said "yes."  What did I get myself into?  Eh, I'm just an assistant coach so it can't be all that bad, right? So, this week I received an updated roster of the players and I had to call and introduce myself and provide information. Okay, no problem, that's what an assistant is for, right?  Uh huh.  Right.  Well, last night I just happened to look at the top of the roster where the coaches names were listed.  I see Head Coach checked off and I see assistant coach.  Next to Head Coach?  I see my name.  MY NAME!  And I didn't notice this until last night. Okay now, when I got the call from J, I was asked if I could help.  Either I am really deaf or maybe I was in denial or maybe J just didn't bother to say HEAD coach to me. I reluctantly agree to HELP because nobody else could do it except one other parent who also agreed to help.  So, off I went, nervous as could be, to coach Jackie's team.  It wasn't too bad although I'm still not too thrilled about having all the pressure on me.  Thankfully, these are little kids who have not played previously so we will all learn together.  I played soccer as a youth and loved the game but it has been a very long time and I really don't remember all the rules.  Come to find out, though, Upward has slightly modified rules to take the pressure of winning away from the little kids.  Cool.
After practice, Jackie and I went over to the rental house where Tim was already hard at work working around the house.  After I got lunch for everybody, I tackled the upstairs.
After I ran a couple of errands, I went back to our home to start dinner preparation.  While doing so, Tim came in with Ben and said he was going to go ahead and take Ben into the shower with him.  Good, that was one less ordeal for me tonight.  While the boys showered, I continued working on dinner in the kitchen.  Tim stayed in the bedroom to watch TV until dinner was done and I thought Ben was with Tim.  Dinner was nearly done when Jackie started calling out for Ben and looking for him.  I asked Jackie if Ben might be in his room.  No was her reply.  So, I quickly looked in all the bedrooms and Ben was nowhere to be found.  I looked out the front door and there is the neighbor girl, Taylor, carrying Ben up to our door.  Taylor said that Ben was just sitting on her family's front porch.  Just sitting there all by himself until Taylor came outside and discovered Ben.  Ben somehow sneaked out the front door, in just his blue underwear, and walked over to the neighbor's house to just hang on their porch.  By himself.  I think I have scar tissue around my heart from the many times that Ben has caused my heart to stop with his antics.
After dinner, Tim wanted to take us to the Mascoutah Homecoming.  Apparently, Tim had promised Jackie earlier in the day that he would take her there.  Okay, so while I'm cleaning the kitchen, Tim starts to get Ben changed and into some street clothes.  After I finish the kitchen duties, I proceeded to gather the kids' shoes.  I looked in Ben's room and there he is, standing on his bed... in just a pull-up.  Hmm, I thought Tim got Ben into some clothes.  I noticed Ben's pull-up looked sort of... lopsided and lumpy in front?  On further inspection, I noticed that Tim had put the pull-up on in such a way that the waist band was used as one leg hole and a leg hole was used as a waistband.  I just had to roll my eyes.  Was it not obvious to Tim that something was wrong with this picture?  Then I put street clothes on Ben.  During the time while I corrected Ben's pull-up and clothed him, I asked Ben if he disrobed himself or did Daddy just leave him that way?  Of course, Tim was oblivious.  I just had to roll my eyes again.  This ADD stuff?  Is not so fun in a marriage.  So we get to the homecoming, which is actually a fair with all the carny rides and bad food and redneck music.  Not my cup of tea but eh, it was a family outing.  We let the kids ride a ride and Jackie and I shared an Italian ice.  Now, I appreciate Tim wanting to do something like this as a family outing but gee, his ADD issues need serious attention.  There are reasons why I don't enjoy doing this type of thing even as a family.  Soon after we got there, we were walking around when Tim suddenly smells BBQ.  He quickly said that he'll catch up with us and he disappeared. He didn't even give me a chance to say anything.  I was contending with Ben getting out of the stroller while trying to share the Italian ice with Jackie.  And Tim didn't have his phone with him.  Why does he even bother with having a cell phone?  I looked around to see where Tim might have gone and a few moments, I decided to head toward the ponies with the kids.  Jackie asked about riding the ponies but when I saw how much it cost for a ride that was probably less than a minute, I balked.  No way was I paying $4 per kid to ride on a little pony around a tiny circle.   Mean mommy, I know.  Then we head toward another area where there some antique tractors on display.  All of a sudden, there was the loud noise of a tractor engine starting and Ben tried to run away to hide.  Thankfully, I was able to keep him in my line of vision and I tried to reassure him.  Soon after that, the fabulous Tim showed up... sans BBQ.  But he did invest in a bag of Kettle Corn.  Right after he found us, Tim starts walking ahead of me... eating his kettle corn without a care in the world.  In the meantime, I am still trying to reassure Ben and I have Jackie whining in the stroller.  On top of that, the stroller was becoming more difficult to push because we were on crushed rock by this time.  This was just the first of many times that Tim would just walk off ahead of me and the kids. Both of the kids would then run and try to catch up with their dad while I tried hard to keep them in my line of vision.  This ADD stuff is starting to cause me a little more stress again.   Finally, Tim stopped long enough to buy tickets for each of the kids to ride one ride.  The kids enjoyed it and Ben sobbed when it was his time to get off the ride.  As we were leaving, Jackie started having a meltdown.  Over what?  We weren't quite sure.  She wasn't making sense.  But I have to say that Tim handled Jackie tonight very well.  I'm proud of him.
Now I need to list a few reasons why I don't care for these type of events:
1. I think the rides at these events are cheesy and they're too expensive.  I mean, gee, the cheapest ride for the kids was $2 per kid and the ride lasted for maybe a minute.  Maybe two.  But no more.  Some of the rides were $4 per kid, including that cutsie pony ride.
2. I don't like all the dust.  I know, that's no reason to keep the kids away from there.
3.  Smokers.  Ugh, I cannot tolerate that tobacco smell. At. All.  And I think those who cannot even put down a cigarette for 30 second in order to safely strap their kid into a ride, well, I just think they are very irresponsible and are risking serious injury to the kid.  I witness this lady putting her kid upon the same ride we put Ben on.  She strapped the kid in while at the same time holding that dang cigarette between her fingers.  The fingers on the very same hand that she was using to adjust the ride strap.  Now that?  The cigarette was less than an inch away from this kid's body.  Thank god I was never drawn to that garbage.
4.  I think fairs and such are huge rip-offs.  Not only are the rides expensive, but the food is, too.  And it's bad food.  No wonder there is such an epidemic of obesity.  I mean, deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried candy bars, deep-fried dough, deep-fried onion, deep-fried everything.
5. Another reason fairs are such rip-offs?  Well, if you look around, one must realize that not everybody there is truly able to afford it.  If you think about, for the money spent on the food, the ride tickets, the cheesy crafts, well, one is better off visiting an amusement park where you pay an inclusive price for an entire day at the park.  In fact, some parks are now offering a meal plan in addition to entrance ticket.
I find it very sad that some of those people are forgoing paying their rent or their utility bill in order to enjoy an expensive night at a Podunk, redneck fair while dining on artery clogging food. Now I'm not referring to those who enjoy that occasional treat but it should be just that, an occasional treat.
Now having said that, I'm looking forward to indulging in a funnel cake at Holiday World in a couple of days.  But I'm limiting it to one, so no worries.  I've been working too hard to get into shape.  And I know portion control.  

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