Last night's basketball game was hard. On everybody.
First, the two teams were equally matched, so the play was exciting.
Second, there was the girl from the opposing team that crossed herself, and the floor, every time she had a free throw and then proceeded to show what a good Christian girl she was by punching, elbowing, tripping and in general being a bitch to all the girls on our team and made a hand gesture that I didn't approve of to her own coach.
Next was the comedy that was the referees. First ref was not a good ref. He didn't seem to see any of the bad stuff going on. He couldn't even keep up with whose ball it was. It was really unfair. Then, about half way through the first quarter, a second ref shows up. We didn't even know she was there until she started blowing her whistle and cleaning up the action on the court. She was calling fouls right and left. For both teams. But, the first ref didn't much care for that and he kept overriding calls. For example, both refs blew their whistles at the same time. But, because first ref called time out before second ref called foul, the first ref blew off the foul. Over and over, second ref tried to talk to him and he wasn't having nothing to do with it. So, second ref left. Stormed out. Jeez! Can we spell unprofessionalism? I am thinking of writing whoever keeps up with this for the school board because both of these refs deserve to have their work reviewed. But, we all know that only second ref will get in trouble because she behaved the most unprofessionally. Best I can hope for is that if I say something, at least they'll listen to what ref 2 has to say about ref 1 before they fire her.
While the game was going on, we were sitting with the mother of one of Syd's friends. She told us first, a story about shopping for her daughter, buying $300 worth of clothes and bringing it home for her daughter to try on. Now, she's going to take back about $260 worth of it because her daughter didn't like it. She does this because her daughter doesn't like to shop and is not nice while shopping. Hmmm. Interesting concept.
Then, she told another story...her daughter came home and said Sydney was spoiled because she got two pair of shoes for her birthday. Okay, so no mention of the 30% off your total purchase coupon I had that made two pair of shoes practical. No mention of the fact that Syd needed non-athletic shoes for school and athletic shoes for sports. None of the practical aspects were discussed.
So, why was this interesting? The mom gave this as her reply to her daughter: Yes, she got two pair of shoes, but she also has to turn in her phone every night, she only gets computer access when her dads are around, she has to do homework every night and they check it with her, she has an early bed time and has to get up early, even on weekends, she has to go shopping with them... Basically every thing I think we're doing right, she made it sound wrong. That was uncomfortable.
So, I wasn't really in the mood for parenting.
But, that didn't mean I wasn't called on to do it. After the A team, that Syd plays on, lost by 3 points in overtime, my little sportsfan proceeded to weep. And, she wept and wept and held her head down long after the rest of the A team had let it go and gotten into the game. BAD SPORTSMANSHIP. At one point, Rob asked "are you going over there, or shall I?" Just before half time of the B team's game, I got up and walked over there.
"Are you sick?"
"Are you hurt?"
"Then you need to get your head in this game. The other team didn't beat you. The ref did. There's nothing you can do about that. You need to stop acting like a baby and start cheering for your teammates."
And, that's when she rared up and gave me the hate eyes. And, before I could stop myself...
"And, if you give me that look again, this will be the last game you play."
And, knowing that I'd gone as far as I was willing to go in public, I went back to my seat. But, all the other parents treated me wierd. Like moving away from me, and avoiding eye contact wierd. That was very uncomfortable.
And, that eventually stopped the crying. But, it didn't stop the morose/dejected/hate the world/look at my sad red eyes/I'm not happy look that lasted for the rest of the game.
When we were leaving, we were some of the first people out of the gym. I called Syd over to the side, thinking I'd get a moment before the hallway filled up and said:
"Sports is about learning two things. One is how to win. The other is how to lose. You were a bad sport in there. Those other girls screamed their tits off for you when you were playing and you cried through their whole game???"
Rob muttered "that's enough here dear" and we left.
Turned out that "screamed their tits off" was overheard, undoubtedly out of context, by other parents exiting the gym and I got more than one very dirty look. That embarrassed Rob. But, if you ask me, it was my best line of the night.
Anyway, nothing was said on the way home. I had said all I needed and Rob wanted to talk to Syd alone. I walked in on them talking later and I don't know how long they talked or what they said. But, I could hear the rumble of it across the house. He did tell me this morning that one of the things he said to her was that if she couldn't be a good sport, she couldn't play sports.
Rob gave me feedback that maybe I should have taken Syd out of the gym the first time I talked to her. I get that. If I'd been in the stands watching, I probably could have thought of 32 better ways to handle that. But, I wasn't. I was on the court, actively parenting. And, I wasn't ready to hear the feedback. In my own defense, I did pretty good with it, tho. I closed my eyes and thought about what he was saying and didn't say anything back (didn't hurt that I had a toothbrush hanging out of my mouth at the time). Yes, it probably would have gone better if I'd taken her out of the gym. But, I didn't think of that. I can take that in and try to remember it next time.
All I could say to him last night was: Hindsight is 20/20.
We talked about it this morning and I told him what I heard him say and he told me what he meant to say and all is good now. Except that now, we have to teach a girl about sportsmanship. Because, you see, even after I went over there, the coach just patted her on the back and let her keep crying. So, we'll do our job. And, we'll do the coaches job, too. Because we're like that. Rob and I can wear as many hats as we need to.
And, if I'm not doing it right? Well, we have a straight A student that rarely gives us any trouble and can be trusted and does what she is told and with a minimum of grumbling and cleans her own bathroom and makes her bed every day and does her own laundry and is learning to cook and watches the news and can discuss current events and is frequently brought to the blackboard to explain math problems to the class.
I'll put that up against a girl that can't be trusted to behave while shopping. Every time.
Parenting is hard. Good parenting is excrutiating.