Saturday Soccer

My ten-year-old loves to play soccer. I love to go and watch her, but there always seems to be some sort of excitement while we’re there. Sometimes, it’s caused by the game. More often, the cause is something entirely unrelated.

While ten-year-old was waiting to get her team photo taken before the game, my younger two girls were playing on the playground. Three-year-old seemed a little “off”, but I thought she was just tired. She just wasn’t moving much. I remembered, too late, that I hadn’t had her go potty before we left. Just as I remembered that, I saw her doing the little girlie dance. Soccer is at a school which is all locked up on Saturdays. It’s also at least ten minutes away from our house, too far to make it. They way she was dancing I knew I had thirty seconds, tops. So, I had to help her with the time honored tradition of learning to go en plein air.

None of these were available...

None of these were available…

If you’re a woman, you know how awkward peeing in the great outdoors can be. You have to master the squat, get your pants down just right, and avoid the dreaded shoe spatter. All of these are important life skills. I hauled my three-year-old to a hidden corner with a dumpster and a nearby pile of unswept leaves. My apologies right now the maintenance staff of the school, but when you’ve got to go… I told three-year-old I would simply take off her shorts, shoes and socks, and she would pretend to sit on an imaginary toilet and go potty. Thankfully, my daughter has a good imagination. Also thankfully, I decided her aim might not be so good. If I hadn’t removed everything on her bottom half, we would have had a full body change on our hands. After some wipes and hand sanitizer from the van, we went back to the playground.

Six-year-old was still playing, but soon she stopped and said, “Mom, I have to go to the bathroom.” Really? Two in ten minutes? I hauled this child back to the same corner,but found a dry spot this time and told her to squat. She wouldn’t. This child refuses to use the great outdoors as her outhouse. She simply won’t learn this life skill. I told her there was no other option. Her big blue eyes started to fill up with tears, but she still wouldn’t do it. She told me, “I can hold it, Mommy.” This is my child of the tiny bladder. I reminded her that the game was just about to start but would be an hour long. She would have a long wait. She doggedly stuck to her assertion, so we went to watch the game. I was secretly thinking I’d have a wet child, a wet lap, and a wet camping chair, but I figured one of the other moms could probably take ten-year-old home if necessary.

My ten-year-old and her team fought hard. She’s small but tenacious. She took on a girl who is about three inches taller than I am and probably outweighs me by about forty pounds. I am not exaggerating. My ten-year-old barely tips the scale at 60 pounds and is the shortest in her grade. She and the girl on the opposing team were both going for the ball at the same time. The opposing player pushed her and, no surprise, my ten-year-old totally toppled onto the ground. The opposing player got called for her push. (Thank you ref.)

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The coach of the opposing team started screaming, “That is so unfair! Just because she’s the baby she gets the call! The redhead was pushing first!” In fact, my redhead was not pushing first and I am always appalled at what some adults are teaching kids by their outrageous behavior. It took all my self-control not to go all Mama Bear on the coach and punch him in the nose. But then, I wouldn’t have been teaching such good things. As it was, I sat quietly, didn’t say anything, and let my daughter’s playing do the talking.

Half time came and I helped three-year-old on the monkey bars. While she was finishing the last rung, she managed to stick her finger up my nose.

“Eww!” I said.

“I just picked your nose!” three-year-old laughed. She repeated that several times.

“We don’t pick other people’s noses,” I said, once again marveling at what had come out of my mouth.

“But I liked picking your nose, Mom,” three-year-old said, “Your nose has boogers.” Thanks, honey.

My nose was at least as displeased.

My nose was at least as displeased.

The end of the game came and my daughter’s team lost their first game this season. I was proud of her and her team because they had fought hard and played well. The score never matters. On the way to the van six-year-old said, “See Mom, I did hold it the whole time!”
I had entirely forgotten she even had to go. We made it home and even had a dry booster seat. Soccer Saturday is never boring.

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