T-Ball And Base Running

Do you know what we are working on in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade PE right now?

Kickball.

More specifically, we are working on WHICH WAY DO WE RUN THE BASES, followed closely by HOW DO WE GET A PLAYER OUT, WHEN WE’RE IN THE FIELD?  If you think this is easy, then you should also know that I asked the art teacher today, “Where is your blender for making paper mache?  I need to make margaritas.”

Five-year-old children may be born with the instinct to yell, “He cut in front of me in line!  He cut!  He cut!” but they are NOT born with any instincts that tell them to run from home plate to first base.  Most of them think they can run like baby squirrels, being chased by a neighborhood cat, zig-zagging between home plate and second base, and over to third, and back to second, and loop around first, and back to home, and then run to third base twice.

It’s why America had a need for headache medicine and employed people in laboratories to create Tylenol.

But, it’s kickball season in my gym, because I like to save the very best activities for the end of May, when all any teacher wants to do is show movies, clean the coat closet of all lost and found, and buy the enormously huge coffee drinks from Starbucks.

May at school translates into ALL THE TEACHERS ARE HEAVILY CAFFEINATED.

Anyway.

My own five-year-old is learning to run the bases in the right direction, too, because he had his very first T-Ball practice last night.

It went every bit as well as my PE classes went this week.  At the end of practice yesterday, Thing 2’s coach sighed, “Oh.  My.  Lands.”  I patted her on the back and said, “You did just fine,” even though what I wanted to say was, “YOU HAD SIX KIDS AT PRACTICE TONIGHT, AND I HAD FIFTEEN KINDERGARTEN KIDS DOING THIS IN THE GYM TODAY, FOLLOWED BY FOURTEEN FIRST GRADERS DOING THIS, SO IF ANYONE GETS TO SIGH AND SIGN UP FOR A WINE OF THE WEEK CLUB, IT’S ME!”

Thing 2 has never played T-Ball before, and Hubs and I were a bit worried that baseball may not have enough FULL CONTACT in it for our second son’s liking.  Baseball involves a lot of waiting on other kids to bat… and waiting on other kids to field the ball when it doesn’t come to you… and waiting on other kids to throw the ball in to the pitcher.  Thing 2 prefers a sport that involves a lot of NOT WAITING AROUND, as well as a sport that involves a lot of HERE.  LET ME YANK YOUR LEGS OUT FROM UNDERNEATH OF YOU AND TACKLE YOU TO THE GROUND, AS I TRY TO GET A TURNOVER.  However, our boy filled the long waiting periods with some break dancing moves, straight out of the late 1980s, as well as some old-fashioned somersaults and karate kicks to the air.

In other words, he did fine.

When the kids first arrived at practice, their coach made the six of them introduce themselves and tell the team what their favorite food was.  Thing 2 barged in and went first.  He let everyone know his name, and that his favorite food was a sucker, and preferably a BLUE sucker, but he’ll take a GREEN ONE if that’s all that’s offered.

The second kid announced that he loved chili.  Thing 2 popped right up off the bleacher and yelled, “Chili?  THAT IS DISGUSTING!!!  How can you love chili for a favorite food?!”

Hubs and I have talked about getting him counseling for his shyness and his inability to speak in front of a crowd, due to his fear of public speaking.

The kids started with some running, which turned into races.

Five guesses on which of the six kids won all three of those running races across the field.

Also?

Five guesses on which of those six kids may have grabbed another boy’s arm to yank him backwards, so that he could shoot out in front of him.

Jesus loves him anyway, and so does his mama.

Thing 2 decided that batting was his favorite part of T-Ball, because why wouldn’t it be?

Doesn’t everyone like to bat better than they like to chase balls that other people have batted?

The coach worked on catching with the little peanuts on her team, too.

Hubs and I threw the ball around with Thing 2 for a bit, as parents were encouraged to come out and throw with their own kids, in a plea for help from the coach.  We couldn’t convince our preschooler AT ALL that it’s actually okay to move your arm around a little bit, and maybe move the glove to the ball, because the chances of a teammate throwing a ball into your mitt, while you stand there perfectly still with it held out, is basically ZERO AT THIS AGE.

In other words, Thing 2 held his mitt straight out and expected me or Hubs to make a basket into his glove with the ball.

Our little man got fairly good at running the bases.

By fairly good, I mean Thing 2 ran to the bases, stopped at each one, did a little jig of some kind on the actual base, threw himself to the ground in an effort to slide into each base, and then sat on each base for good measure, to declare to the world that he was INDEED, SAFE.

His base running could be featured on Dancing With the Stars: The Break Dancing Episode.

All in all, it was a successful practice.

Except for the kid who got his feelings hurt over liking chili.

On the drive home, I asked Thing 2 if he liked T-Ball.  He said, “Well, it’s not as great as hockey and soccer, but I liked it.  And next time, Mom, I’m just going to be the batter.  I’m going to just bat the whole time, while I make all the other kids chase my power hits.  My power hits were the best ones on the whole team.”

Shh!!  Don’t tell him, but they weren’t.  There’s a five-year-old little guy on our team who hits like Babe Ruth.  It probably has everything to do with the fact that his dad is one of our high school’s baseball coaches.  No matter.  When Thing 2 gets counseling for his shyness and fear of public speaking, we’re also going to ask the therapist to work with him on his low self-esteem.

Y’all have a lovely Wednesday evening.

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