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disorganized activities

Posted Apr 27 2009 10:38pm

Another delightful morning at soccer.  Honestly, my kids and their lack of willingness to participate in organized activities of any kind has me at the end of my rope.

We have a long line of failed attempts to participate behind us.  Big rocked Gymboree for several months, until he got old enough to just toddle out when he was sick of it.  The last time we went (he was about 15 months old), I "redirected" him five, count 'em, FIVE times to get him back to the class but he wasn't having any of it.

Thinking it was time for a chance of pace, I signed us up for The Music Class.  By this time, Middle had arrived and I deluded myself into thinking I would strap him in the Bjorn and he would blissfully nap (as most newborns are wont to do) while Big and I danced and sang with glee.  Instead, Big, who had by now gotten the hang of leaving when he was sick of stuff, kept leaving and Middle screamed through every session.  The musically inclined but not-so-kid-friendly teacher glared at us on a weekly basis and we ended up dropping out and eating the costs of half a semester of Music Class, which you know is not cheap.

Thinking these classes were maybe too structured, we waited a year and a half and then signed the boys up for loosely organized soccer league specially designed for toddlers - no games, just drills and a good time.  Nope, didn't work out either.

Beaten down, we went on an activity hiatus for two years.  Middle is now almost 4 and defying all laws of genetics by showing actual athletic promise, despite his parental lineage.  So we headed back to soccer (a real league this time), which he is actually decent at - when he will participate.  After a hellish rocky start to the season where hubby basically held his hand through every game and practice and bribed him to participate with snacks, he fell into a decent pattern.  We've had a good run of maybe 3 decent practices/games and the season has become (dare I say it) FUN!

So this past Saturday we eagerly packed everyone up bright and early (by our weekend standards) and headed to the soccer fields for the 9 am game.  It went pretty well until we got out of the car, and then it all went downhill so fast.  Big, who is not all that heat-resistant, immediately started complaining about heat and hunger, despite the fact that we had JUST left the breakfast table.  Middle refused to set foot on the field despite numerous attempts by the Coach's daughter to bribe him with stickers.  Baby was happy at first, but sensing that he was being left out of Complain-Fest 2009, quickly manufactured some needs seemingly related to boredom and sleep.  Hubby and I cajoled, pleaded, and commanded, to no avail.  The final straw was when someone kicked over my coffee, which I hadn't even sipped yet.  The fighting spirit immediately drained out of me and we packed up and headed home.

Having encountered many other similarly beleaguered (mostly Baby Bunching) friends on the fields, I ask myself "Why?"  Why do we as parents continue to beat our heads against the wall day after day trying to expose our kids to activities and outings when they insist on working against us instead of with us?  I've finally decided that it's because no matter how difficult it may be to take them out, it's easier than staying home and at least you get a change of scenery while your children assault you.

I am convinced that one of these days, as they get older, it will get easier.  Please tell me it's true.

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