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Drawing the Line

Cletus the used to be fetus is now 16 months old. This means he can walk, run, play, jump, climb and generally never stops moving during waking hours, which is great because it's never too early to train this kid for the Olympics according to Big V.

Big V grew up with seemingly no other purpose than to play sports and he's intent on passing this on to his son. I spend our evenings watching V hurl a regulation size football at Cletus's chest in the hopes that sooner or later automatic response will kick in and suddenly his banana smeared chubby hands will grasp that pigskin and snap it back. I kind of feel bad for the boy, but he seems to laugh every time he's knocked down. Now, I've never really played sports - I'm more of the cheering type. (If you count sitting with my friends in the bleachers catching up on the latest gossip "cheering.") - but I still think whipping an object at an innocent child's body in the hopes of turning him into the star quarterback is a bit harsh.

Last night V was out of the house playing basketball with the big boys which provided me the opportunity to teach some sport skills of my own. I decided to teach the boy to kick the soccer ball. That way I would be supporting Big V's sports goals and I wouldn't have to worry about giving the kid a black eye.

After twenty minutes of the toddler laughing at me running around the living room toe tapping a soccer ball Cletus decided to show off his kick. And the kid is good! Like, surprisingly, strangely good. In the "he is actually controlling the ball with his pudgy legs" kind of way. And I, like any giddy mother, started jumping up and down and clapping and squealing about how much of a natural he is and how he is going to be the next David Beckham (but without all the tattoos).

Then reality hit. Soccer? Uh, no. No. No. No. There is just absolutely no way I can allow this.

Soccer games are played in the middle of an open field in the middle of nowhere. And there are no seats. And You have to park your car and walk fifteen miles just to sit on the grass. And they play in the rain. And they have all these crazy tournaments that are hosted two hours away and start at seven o'clock in the morning. On a Saturday! There is just no way I can sit on the ground in the rain at seven o'clock in the morning week after painful week.

It was at that moment I realized I needed to take command of this situation before it got out of hand. I sat the boy down and had a heart-to-heart.

"Hey, buddy... Look! Mama has a cookie! See this good cookie? Mmm! Would you like a cookie?"

Up and down he nodded his little head excitedly.

"You can have this cookie if you promise Mommy to only play indoor sports. Okay? Can you say indoor sports?"


"Innn - doorrrr... yes, indoor sports are good! Just like this cookie!"


"...because Mommy gets really cold very easy and she doesn't like the rain..."


"... but she does like those bleachers in the gym! And she really, really likes that concession stand that sells those yummy nachos!"


"... and while Mommy eats her nachos, you can play basketball, or wrestle.... or even go swimming!!"


I'm pretty confident we have an agreement.


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