Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Blessing of the Bribe

Every other Sunday the kids play indoor soccer. It's their first real team sport they've had the chance to play together. I love the fact that it's indoor so the weather is never an issue. It's also nice that both boys are on the same team. I know just by reading some of your blogs that the day will come when one child needs to be around the corner and the other somewhere in Timbuktu.

So we finally wake up to nice weather here in PA. The high should be around 67. No wind storms. I hate to admit it, but the last place I wanted to be today was indoors. It was just too nice. Apparently that is exactly what some of the other parents were thinking as well, because they didn't even bother to show up (that included the coach, but we'll excuse him since his wife just had a baby).

So there we were with all but six kids ages 4-6 ready to play a game of soccer. It's amazing how much energy one can start with and how quickly it dwindles after you realize you will not be getting a break (since all the subs were too busy enjoying the nice sunny weather).

Right about the 25 minute mark is when we began to notice one child at a time turning into blubber. It was as if we asked them to cross a desert in one hour without food or drink. You could see parent after parent trying to make deals with their little ones. From Happy meals to dollars for each goal scored. They gave it hell. (The kids did too)

I'd like to tell you they won, but the truth of the matter is that they win every week. See, we're in that non-competitive league where everyone wins every game. The idea is to spend this time teaching the children the rules of the game and the importance of teamwork. Next year they get to learn the truth and have their hearts pulled from their chest when they find out there can only be one winner. (I wonder if Happy Meals will still work?)


Del or Alice Patterson said...

I remember those days fondly. My oldest that were able to play soccer are now 35 and 32. So much fun (I say now). I wish my youngest child, who has williams syndrome, could have had the same memories.

Kathy B! said...

It starts as fun and games and they learn quite quickly that it's hard work!

I think bribes are the cornerstone of parenting... and I think there's nothing wrong with it. Why do people go to work? Mostly for the money. That's a bribe, too :)