Sports parenting chaos: dirt, laundry and a whole lot of yelling

It all started with a mix-up in the scheduling.

Just as I was pulling into the driveway from my daughter’s activity, my son and his dad pull in behind me. They’re on break between baseball games. It’s playoffs, so they’ll probably play at least two games today.

Welcome to sports parenting. We meet and greet in driveways. 😛

Word is they are playing the next game later, at 7 pm. It is now about 2 in the afternoon.

I look at my kid. He’s filthy. But then, what do you expect when they hand 12yo boys a white uniform and they go slide around the bases like their life is dependent on it?

“Strip that stuff off”, I tell my boy. “I’ll wash it in time for the next game.”

He disappears downstairs.

I glance at my phone and there’s several messages on the teamsnap app affirming we’re playing at 7 pm.

Looking for my son, I make my way toward the laundry room. He’s not there. I go to his room and see the filthy uniform hanging on the edge of a drawer.


I pick it up, and throw everything into the wash. I don’t even remove the belt. After all, it’ll be done in 30 minutes and it’s a gazillion degrees outside, the uniform will be squeaky clean and dry in plenty of time.

I head back to the kitchen and I glance at my phone again. Something is nagging me, making me feel like I should not take my eyes off the app.

There are several new messages popped up:

  • We’re NOT playing at 7.
  • That was a mistake, we’re playing at 3:30.
  • Yes, we’re playing at 3:30, be at some far away diamond at 2:30!
  • Don’t forget we do not play at 7, we play at 3:30, make sure you show up at 2:30…


I look around for the son and his dad. They’re trying on new hockey pants. They do not seem aware that the schedule has changed…

“They changed the game time to 3:30, you gotta be there in 15 minutes for warm-up”, I yell and race back down to the laundry room.

In my peripheral vision I see him checking his phone.

Seriously, if I didn’t stay on top of this stuff…

Now my son is panicking.

“My uniform is gone, where did you put it!”

“It’s in the wash”, I reply. “I’ll rinse it out and you can take it damp”…

Huge big panic ensues, and I’m getting pissed off. When I’m mad I yell.  Yelling at my son does not keep my son calm…

This is what it’s like sometimes, being a sports parent. You try to do something nice, and it doesn’t get appreciated. He would have been perfectly comfortable to re-wear the dirty, sweaty jersey, of which he only has one. And I thought, why not take pride in your uniform, wear a clean one if you have one handy…

I should have sat down with my girl and my mom and had a visit instead of worrying about dusty smelly uniform jerseys for all the thanks I get.

Long story short, my quick handling of the soaking wet jersey full of suds left me with a flood on the laundry room floor, and all the yelling I was doing was just getting my kid more agitated. What’s worse, my mom was upstairs listening to the freak show.


Long story short: we hung the damp (and sparkly clean white jersey thank you very much) on a hanger in the car, put the damp belt back into his second pair of clean pants, and he wore his practice jersey for the ride to the diamond. It’s summer, the sun is out, a damp jersey won’t be the end of the world for him.

Geez Luise.

But there is a happy ending. I am currently ALL ALONE in my house. Grandma and girl child left for a sleepover in another town, and the boys went to their baseball game.

This is my luxury, alone time. And it’s only topped only by the fact that the Blue Jays won the series against Pittsburg.


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