Yesterday I woke up to my teamsnap app exploding on my phone. So many messages…
That evening was to be the last regular season game for my daughter’s baseball team. I thought everything was in order…but, a kind parent alerted me to the fact that the umpires were scheduled to go to a different location than the one on our schedule, and if we don’t alert them immediately we’ll have no umps that night.
I volunteer on that team as a scheduler. I schedule the players and the games, but not the umps. I vaguely remember having a conversation about this with the head ump scheduler…
I scrolled back through my communications while brewing coffee and saw that he did receive, and acknowledge my message for the change. He must have meant to change it, but didn’t.
My bad for not double checking. We’re all in that brain fry moment where the end of everything, and summer vacation, is looming and long story short, shit happens. To all of us.
After I had my first coffee I fixed everything, texted, emailed and updated everyone everywhere, and breathed a sigh of relief.
(While this was going on I was also fixing breakfast and making lunch for the kids. Last week of school…)
That’s when I injured myself.
So that’s two things in one day. And it was only 9 am… 😶
While struggling with my wrist, the girl child left for school.
“Mom, drop my lunch at school later, when you have time!” she yelled halfway out the door.
Crap. I started her lunch but didn’t finish and she probably didn’t notice in time to finish it herself.
“Sure’, I said. “I’ll bike out, it’ll give me some much needed exercise after all the drama on teamsnap.”
I did that later in the morning, after several cups of coffee and a blissful shower. I made some rounds and returned other stuff I had collecting on the bench in the hall to some neighbours.
It was nice, biking around the neighbourhood. Must do this again.
By the time I got home it was only 10:30 am. I have a lot of hours of alone time left until they all come home, I thought to myself.
At 11, the phone chimed.
Pick me up, now! the girl child texted.
Ring, the phone went.
Why is she calling me? She knows I don’t answer the phone.
Riiiiiiiiiiing Riiiiiiiiiing, the phone went again.
“Mommy, you have to pick me up now! I’m sick!” she yelled into the phone.
I drive the van out and found her in the office, holding back tears. She had her lunch box, which I dropped off a mere hour ago, in her little hands.
I pulled her into the hallway and asked her what’s up.
“Are you going to throw up?” I want to know.
“Do you have a bad headache?”
She wanted to leave.
Fine. We drove home and she burst into tears in the van. She was inconsolable for the next hour and I finally managed to understand the gist of what was upsetting her.
“I quit school, I’m never going back to stupid school!” she yelled.
SIGH SIGH SIGH
There’s two days left. Some drama about a collaborative effort between class A and class B had caused some ruckus and the teacher had to have a talk with all the children and her name plus two or three other friends’ names came up and long story short, I emailed the teacher.
She invited me to talk after school.
So here I am, my supposed alone day, one of the last ones before summer vacation, gone. Scheduling drama, injury, forgotten lunches, now a highly anxious child who quit school.
What else is going to happen?
By the time I wanted to leave for school to speak with the teacher my daughter had calmed down somewhat. I invited her to come along under the ruse that I will get lost trying to find the classroom, but she refused, started crying all over again.
“Why don’t you come and stay by your locker then”, I suggested gently. “You can start cleaning it out, so you won’t have so much stuff to carry on the last day.”
“I’m not going back!” she yelled, but when she saw me get in the car she reluctantly joined me.
The teacher was lovely. It was obvious that she had taken a lot of time, making notes and contemplating how to deal with so many 10 year olds and all their various personalities.
“I’m just not the kind of person who sweeps things under the carpet”, she explained. “I want this to be a learning experience for all of us, me included.”
She talked for 50 minutes. She invited my child in after, insisted she talk to her. She understood how anxious my daughter is and assured her no one is mad at her, and that kids will say stuff sometimes without thinking. She didn’t change the initial explanation and remarked calmly that my girl did play a role in the drama, but after some questions and answers between them, it looked like everything was going to get ironed out.
Ultimately my child said later that she still doesn’t think the teacher completely understands what came down, but realized that because two classes were involved, and she was the only teacher present at the time, it was impossible for her to see everything that happened.
A long talk between her, her dad and me at bedtime left her pondering that group work, collaboration and all the rest of it is part of the learning process and will not likely go away any time soon. But that she now has tools to manage situations that come up because of this learning experience.
The teacher spent a lot of time explaining about using polite language, and maintaining integrity, and being able to defend or stand up for themselves without lashing out at others or using power-trip type of language.
“Next year you’re all going into middle school, you have to learn a little bit more independence, not wait for so many detailed instructions”, was the main message to the kids.
“Collaboration is key”, was another.
To me she said: “Learning how to communicate with each other effectively as tweens with hormones and strong opinions isn’t going to be easy, but it can be done.”
Middle school is going to be such fun…
But that wasn’t all that happened. By the time we finally returned home, it was all rush rush rush to get some sort of dinner on because the girl had her last baseball game, and the husband sent a text he was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and will be late getting home and to the game. He’s the assistant coach.
I managed to feed everyone something, directed the boy to complete the chore list and only then was he allowed to plug in for a bit if he wasn’t going to join us, and left for the ball park.
When we got there I saw all the players warming up. On one side, the girls team, on the other the boys.
I looked around. Where are all our coaches? We have four coaches all together…
I only see boys team coaches…
I check my phone. First message:
Head coach is waiting for a tow truck.
She also has all the equipment, balls, etc.
My husband, assistant coach, texted he just got home, will be there at start of game. I told him about no one being here for warmup and he told me to set up a battling lineup.
One of the other assistant coaches is late, but she’ll be there at start of game. She has new game balls, not to worry.
I walk over to the boys team and ask if I can borrow some of their balls for warmup.
Of course, they said. I directed the girls to warm up their arms, and they left for the field. They were totally in sync with each other and handled the absentee coaches like little pros. ❤
Finally, the last assistant coach for our team arrived. I handed him an old batting lineup sheet, and told him about the delay of the others.
Long story short, the game started on time, we borrowed catcher equipment from the boys team, the other assistant coaches took over once they arrived, and the head coach arrived halfway through the game as well.
No accident, only an overheated car, was her explanation.
Glad no one was hurt.
We ended up with a tie against the boys team, and everyone went to the ice cream parlor at the end of the game.
And so, another typical, drama-filled day came to an end.
Bonus? The girl child went to school the next morning. 🙂