We’re about three weeks into our first baseball season, and so far it’s going well. I wrote back in March that when I first mentioned the idea to my oldest son, he was totally dead set against it. But I practised lots with him over the spring and got him to a place where he felt confident enough to give it a try.
It was actually a smoother introduction than I expected. I thought the uniform might be an issue: Xander also decided recently that he hates wearing socks. But he actually likes his baseball socks because they pull up to his knees. Turns out his issue with regular socks is that they slip down too much and drive him nuts. (Have I mentioned he’s a little eccentric?)
I didn’t know if he’d go for wearing an athletic supporter either. But the idea of a plastic shell to protect your privates was enough of a hilarious novelty that both boys took to it right away. After they put on their cups, they spend a few minutes punching each other in the junk and laughing hysterically.
For the record, it’s not just my boys who do this. The first night at the diamond, half the boys at the ball field went around hitting each other and laughing. It’s a hard thing for a little boy to resist.
So as you can probably imagine, baseball with four- to six-year-olds is hilarious. There’s a lot of dirt-drawing and ant-squishing and chasing each other around the field, and not a whole lot that might actually pass for baseball. Any time the ball’s in play, half the team flocks after it and dogpiles the kid who picks it up. Oscar even chases the ball when he’s on offence and supposed to be running the bases. We’re still trying to teach them that baseball is not a contact sport. Especially not with your own teammates.
Last night, Xander was playing first base, and anytime a player on the other team reached base he made machine-gun noises and pretended to shoot them. Naturally the other kid would shoot back, and they’d stand there blasting each other. When you’re five or six, baseball is much more exciting if you add imaginary explosions.
But it’s all good. In the midst of the chaos they’re getting some exercise and learning a little bit about teamwork. They’re proud to be Coyotes, even if they spend half their time wrestling their teammates.