Sarah has been scoring in soccer. Like crazy. When I am not there.
Dad takes her – score. Friend takes her – score. Me – not so much.
She plays in a rec team and the rule is wear red bring white. Or wear white bring red. This has been the rule for oh, I don’t know….five years. We show up Saturday. Sarah in red, team in white. White…at home.
Fortunately, the game was a half a mile from the house so I turned around and got the appropriate jersey.
I got there and they were three minutes into the game. Sarah had borrowed a white long sleeve t-shirt and had jumped right into the game. And of course scored. In the first three minutes, wearing the wrong shirt.
It clearly isn’t the clothes that make the man. Or the mom that makes the game.
Have you ever wondered the difference between swam vs. swum?
If you thought swum was another one of those kidisms, you would be wrong.
About swam vs swum
The regular past tense of “swim” is “swam”: “I swam to the island.” However, when the word is preceded by a helping verb, it changes to “swum”: “I’ve swum to the island every day.” The “’ve” stands for “have,” a helping verb.
So now you know.
Don’t you love little kidisms? You know, those adorable little words and phrases that don’t have any proper place in the English language but they are too cute to correct?
One of my new favorites:
v. Versed, versing, verse
1. To occupy oneself in amusement, sport, or other recreation
2. To take part in a game
It took me a moment to comprehend it. We had a soccer game this morning and Sophie was talking to her bestie. Her bestie said “why are we versing this team again, we versed them last week”?
Last week the other team actually schooled them on the game of soccer, we lost – a lot to nothing.
It turns out that the practice that occurred on Wednesday, otherwise known as the most chaotic two hours of my life, was worth attending. It also turns out that it was a good thing we got to verse this team again because this time the little grammar butchers prevailed!
I know I once said I hate carpools. I really do. Because I find carpools end up working like this…I drive other people’s little monsters all over the place.
The other day though I needed help. I had about 120 miles worth of driving to do in a two-hour time period. Kids were everywhere.
Usually it rains on Wednesday. Which is a good thing. Because when it rains they all go to swim practice. When it doesn’t rain, it pours. Buckets of chaos. This week was particularly bad. In addition to one swim practices we also had two soccer practices and a parent meeting for summer swim team that we all needed to attend.
This is how it went down.
At 4:50 I drove all three of my kids to friend A’s house. I left Sarah at A’s and A took Sarah to soccer. I then went to friend B’s house and picked up her kid. I drove her kid, Grace and Sophie to the pool and dropped Grace off. I then drove Sophie and B’s kid to C’s house and dropped them off. C’s husband then walked the kids to soccer.
I drove alone, belting out the new Justin Bieber song at the top of my lungs (until I realized I was alone and turned on Gotye) to the parent meeting.
This is where it gets good. Friend B met my friend A and picked up Sarah. Friend C grabbed Sophie and A’s kid. And friend D picked Grace up and they were all brought to the parent meeting. Before you accuse me of using my friends, they were all coming to the meeting.
The kids were totally confused by the whole thing. In one of my finer parenting moments I said “If someone you know offers to bring you to me, take them up on it, otherwise you are screwed”.
The mother of the year trophy should be arriving any day. I hope they spell our last name right.
I have a hard time with my kids homework. Especially using the spelling words in a sentence. Fortunately, they are pretty good at it and don’t need too much help.
Sophie’s writing journal was laying out and I randomly turned to a page.
Tell me about your luckiest day.
I got 4th in 25 fly with 1 breath. I dove into the water. I took one breath and touched the wall. My coach and my mom were so proud of me!
I was. I am even more proud that she loves to swim. It makes it all worthwhile.
Today was my luckiest day!
Who would have thought that the non-competitive summer teams were so freaking competitive? Turns out that they decided to launch an all out recruiting effort. We got hit up by two teams, the one in our neighborhood AND one trying to beat our neighborhood. No, not by the coaches. Not the other parents. Oh no….the KIDS.
My kids came home from school, Brownies and playdates brainwashed. They drank the “fun” cool aid. I almost bought into it myself. Why not I asked myself? We can save a few dollars, walk to the pool and have fun.
And then everything changed. My kids started talking about swimming in older age groups and still winning. Beating their school friends. Stacking the deck so we could BEAT the neighborhood next to ours. OR for giggles we could swim for the neighborhood next to ours to beat our own neighborhood?! The girls were talking about breaking the team records and the pool records. In the middle of dinner I put my head in a plate of spaghetti.
This is not who we are. At least I didn’t think it was.
Thank goodness my “not everybody is a winner” mentality has rubbed off on my girls and I was able to derail them pretty quickly.
I asked my girls to define themselves as swimmers. My younger two decided this felt too much like homework but they all realized that they are club swimmers. Their long term goal is to constantly improve. That winning races was fun but winning races because they had to work hard was even better. That beating kids they already knew they could beat wasn’t really that thrilling.
The bad news, I am once again neighborhood swim team reject. The good news, we are swimming where we belong. It may not be cheaper, it may not be close BUT it is fun. Everything resolved itself last night. We had the team meeting. I wrote the check. I tucked Sophie in bed and she said “tonight felt like home sweet home”.
Sometimes, home isn’t at home. But it feels right.
I can’t promise that this summer will be perfect. I am still annoyed about coaching decisions. But I do know we are in the right place. I am sure there will more to this story but for now, this chapter is done.
I have what is probably the worst OCD ever if you are a swim mom. I hate dirty laundry and I freak out if I am more than half a load behind. Which sucks because my kids use 3 towels a day for swimming. Grace showers at least twice a day. Sophie and Sarah when I insist (but mom we swam yesterday). They also change clothes before practice, for some reason they can’t wear their school clothes to the pool. I encourage them to hang their towels and use them again but it often falls on deaf ears. I also think anything that has been inside their swim bags for more than three minutes is contaminated. We found ants in Grace’s last week. Sarah’s bag weighs 50 lbs from 3/4 full drink bottles.
My kids also have a hard time deciding what to wear to school. If Grace doesn’t like what she has chosen she throws it on the floor. Often with a wet towel on top. Sarah, she just shoves it in her laundry basket.
Thank goodness for Sophie. She never second guesses her clothing choices. I have often have to point out when people look at her outfits funny that she is a third child. Gotta love a kid who doesn’t bathe and doesn’t create excess laundry for me. Uggs, gym shorts and a pool cover up? Stylin.
(Yes, I know they should do their own laundry but then what would I bitch about?)
If only the drama ended there.
We joined a community pool 4 summers ago because our neighborhood pool did not have a swim team. Last summer our neighborhood put together a swim team that competes in a “fun” league. Much less competitive, only a handful of teams. We live in an up and coming community and the neighborhood next door to ours also participates in this fun league. The kids all go to school together. Most of the kids are under the age of 10. And there are lots of them.
Last summer I was asked to not only put my kids on the team but also serve on the board.
I was very careful in my response back, knowing that my kids would not participate on the team. I didn’t want to give the impression we were “too good” for the team. Simply put, we had developed a really tight bond with the team we were on. Despite its mild dysfunction.
Some understood. Some didn’t. I was told I was being selfish not allowing the kids to swim on the team. I tried to delicately explain some of the opportunities that the other team afforded my kids, mostly Grace. Didn’t help.
I am already a PTA reject so being the neighborhood swim team reject really didn’t bother me as much as they had hoped it would. I stayed on course and signed the girls up for the non-neighborhood team. Summer came and went and it seemed everyone got over it.
Until this year..