Bad Soccer Mom

We’re back from our cottage weekend and we survived the call of the wild. I feel so Canadian! We went through a whole box of bandaids, between zebra mussel cuts and deerfly bites and a surprisingly severe corn-on-the-cob incident (don’t ask). Still, I saw turtles! And beavers! And loons! And fireflies! It was enchanting. I could get used to cottage life. Once a year, that is.

It’s been so busy this past week that we still have done nothing to fix our internet situation. I just check it every 10 minutes during the day, and when it magically comes up, I leap into action, uploading a post, sending a bunch of pre-written emails, and trying to load as many blogs as I can in multiple tabs before we lose it again. It’s the pop-in! I’m doing the internet pop-in! Love the pop-in! Anyway, hopefully we’ll make some progress on this issue this week.

And now, at Julie’s request, more on the Big Soccer Drama. This past Wednesday was the last game of the season — Captain Jelly Belly and Gal Smiley played on the same team in the local neighbourhood league. It was a great team but there is this one kid, “Joe,” who has some behaviour problems. He seems to have some communication issues and never really did understand what he was supposed to be doing on the field, which was frustrating for him and for the coaches.

This last week he and the Captain were sitting on the sidelines waiting their turn to go on, when Joe started a “game” that was to knock off the Captain’s hat. I don’t think he was trying to be mean, he was just trying to interact with the Captain and he’s a little awkward. At first the Captain thought it was funny, but the hat-knocking-off soon progressed to hitting, and then kicking. Joe was giggling the whole time, I’m sure he thought he was playing, but I could tell that the Captain was getting confused as to what he should do. The coaches were busy on the field, so after a bit I started calling out non-specific things to them like, “Hey you two, no hitting,” and “Sit quietly when you are on the sidelines, please.”

Eventually Joe walked away a few steps, then turned and ran back and jumped on the Captain, and THAT WAS IT, I was over there in a flash. I pulled Joe aside and snapped in his face, “That’s it! You CANNOT hit him. SIT DOWN.” The assistant coach came right over and broke things up and stood with them for the rest of the time.

I felt like a right ass about it, though. It was just Mother Lion instinct stuff, but I should have behaved better. For one, other parents HATE IT when you speak to their kids like that. I could hear an audible collective gasp from the other parents on the sidelines in reaction — I know they were all thinking what a big no-no it was to snap at someone else’s kid. It just brings out the Mother Lion in the other kids’ mom, and then you have a full-blown incident on your hands (thankfully in my case, Joe’s mother was busy with her two other kids and did not see what had happened).

Secondly, I should have taken the opportunity to remind the Captain how to handle it himself (our rules for hitting are to a) tell the kid you don’t like it, b) move physically away, and then c) ask the coach or teacher for help). I can’t fight his battles for him, and I probably embarrassed him by treating him like a baby.


Anyway, I hung my head in shame and stayed quiet for the rest of the game, and hopefully all the other parents have erased it from their memories. I still blush with embarrassment when I think about it, though. That was some seriously bad Sports Parent Etiquette.

Must do better next year.

11 thoughts on “Bad Soccer Mom

  1. This sounds very unfortunate all around. Still, I don’t blame you for your reaction. I agree that in principle, yes, don’t fight his battles for him, etc. But sometimes these things just happen, you know?

  2. Oh, I don’t think I would have been able to even wait as long as you did. I know I will have to teach him to pickhis battles, but it’s hard when there are other misbehaving kids and no parents around. I bet the gasp was more “Thank god someone has said something to that kid!” rather than shock of you talking to him in a forceful tone. Doesn’t it take a village to raise a child?

  3. See, I don’t get that rule. I mean, sure, you shouldn’t yell at someone else’s kid, but if the kid is hurting your kid and the parent isn’t around, what else can you be expected to do? Yes, you can teach The Captain what he’s to say and do, but in a situation like that, he might not be able to think fast enough or react fast enough to protect himself, especially being such a kind soul.

    I know everyone will probably scoff and think I just have no idea because I’m not a mom, but when I read your post, I can’t think of what else you could have done differently.

  4. MrsCarlSagan

    I would have reacted exactly the same way and then felt like crap afterward. When it comes to how your kids are being treated / mistreated it’s so very difficult to keep that Mother Lion at bay. I think it was a good thing you addressed it though – you had to say something to Joe seeing as nobody else was.

  5. I would have reacted the same way. It is a good thing that you took steps to try and handle it. It’s so hard to be a momma and to see your child get hurt and not do something about it. There’s a reason that bears and lions and other mammals are protective of their cubs.


  6. Oh ya, I would totally be there. This happened once during a game of drive way hockey and a boy checked my D from behind and shoved him to the ground. I totally over reacted, called off the game, told the boys there would be no more hockey for a few days and that the he had to go home. His mom came out later, asked me what the problem was and then halfheartedly grounded him. It lasted for a few hours. I was furious with this boy (he is 3 years older than D) for his actions, but I was mortified at my own actions. I had never had emotion take over like that before. The only thing I liked about it was that I had previously doubted that I even had the mother lion in me. Now I know I do, and it will come out. Look out kids!

  7. I would probably do the same thing.

    In fact today we were at a toy store and ran into a little friend of Lulu’s from nursery school.
    She was with her dad (whom I had never met before- as she is usually with her nanny)
    This little girl was doing the “have to go pee dance” squirming around, and I couldn’t help myself and asked her if she needed to go to the bathroom.
    she said yes.
    I then proceeded to tell her dad that it was at the back of the store.
    So long story short- maybe it wasn’t my place to say anything?
    and afterwards I was wondering what I would do if some other parent asked my kid if she needed to go to the bathroom.

    but smothermother said- it takes a village.
    and I’m sure the alternative if I hadn’t said anything would have been much worse.

  8. I would have reacted much the same way. I think kids need to learn to fight their own battles as well, but you certainly can’t be expected to stand there and do nothing as an incident escalates.

  9. I’ve done the same thing (I was assistant coach though so I think it was acceptable.) And then I feel like shit for it too…

    There is one kid across the street who walks around with a stick and he made to strike The Boy with it. Now The Boy is much older than this other kid and bigger, and he knows to be gentle with the little kids. Now, buddy with sticks mom doesn’t believe in discipline. I intervened because no good can come of that… “WE DO NOT HIT PEOPLE WITH STICKS.” And I took it away. The child looked shocked…

    I’d say I felt bad. But if it’s getting physical, you gotta do what you gotta do. (And I’m not sure where this kids parents were… if they don’t get it.. really.)

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