I was a fairly competitive soccer player back in my day. So when I saw that Coco Baby in the South End of Boston was offering a soccer class for Toddlers I was all over it like white on rice. When Hubby found out the price of it his jaw hit the floor and he asked me to repeat it twice. I told him that when Little Miss eventually got a full ride to play soccer at Duke the cost would be totally worth it. And somehow that worked. Men.
The day before it started I was showing Little Miss my old uniform and trophies while practicing kicking a foam ball around her playroom. She didn’t show much interest but I couldn’t hold it against her; these were my glory days after all and most adults don’t care when I casually mention I may have been a State Champion semi-finalist in 1997. Hubby always reminds me that this is not the same as winning.
It’s 45 minutes before class and I’m waiting outside the door looking way too eager than anyone should about a toddler soccer program starring two dolls named Mimi and Pepe. So we take a little walk around the block and talk about our normal stuff – trees, birds, planes, trucks, and dogs. I’ve noticed that as her vocabulary is growing, mine is shrinking substantially. When it’s finally an acceptable time to show my face I bring Little Miss P inside and downstairs. She’s wearing a bright green shirt that reads “Soccer Star.” Of course she is. I’m sizing up the competition of 16, 17 and 18 month old’s when all of a sudden I smell Little Miss’s brand of poo. Ithink to myself – “Really P, right NOW !? but then quickly thought it better to get it over with than interrupt her impending goal scoring. I bring her upstairs, change her diaper, and sit down to get a quick pee in myself. When I look up I think she is playing with the extra toilet paper rolls in the corner but at closer glance realize she is chewing a dog biscuit she found under the sink. Awesome P, good start. Let’s get our head in the game here.
Back downstairs the group is ready to begin the “fundamentals” of soccer with Mimi and Pepe. I am loving life as the coach starts to put out mini cones for the kids to run around. It takes all of my strength not to circle them myself and kick every single ball into the little nets. I’d just be so GOOD at it. The kids are let loose and start to charge towards the cones, winding up before they let the balls fly all around the room. It’s as if I was back on my high school field with the sweet smell of shin guard and leather soccer ball, it all came flooding back. I officially turn into a deranged parent. “Go for it P!! Kick kick kick! No like THIS P! See? Not with your HANDS P, your FEET. FEEEEEEET. Kick P, Kick. Use your Toes! Where’s your shoes? Your SHOOOOES” I can’t stop myself; I’m so annoying. After showing her 9 times how to kick the ball and watching in dismay as each times she picks up the ball and carries it into the net, she finally gives me a look like I’m nuts and starts waving goodbye to everyone in the room, shouting “BYE! TAnk U! Bye-BYE! Allllll doneeee” as she struts towards the door. My shoulders shrinking in disappointment I go over, pick her up, and drop her into the ball pit to have her own fun. Except she is done with balls. She instead walks over to the only mirror in the room and starts checking herself out, spinning in front of it. She heads over to the stereo and starts shaking her head a la’ A Night At The Roxbury to the music. She finds a red-headed boy chasing soccer balls with his feet (show-off) and blows him multiple kisses. Parenting is a humbling experience. Hope Solo she was not. But man did my little girl poop, flirt, dance, and eat a dog biscuit like the best of ’em.
Please don’t tell my husband.
Boston Area Parents: Coco Baby is a great little store in the South End for kids. Carefully hand-picked merchandise, a friendly owner, and a play space downstairs for a $5 drop in fee that might come in handy this Winter. They also offer several programs for kids involving gym, music, and language. Tell them Misadventures in Mommyhood sent you.