Staring down the coach

Here’s this week’s Regarding Annie column, pasted in for your click-free ease and enjoyment.

“So, you know how I’m always spouting off about talking to coaches when there’s a problem, but then all I end up doing is sitting in the car with a book because I don’t want to cause a ruckus? Yeah, that ended tonight.

Here’s the thing about my husband. He’s rather passive when it comes to public parenting, especially where coaches are concerned. He’s as far from an in your face parent as a fellow can get; the coaches probably wonder who the scary guy stalking the game is, and why he carries a gun.

But Mr. Athletic is out of town and has left all baseball and soccer related activities in my ever so capable, unsupervised, pregnant hands. Oh the power.

So tonight Harry had a baseball game. Here’s the thing about Harrison and baseball. He loves it, he’s a fantastic little hitter, but when it comes to field time, he gets totally distracted. This is why the outfield is a great place for him. He’s the youngest on his team, leave the infield playing to the big boys who aren’t afraid to catch a fast ball. It is a machine pitching league, and he is barely seven. That can be intimidating.

But when my kid sits out two of five innings in a seven and eight-year-old “equal opportunity” league, with only two kids on the bench, it irks me. Yes, I know he stares at clouds, but it’s freaking right field. Who cares.

And so, after the game, I approached the coach.

“Coach, do you have a second?” I asked.

“Sure,” he says with a smile, completely unaware of who I am or what my problem might be. Poor fellow.

“I’m just wondering if it was my fault tonight that My Boy sat out two innings. I know we were a few minutes late–” first time ever this year “–because I thought it was at another field, but I felt like with a team this big, that was a little excessive.”

I can’t help it, when I get up on my high horse, I can be kind of…frightening. Especially when I’m pregnant and I puff my stomach and chest out, put my hands on my hips, and stare a big grown man in the eye like I’m his mother. The result is always the same: naked fear.

“Oh, uh, that must have been an oversight,” he says.

Now if the man had half a brain, he’d have left it there and not said the next few words. “Well, actually, I should back up,” he says, getting totally defensive. “I mean, I don’t want to have to babysit anyone…”

Babysit? You’re working with seven-year-olds and you don’t want to babysit? Welcome to my life, buddy.

Instead of ripping him a new one, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “No problem, I think outfield is the perfect place for him at this age. But sitting out two innings was unnecessary.” Then leaned forward a bit and crowded his personal space, just so he’d see that I was perfectly capable of giving him a black eye.

At this point he very sheepishly took a step back and replied again that yes, it must have “been an oversight” (oversight my eye) and that it certainly wouldn’t happen again.

And that, my friends, is how you get your kid equal opportunities, whether the coaches like it or not.”


  1. Just read this on the Vidette page…HYSTERICAL!

  2. LOL. I would like you to come to the South and take our coaches on. Rural, rednecks vs. pregnant momma bear! That would be worth watching.

  3. I think you went easy on this coach. I’m disappointed in you. He should’ve been offering to invest in Harrison’s college fund or hand washing your car.

    You need to brush up on your ghetto tactics and head rolling. You’re always welcome back here when you need a refresher course.