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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Plaaaaaaay Ball?

Plaaaaaaaaaaaay Ball?
by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved to purchase bleach and soap

I must say after five practices and with three games under our belt, our little tee ball team is beginning to look more like the pros each day.

For example, at last night’s game each coach took three boys, lined them up on the third base line and tossed baseballs to them one at a time. The boys stood there, gloved hand raised, and never caught a ball. Then the agent/mamas got into it and yelled for them to move and catch that ball! One did, after first missing the ball, then running to touch the fence, grabbing the ball, taking the prerequisite pitcher hop-hop-jump, then toss to the coach, before the final roll on the grass.

This caught on very quickly with the rest of the team and was repeated over and over as coach after coach raced left and right trying to field the wild tosses. I can only assume that this is Fire Prevention Week at school and somehow the boys got Stop, Drop, and Roll confused with throwing to the coach or they were still on an Easter candy high. The screaming agent/mamas had no effect in controlling this wild choreography so out came the cell phones with speed dial to Dad. Six mamas then stood next to the chain link fence with cell phones held high saying “Your Dad wants to talk to you NOW!”

After this warm up, we were first at bat. “Old MacDonald” has evolved into a sort of Celtic aluminum bat chime of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, easily recognizable if you have a very good imagination. The first fight in the dugout took place just after this. Someone spread the rumor that whoever was first in line on the bench, was the first to bat. Nine agent/mamas and one dad cleared the stands. Six returned and the other three pulled out the cell phones again to attempt to control the fight on the bench.

Our first batter is a pretty good little hitter and wasn’t involved in the fight. He hits the ball past the pitcher’s mound more often than not but, like so many in the pros, has a limited specialty. I have never seen a kid run so fast… in place and cover so little ground. I kept adjusting my glasses. I could see his little knees and legs just a pumping up and down but he was still in the batting box. First out! Luckily, or unfortunately, in tee ball, outs don’t count. You just bat until everyone has had a turn.

The second fight occurred as we were taking the field; something about who was going to be pitcher but this was quickly resolved without the use of cell phones. I am pleased to say we no longer have the human dog pile-up. Now no one runs for the ball. The team members are too busy rolling on the grass or swiping pollen dust and blossoms with their gloves. My four-year-old, I am happy to say, was not. He was attempting to catch grasshoppers in his hat. This morning’s rain will take care of the pollen and blossoms in the air before the next game but the grasshoppers will only multiply. Maybe if I glued his hat on his head…?

After two innings and all the cell phones had lost their bars, it was over. We had completed our Fourth -Fire-Prevention-Review-Pollen-catching-Post-Easter-Candy-High-Choreographed-Tossing- Game. Time for the agent/moms to head home and begin trying to get that East Texas red clay out of those white baseball pants. If the boys were as competitive as the agent/moms are about having the whitest pants on the field I suspect we’d have scouts at the next game. Until then, Plaaaaaaaaay Ball ….or something!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

T Hee-Hee Ball

by Jody Worsham All Rights reserved due to Climate Cooling.

Our first set of boys was too old for T-ball when we got them so they went straight into Little League. Thus, I had never seen an actual T-ball game. All that would change when the three-year-old turned four.

First there were the practices, all two of them. This could be compared to sweeping feathers or trying to herd chickens. I saw lots of running, all in different directions and not all by the four to seven year olds. A lot of it was being done by the coach, the coach’s wife, the coach-wanna-bees, their wives, and other assorted grandparents, and frustrated guys who never made it to the “Show”. All attempted to herd the chickens around what by the wildest stretch of the imagination could be considered a diamond. Lacking real bases or even white handkerchiefs, trees or strategically placed adults were designated as bases. Thus the flying feathers raced around trees, adults, and each other until it was time to go home. Thus ended the first practice.

The second practice was a repeat of the first, except if you are from the South, when I say they resembled a fire ant bed in attack mode you will have a very clear picture.

Next came the all important uniform. The league provided socks which looked to be left over soccer socks from the ten-year-old league. I could have cut the socks in half and had plenty of sock left for his feet plus enough sleeve warm-ups for the entire team. The hat and shirt were also provided. Each team had a sponsor written across the back of the shirt. I felt sorry for a team of very small little boys who were being sponsored by WWW.LO-SERVICECITY. The only part you could read across their little backs was LO-SER. Our team was being sponsored by a funeral home. At least the words fit comfortably on the back. However, when I tucked his shirt into his pants instead of the front saying he played for the Mets, it looked like he played for the ^ ^, some intergalactic team from outer space.

Finally it was game night. The second day of spring and it was 42 degrees. We arrived at the ball park looking like Nanook from the North. I was hoping our little slugger could still grip the bat with the sweatshirt and additional layers I had put on him under his ^ ^ shirt. Our team was up to bat first and my little Michelin Tire Man was first to bat. He waddled up to the T, turned and posed for my camera shot and his dad’s digital video camera and swung. He hit the ball! I was ecstatic. He watched the ball…and watched it…and watched it until the coach told him to run, which he did, but finding no tree for a base, he ran to the only adult in sight and stomped the man’s foot who then kindly pointed him to first base. In the meantime, the other team stood and watched the ball roll…and watched it roll…and watched it roll…until their coach told them to pick it up and run with it; which they did, back to home plate.

Our second hitter would have made it to first except he paused to introduce a new baseball superstition: hit the ball, run to the edge of the batters box, pick up some of the white dust and toss it into the air. More hits from our team and more little fellows chasing down any adult in sight to stomp their foot and tag in safe. In between hits, both teams entertained the crowd with their rendition of Old Mac Donald played on the aluminum bats hanging from the fence. After everyone had a turn at bat, we took the field.

While batting kept everyone’s attention, playing in the outfield did not. If the ball did make it past the pitcher’s mound, at least four bored little boys raced after the ball and pounced on it in true human dog pile fashion. This was followed by an all-out war for possession of said ball. The batter in the meantime made a homerun by running to third, second, first and sliding into home stopping short of reaching the plate by four feet. He then got up and walked to home plate and jumped on it with both feet.

Later with the bases loaded and two of our boys playing chase in center field, my son making sand tunnels at first, and the two girls on our team playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie at third, their star hitter slammed the ball toward the pitcher. Their guy on second base out ran their guy on third base and made it home to score first followed by the guy who was on third. Not to be outdone the kid on first took a short cut and skipped second and third altogether. Our center fielder missed the ball because he had turned his back to get a different view by watching home plate through his legs. The game was finally declared over after both teams had had two turns at bat and the umpire was turning blue.

I can’t believe I have missed this all these years. Had I known, I would have reserved front row seats for the best stand-up and sometimes sit down comics in town. I can’t wait until the next game. I never knew T-ball could be so funny! T-Hee! T-Hee!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jewish Mothers, Masters of Guilt and their Gentile Apprentices, My Children

By Jody Worsham May 2010All rights reserved for therapy

Living in the deep piney woods of Texas for the past forty-six years, I have met two Jewish mothers. Everything I ever wanted to know about guilt, I learned from them. That is why I can recognize that my five-year-old and my eight-year-old are their gentile apprentices.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. Now this would be the first time in the entire life of the five-year-old that I would be away longer than my daily three hour trip to Wal-Mart. First I was hit with “I love you, please don’t go” accompanied by his sad puppy dog face followed by the eight-year-olds “Can’t they come here, I will miss you” dramatic pause as she looks upward and slightly stage right. “I love you, too, and no they can’t come here” I replied.

“Do you have to go?” from the five-year-old as he forces a tear to cascade down his cheek catching the light from the overhead lamp just at the right angle. Hmmm?
Do I have to go? My golden years are being spent under the Golden Arches eating Happy Meals. I have to carry their passports to prove that I am their mother and their names are not Viagra and Cialis. I haven’t slept a single night in the past five years without having a full body massage from the now five-year-old dreaming of Kung Fu fighting and trying to find his “spot” for sleeping. I’ve sold a kazillion Girl Scout Cookies so the eight-year-old could receive a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee and a charm. I’ve sat on cold hard aluminum bleachers for hours watching clue-less little boys play Tee ball while their agent/moms held cell phones up to the fence screaming “Your Dad wants to talk to you NOW”.

“Yes, I have to go” and I smiled. “But I have a game on Thursday”, wails the five-year-old. “My spelling test is Friday but I’m sure one of the other mother’s will be able to help me, if I ask nicely” says the other apprentice. “Who will take me to the birthday party on Saturday?” chimes in the younger apprentice. “You do have another parent in the house. It’s not like I am abandoning you” I reason. Their intense Jewish training picks up on the slight hesitation in my voice. They go in for the kill. “But he won’t tell me good bedtime stories like you do.” “And what if he forgets to pick me up after the birthday party” says the other one. All real possibilities and for just a nano-second I almost change my plans.

Then I remember. We aren’t Jewish. We’re Methodists! Erma BombeckWriters Workshop, here I come!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Screaming!

by Jody Worsham May 13, 2010
All rights reserved to purchase Windex.

There is something primeval, some genetic code buried deep within the female DNA that suddenly awakens in the spring. The female gets into “nesting mode”…never mind that there is no way short of Immaculate Conception or menopause reversal this female needs a nest, but the urge is there. At this time of year, the cleaning/screaming begins.
Clothing hidden in the deep recesses of the closet not having seen the light of day, much less been on a body in the past three years, suddenly finds itself in the Donate Pile. Treasured baby toys of your teenager that have been perfectly content to be in a storage box in the garage miraculously transform into clutter and must be removed. Mismatched bowls, cracked saucers, cups with no handles but still usable must be discarded. It’s spring!
Dust bunnies that have been multiplying as bunnies tend to do are unceremoniously swept from beneath the beds. Refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and other hernia creating appliances must be pulled away from the walls in order for the Shark Steam Mop to do its thing. Blinds are removed and washed down with the high pressure hose. Windows that look out onto a brick wall must be Windexed until they sparkle. Such is the drive propelling the female to clear, clean, and de-clutter.
Once the clearing and cleaning is in full swing, then the screaming begins. “Take off your shoes. I just scrubbed the floor. Put that shirt in the clothes hamper. Dishes go in the dishwasher now! No fingerprints on the windows!” The male is afraid to put down the remote for fear of it being filed under R, stored in a drawer, or swept out the door. Children find new hiding places for their “collections”, books, games, and pets.
Late at night, after the female has run out of Mr. Clean and collapsed on the bed, the male secretly gathers the children together in the now empty hall closet. “No need to worry children. This will only last a few weeks. Soon life will be back to normal and you will find your shoes scattered down the hallway and your school books thrown about your room. The sink will again be full of dishes, and your outgrown winter clothes will be hanging in the back of the closet. The vacuum will remain idle in the middle of the living room as before. Mommie will smile, read her favorite blogs, sit at the computer composing, and play hide and seek once more. This I know. It happens every spring.” The children nod, remembering, and silently return to their beds.
The male locates his remote and before hiding it safely under his pillow goes to the calendar and marks off yet another day. Spring Screaming is almost over.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sweatin" WITH the Oldies

by Jody Worsham May 2010.
All rights reserved to purchase Ben Gay, Activon, Advil, and heating pad.

“Oh, well the kids will keep you young” say all my friends who aren’t raising their grandchildren. The truth is they don’t keep you young; what they do is keep you fit.
Just as you were developing that slightly past-50 tummy, your pants seemed to have shrunk, and napping seemed more appealing than taking that brisk walk around the block, enter your two grandchildren for 24/7 care. Your 24 hour at-home-gym is now open for your physical remake.
Your fitness regimen begins with hauling a 15 pound baby bucket with a 6 pound 12 ounce baby in and out of the back seat of a step-side suburban several times a day. This will create biceps even Michelle Obama would envy. Your calves and thighs will soon resemble those of Olympic speed skaters. This weight lifting step-side aerobics will continue every day with gradual increase in weight from the baby for at least 18 months.
Then wrestling an 18month old in and out of a bathtub several times a day will create flexibility in back muscles you didn’t even know you had. Waist bends while retrieving dropped toys, spoons, pacifiers, blankies, soap, toothbrushes, and diapers will create a reduced and flexible waist and shoulders capable of rotating a full 180 degrees. This will be an advantage to you later when you are driving and need to administer random swings and swats to the two squabbling children in the back seat. Since the children are strapped down in their car seats, your targets will remain somewhat stationary.
Lung capacity will also expand thus providing increased oxygenation for energy over time as you continue to give instructions and directions to the children who are playing four football fields away. This will also provide increased strength in your diaphragm enabling you to qualify for your black belt before the three-year-old.
There will be no need for you to buy a membership in expensive health clubs in order for you to have a good cardio vascular work out. Your heart rate and breathing will reach training levels several times a week when you suddenly remember among other things a) you forgot to pick up one of the kids, b) you don’t recognize the other kid you did pick up and c) 6 dozen cupcakes are due at the school in two hours.
No, raising your grandchildren will definitely not keep you young. You will, however, be in the best shape of your life! Be sure to watch for me in the Iron Man Triathlon this year. Go, Granny Go!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Out, Out, Dammed Spot"

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for cleaning supplies.

As you know, Shakespeare took ideas from life, overheard conversations, and history. Lady Macbeth’s famous sleep walking speech was probably first spoken by Will’s Mom on laundry day as she tried to remove the grass stains from his pants. She could have used some of our modern day stain fighters.
A trip down the laundry aisle at your local Wally World will produce more stain fighting products then you have “dreamt of, dear Horatio”. There is Oxiclean which purports to bubble the stain right out. There is “Shout” which I guess replaces “Scream It Out” and “Yell It Off”. “Spray and Wash” will remove red wine and grass stains if any of your little league guys celebrate too heavily after a game.
My personal favorite stain remover is a cleanser that can be purchased only at Dollar Tree. And yes, it costs a dollar. What I like about it is the myriad of items it will clean. A look at the back of the bottle will reveal almost one hundred items that are no match for its stain removing powers. It will clean your tires, counter tops, laundry, baby bottles, chain saws, grease pans, shutters, bugs from your grill, carburetor, and ovens. It will remove gum, paint, tar, peanut butter, lipstick, markers, fingernail polish, frog guts, blood, mud, and crud from anything living or dead depending on the ratio of cleanser to water.
But nothing, I repeat nothing will remove the red clay stains from my five-year-old’s white baseball pants or his socks. I defy any product on the legal market to clean these two items. I have cloroxed, boraxed, and tilexed them to the point that the threads in the socks have disintegrated except for where the stains actually were. The Cheer Lady will never plant her flag on our lawn. His socks will never be on the poster of the Clorox commercial. Red clay will never be one of the stains that Tide can remove in one washing…not even one hundred washings.
No, in households across the red clay plains of Texas, Georgia and all points in the northern hemisphere, ladies of the house can be heard mumbling late into the night “To be or not to be clean by game time. That is the question”.
In the end, I know I will have to purchase new baseball pants and new socks because “All the perfumes in Arabia will not sweeten this” …or take out the stains. Sorry, Lady Macbeth, those stains are here to stay!!

OK,because you asked,it's Awsome (not me, well maybe me, no that's the name of the cleanser "Awsome".

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Been There, Done That, Doing It Again!

by Jody Worsham, All rights reserved for….I forget.

When the adoption worker recovered from my announcement that we planned to adopt six children, she asked “What do you see yourself doing when they are all grown?” I replied “I can’t imagine myself without children around.” Those prophetic words came true on April 13, 2005 when we adopted our one day old grandson and his three-year-old sister. Medicare, Social Security, and diapers. Oh, my!

According to the 2000 Census two and one half million grandparents, for whatever reason, found themselves once again in the full time role of parenting their grandchildren. I have now joined that group. Once you adjust to the idea that your golden years are going to be spent under the golden arches and any hopes of a having long uninterrupted conversations with your spouse will only happen either early in the morning before the children are awake, or in the evening just before you fall asleep, life will go on but with some adjustments.

At first you may feel that you are the odd duck, the oldest parent at PTA meetings, the only senior citizen with children tagging along at the AARP meetings, or finding you are the only person having to show court documents before the doctor will give your child immunization shots. But you will also find that you can knowledgably converse with a larger group of people on a wider range of subjects: Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, the newest Mario Brothers DS video game, your state’s position on Medicare reform, what foods effectively reduce cholesterol, and where you were when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. You fit in everywhere!

You will be amazed at the things you and the children will have in common. For example:
1. You both need naps or you will be cranky.
2. You both will enjoy Senior Citizen and children discounts at movies and fast food chains.
3. You can see the speed limit sign far away and they can see the speedometer up close so they can tell you if you are speeding before the nice policeman does.
4. You both have to have things repeated to you at times.
5. You both fall asleep during a movie.
6. You both need lots of potty breaks on long trips.
7. There is time for a thousand “whys?” to be answered with something besides a thousand “becauses”.
8. You take time for what is really important, smelling the flowers, watching the clouds, discovering a bug, and hugging tightly.
9. You both realize how important you are to each other and say so, often.
10. Hurry isn’t something either of you do.

I really couldn’t imagine my life without children. And now, I don’t have to. There is a reason they are called the golden years and sometimes the gold comes in the form of children who need you and whom you need just as much.