Friday, May 30, 2008

Pulp Parenting

Thing 1 is on the girls Lacrosse travel team for our town. I knew nothing about Lacrosse when she first expressed interest in the sport; I thought it was something that rich kids who went to elite prep schools played. That may, in fact, be true. But the town we live in has a Lacrosse program, for girls and boys, and there are no tryouts - everyone who wants to play gets to play. She played last year, and it was all fun and games, but this year, she seems to be much more serious about the whole thing.

So at her last game, when the referee told her she would have to remove her fisherman's bracelet that she had been wearing since last year's summer camp (sleep-away edition) she flipped out. On the one hand, her team was counting on her - they only had just enough players that day. On the other hand, she thought something magical was going to happen if she kept that bracelet on long enough. She also really believed that the bracelet could not be removed intact (since it had been shrunk to fit snugly on her wrist, and hadn't been removed for, like, almost a whole year). But she wasn't counting on Mama MacGyver to be able to quickly unravel it just enough to loosen and slip over the hand, just in time to start the game.

I saw her look at her rope-free wrist, and I knew - this is not going to go well. She was, as we say in our family, out on the ledge, and she was going to need a lot of help to get down. Suddenly, a movie scene popped into my head, and I said, "Come on, now. Let's be like Fonzie. What's Fonzie like?"

Now before you send social services over to my house, my kids have never watched Pulp Fiction. But I have. Lot's of times. So I guess I was just a little bit on the ledge myself, but I had her attention, so I ran with it.

"Who's Fonzie?" she asked. So I told her about Happy Days, which I remember watching as a child, and Fonzie, who was always my favorite character, even before Pulp Fiction came out. I told her how all the girls would get all swoony when Fonzie came around and how he would say "aaay!" and how he was so COOL. And pretty soon, Thing 1 calmed down. We gave each other one more double thumbs-up and said "aaay!" right before she donned her goggles and went into the game.

So, I accomplished the objective - talk child down from ledge, allow normal life to continue with minimal disruption. I'm not sure how she will feel if, when she gets older, she sees that movie and puts two and two together, but I think Jules would have been proud.

I just hope I never have to quote Ezekiel 25:17...

8 comments:

Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde said...

I love it. When in doubt, distract.

I imagine that being a mother often makes one feel beset on all sides by iniquities.

PhysioProf said...

I played lacrosse as a kid, and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why your daughter could not have kept on her fisherman's bracelet to play, assuming this is one of those string things with no hard pieces at all (just all string). Sounds like this referee is a fucking asshole control freak.

It is one of the unfortunate side shows of children's competitive sports that it attracts authoritarian douchemonkeys who enact their fantasies of power and control over others through coaching, refereeing, etc. (There are tons of awesome coaches and referees, too, but it does have an appeal for some Walter Mitty types to live out their unfulfilled fantasies.)

acmegirl said...

You know, PP, I totally agree with you. She wore that bracelet for half of the season with no problems, and the ref checks them over from head to toe before each game. This particular ref was a young woman, and was very thorough in all respects, so I suspect she was just trying to do the best job possible - though I did think she was being a hardass at first. She even convinced the other coach to finish the game with less players when another girl had to leave early.

Our coaches are doing this because they love the game, and they are great with the girls. I do cringe, however, when I hear the other coaches barking at the girls throughout the games. I don't think we would have returned for a second year if it had been like that.

BM said...

Yeah!!! LAX is awesome. One of the few honest sports...oh, wait, they don't let girls check do they? oh well, still fun....


it is funny though, innit? a Native American sport and yet almost totally tightie whitie until the last decade or so of outreach to non-prep-school populations...

PhysioProf said...

[T]hey don't let girls check do they?

They're explicitly allowed to stick check. And they don't allow checking in field hockey, either, but have you ever watched a game? Yowch!

acmegirl said...

Also, Thing 1 had a great time demonstrating for me a maneuver she calls the "butt check". Very effective when several players are going for a dropped ball.

BM said...

field hockey: the sport I've been most afraid of playing since my introduction to the women's game at the high school level. never. Middlest may have a future at this game but I'd have to think hard about it!

at least in ice hockey they let ya wear some freakin' pads.


acmegirl, you get Thing 1 skating yet?

acmegirl said...

Oh, boy. Thing 1 is really not the jock type. We have tried more than a few sports, including soccer and ice skating, and none of them were enjoyable enough for her to want to stick with. I was shocked as hell when she came home from school one day and told me about this great game she learned in gym class - lacrosse! Turns out the guy who organizes the town team visits the public elementary school gym classes to introduce the game to the kids.

It's so important for girls to play organized sports of some kind - a good "game face" and the ability to be part of a team are really important skills that serve anyone well in life. So I'm glad Thing 1 is enjoying lacrosse.