Boys Will Be Boys

September 25th, 2010 | Posted by Kerry Lyons in boys | family | kids sports | Laughter and Disaster - (0 Comments)

My poor daughter and I are surrounded by boys in every sense of the word. Even our dog is a boy. And even our dog seems to revel in the primal pleasure of burping and farting in a way that I’m certain I will never understand.

In our house, while I’d like to think that I rule the roost, I am woefully outnumbered and consistently amazed and slightly horrified by just how much boys will be boys and how young it all starts. I remember when our firstborn was about one and a half, he looked at me with outright glee and said ‘FART!”. I instantly shot my husband a stern look that clearly said “where the hell did he learn that and do you really think it’s appropriate for a kid under two to be joyfully exclaiming FART?!” and then I sweetly looked at my little lad and said “No, no. Not fart. Toot.” And then he and my husband roared with laughter as if to say “is she serious?! What a loser! Guys don’t TOOT, we FART!” And so it began.

Our triplets are just about the age our first guy was when he discovered the joy of flatulation. And they are equally exuberant. I sometimes feel like a poo-poo prisoner because though they are not yet two, they have figured out the one way to get Mom’s undivided attention is to shout with all their might “Poo Poo Potty!!! POO POO POTTY!!!!!” So, I take them, one by one to sit on the potty. They hold me hostage as I rub their back, sing them songs, tell stories and urge them to poop or pee or do something other than hold me against my will in our dirty bathroom. And you know what my reward is? The occasional fart! The stinky fart (most certainly NOT a tender toot!) has become the first inking of potential success with the poo-poo potty training. Ah, the irony of it all.

And then there are the sports. Our oldest is in first grade and just started soccer. In addition to the identity issues this creates for me (am I now a “soccer mom”? what does that even mean?!), it frankly destroys our weekends. Practice on Saturday, games on Sunday. My five year old races energetically down the field while my husband plays the role of assistant coach and I tear up the field in my own way while trying to corral our other four kids and keep them off the field/out of the goal/away from the ball. It’s the same kind of fun I had when T-ball started in the spring except that now my kids are bigger and faster and it’s harder to catch them!

The triplets love to get in the game – any game. They are obsessed with balls. … soccer balls, soft balls, baseballs, tennis balls, footballs, beach balls, golf balls, lacrosse balls, you name it, they love it. They’re even starting to enjoy their own personal sets, if you know what I mean. Their limited vocabulary is fairly fluent in the language of sport – “pass”, “catch”, “out”, “my turn” are a part of their daily vernacular. And regrettably “NO BALLS IN THE HOUSE” has become part of mine.

Of course, beyond playing sports, watching them has become a favorite pastime. While the triplets are already chanting “J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, JETS!,” our five year old cries when bedtime arrives before the Yankee game ends and then demands to watch Sports Center when he wakes up. Heaven help me and my little lady… especially since, much to my dismay, all my little fellas seem to enjoy watching any sort of ball game while clutching their own. My husband assures me this is all normal (as he asks me to move so he can see the score of the game) and utters with an admittance and acceptance that I’m starting to understand, “Boys will be boys.”

Ok, I admit it. Just a few short weeks ago I was lamenting the loss of Friday nights on the couch and now here I am cheering in unison with a bunch of hyped up 5-year olds, “Go Cubs! Go Blue!” The excitement and anticipation on the kids’ faces is nothing short of infectious. Thus far. there have been two practices and one “game”… the game itself is more of a team-building, morale boosting comedy of errors than any display of athleticism but hey, they are only in kindergarten and it’s really cute.

Game day, as it turns out is a serious affair. The first pitch – or, um, first swing at the T-ball – was scheduled for 6:30. The players were to arrive at 6:10, with a crisp new uniform and can-do attitude. When I got home from work at about 6:03, Des raced by me shouting that we’d have to take two cars because “We can’t be late, there’s a field full of kids waiting for us!” Wow, he’s taking his assistant coach status quite seriously, I thought as he left me in his wake. I looked down to see the triplets staring up at me expectantly as I tottered in my heels and wondered how I would get changed, pack up snacks/diapers/camera/blanket/etc. and be at the field in seven minutes. I looked up to see Des speeding down the street with Liam and Ciara waving out the window and realized that I’d better get my rear in gear because hey, now there was a field full of kids that included mine and I’d better be there!

I haphazardly parked the minivan, unloaded the tots and dragged them across the field just in time to see Liam “Jeter” Lyons at bat… there was no swing and a miss for this guy… he’s been practicing in the backyard and he nailed it! I got to the sidelines just in time to cheer him on as he slid into first. Which, as I learn more about the game in general, I understand is not necessarily advisable or advantageous but man, did it ever look good!

What ensued was about an hour of kids taking turns at bat, tumbling over each other in the field, and providing all the comedic errors you might expect… the ball through the legs, the stunned swing and miss, forgetting to run to base, outfield nose-picking and a lot of high-fiving… which is especially endearing amongst a bunch of five year olds.

So, there you go. In just a week or two, there’s been a remarkable turnaround regarding my T-ball appreciation. Given that I’ve got a LOT more T-Ball years in my future, this is quite a good thing!

T-Ball Season Begins

April 28th, 2010 | Posted by Kerry Lyons in kids sports | MaMa Moments | moms | t-ball - (0 Comments)
T-Ball Season. It has officially begun. It started on Friday night at 6:15 when I found myself in the middle of a field rather than on the couch enjoying our weekly “pizza and movie night.”  I’m not sure if Des or Liam was more excited about our family’s offical entry into organized sports but I can assure you, it wasn’t me! I admit it’s selfish, but I’ve been doing my best to avoid our town’s sporting agenda for at least two years now. And, as a reminder, Liam is only five!  They really start ‘em young around here — as they do just about everywhere else, I’m told.  But, I have a hard time giving up our dinner time and our family time in the name of soccer, basketball or baseball.  I know it’s bound to happen eventually, I just wish it didn’t have to happen so soon.
To me, this foray into bat and ball represents something far more significant.  It is a sign that my little man, my first born, is growing up.  He’s going to be part of a team and though his t-ball team just happens to be the Cubs, it’s not the Lyons Den Cubs.  When Liam is on my team, there’s a decent chance he won’t get hit in the head with a ball or teased for swinging and missing.  Although, should either event occur, I’d be quick to get the ‘boo boo baseball’ or discipline the person responsible for the taunting.  Out on the big field though, all I can do watch.  In theory, anyway.  The reality is that on Friday night, I didn’t get to watch much.  Since Des is one of the assistant coaches, I found myself running a few bases of my own as I chased Kevin, Declan and Cormac while occasionally pausing long enough to ensure that Ciara hadn’t wandered off. I recall glancing up once to see Liam with a batting helmet on and another time I saw him rounding first out of the corner of my eye.  In all though, I didn’t catch much of what was going on and that, I suppose, just confirmed one of my fears.  This is it Mom — welcome to the outfield. 
I didn’t play organized sports as a kid.  My mom wasn’t a “soccer mom.”  I took ballet until I got to college and then running became my physical outlet.  Admittedly, neither is a team sport.  So, I really don’t have a good understanding (or appreciation for) most sports. I like the Superbowl because of the commercials and an annual excuse to eat a lot of junk food. I kind of get basketball because I went to Villanova, very much a basketball-focused school.  I’ve grown to at least understand baseball thanks to the fact that Des is a fanatical Yankee fan.  Soccer still totally escapes me.  As T-Ball season kicks off, so too begins a whole new phase in our lives… rallying our “Cubs” to root for Liam’s Cubs and doing my best to understand and appreciate the many team sports that are bound to fill our days (and nights!) for years to come.