Friday, May 22, 2009
An Injustice...
As a general rule in life, I try very hard to avoid things that stress me out... but the things that make me mad? I avoid those like the plague. It is one of the main reasons that I am single and that I've remained that way for so long. I have a zero tolerance for being angry. I don't like it and I will remove someone from my life if they make me angry.
I don't like being angry.
Or stressed out.

Now it is quite easy to avoid anger and stress if you stay in a nice little bubble and don't allow other things into your bubble. That's something that is quite easy for me.
This is a VERY high tech rendering of what my bubble might look like.

You'll notice that my mother and my job are the only two things that are both in and out of my bubble.
If I could just marry a VERY rich, semi attractive, kind man who wanted to buy my mom a house and give her an allowance and wanted me to quit working and pursue my dream of being an author, all would be right in the world.
Sadly, that is not to be.

Anyway, this edition of People and/or Things I am Pissed Off At isn't about my job or my mother.
It's about softball.
Now this isn't the first time I've been pissed off about softball and it probably won't be the last...
Let's start at the beginning.
Yeah.. go get a drink.
No, I'll wait.

A couple weeks ago, Amanda ditched softball practice to go to the carnival with Katy-Kate. She asked me if she could go and I was more than happy to let her since her and Emo have been fighting a LOT lately and I was looking forward to the break in the chaos. Plus, we live in the middle of nowhere and the girls don't often get invited to go do something fun so I wanted her to have a good time.
When Emilee went to practice that night, the coach apparently was pretty pissed that she had ditched practice and he talked about her lack of commitment to her teammates. If you have daughters or you are a chic, you know that gossip spreads like crazy when you are a preteen/teen so by the time Amanda was in school on Monday, all the drama about how she had ditched practice had circulated around and Amanda was afraid to go to practice that day because she thought she was in trouble.
When we got to practice that day, Amanda sucked it up and took her medicine. I blogged about how brave she was in talking to her coach and even though she felt it wasn't fair, I backed the coach when he made her sit out the first two innings of the game as punishment. I thought at the time that if it was his intention to have girls sit out for missing practice that he really should have made that clear at the beginning of the season but I didn't argue the choice.
But then it was like he was pissed at her for standing up to him. He kept on throwing jabs at her for having attitude. He regarded her disagreeing with him and having the guts to say so as attitude. And I get that some people raise their kids that way, I know that not all families are ran the same way mine is. I respect my kids and their opinions and I want them to stand up for themselves. I don't have the whole I'm the mom and I call the shots rule. Sometimes I have to pull The Mom Card and it trumps The Kid Card when it needs to, but I like for us to make decisions as a team, I like for the girls to feel in control of their lives and take responsibility for their choices. So the girls are allowed to stand up for themselves, respectfully and that was exactly what she had done. I was damn proud of her. And I was getting pretty sick of him giving her a hard time about it. And while I like for my kids to stand up for themselves, when bullying grownups are pushing the line of what I consider to be ok, I get to pull out my Mamma Bear and get them to back down.
Fast forward to Drama Night, Monday May 11th...
We had a game in a neighboring town and I got there at the same time as the caravan of vehicles bringing the kids from the various schools. Amanda, Camille, Emilee and a couple of other girls immediately hit the field and started warming up. The coach's daughter and two other girls hit the bench and said they weren't practicing until the coach got there. The girls on the field didn't care. Amanda was in a great mood and I know because I was taking pics and she was smiling and laughing and having a good time.
The coach got there and I went back to the bleachers. A few minutes later, Amanda called me over and said the coach was "being a butt". I asked her what had happened and she said he had walked over to her and said, "Amanda, you're going to play center for the first two innings and then move to first." She said, "ok." And then he went on this whole tirade about how he was tired of her bad attitude and he didn't know what her problem was with him but he was a nice guy so she had better knock it off.
All from an "ok"?
I told her we'd deal with it after the game.
A few minutes later, the girls started buzzing about how they were getting to play some new positions. I was glad to hear it since I'd mentioned at the game before that the coach, who had promised at the beginning of the season that all girls would be playing all positions, hadn't really moved the girls around very much and that it looked like the same four girls were rotating the bench.
Sure enough, about mid-way through he started shuffling the girls around. I was taking pictures while Camille's mom was keeping score so I was preoccupied with that and not paying as much attention to who was winning or what was going on in the game. Amanda and Emilee both waved me over towards the end of the third inning but I put them off since I wanted to finish taking pics. They were both clearly unhappy about something.
At the beginning of the fifth inning, I put my camera up and went to sit down with Camille's mom. At this point in the game we were ahead. Since we were visitors, we were up to bat first. I watched our team bat and everything seemed copasetic. Then it was time for our team to hit the field and the opposing team to bat. This was really the first chance I'd had to watch the game from a Mom standpoint and not just looking for great shots. I saw that the coach had moved the girls around and Emilee was playing second base.
If you don't have kids in sports, you probably have no idea how fun it is to watching your kids play a sport. Especially when it's a high traffic spot, like a base is in softball. It's very exciting.
Along with Emilee being on a new base, several other girls were also moved around to new bases. Now, while exciting, it is not the time to be pulling of risky moves when you have kids out there who haven't played those positions before. Unfortunately some errors were made where risky plays took place and didn't work out causing the opposing team to run several players in.
Our coach went NUTS.
He was yelling at the girls from the dugout. And I don't mean in a way that was productive, I mean in a WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!? kind of way. And not just once, but over and over again.
And you know what?
If that happens to you while you're on the field, it's embarrassing. It sure as hell won't help your playing improve because he's basically just humiliated you in front of your team and the spectators.
When our girls went back to the dugout, Camille's mom asked the assistant coach as she walked by what the coach's deal was. She said, "I don't know, guess he's PMSing." Camille's mom said something about how he was being pretty rough on the girls, including the assistant coach's daughter. She said her daughter could handle it and then started walking across the field to take her position.
It was then that I heard Amanda yell at me and looked over to see her hugging Emilee, who was sobbing. Two other girls that are Em's friends and Camille were standing there patting her on the back, telling her it was ok. When I got over there, Amanda was livid. She proceeded to tell me that when they came of the field, the coach pretty much reamed them and when he started reaming them individually, he turned on Em. When Emilee started crying, Amanda jumped in and told him to more or less back off, he kept going and then Camille jumped in as well to defend Emilee before he finally backed off.
A quick glance into the dugout showed that Emilee wasn't the only girl crying.
It is at this point as a mother that you take stock.
-Someone has made my daughter cry... should I rip them apart with my bare hands? Or am I overreacting?
I stood there holding Emilee while Amanda went on and on about how we needed to leave, forget the coach, he isn't treating her sister that way! And then the coach looked over at me and saw that there was a commotion. He walked off the field and come over to where I was standing behind the dugout, walked up to me and said, "What's the deal Kate?" I told him, "the deal is that half of your team is crying Coach." His response was to look at Amanda and say, "Well bad attitudes spread like wild fire" and then looked at Emilee, "and if Emilee can't handle second base she shouldn't have asked to play it." And then he went back out onto the field.
It was like he said something but all I heard was, "Kate, I'm an asshole who is being mean to your kids, you should beat my ass. And if you need something to do it with, there is a whole dugout full of baseball bats. Go ahead, grab one."
And I so wanted to beat his ass. I wanted to punch him in the face for being shitty to Amanda and I wanted to kick him in the nuts for making Em cry.
I of course did neither of those things because I always have to take the stupid high road.
But I did tell the girls we would leave if they wanted but to remember that if they left, they would be leaving their team, not just the coach. They decided to stay since we were in the sixth inning and since the field didn't have lights the game would most likely be called soon anyway.
Sure enough ten minutes later, the Ump called the game.
I told the girls to get their stuff so we could go. Unfortunately, the girl who was carpooling with us was in charge of snacks so she had to get those and get them passed out. While she was doing that, the Ump called our coach over to talk to him. During this conversation, the coach got loud and mad and when he stomped off of the field, the Ump asked him for his last name and our coach yelled back, "None-Ya!"
And then as he stomped through the dugout, he said, and I quote, "Fuck him, he isn't going to tell me how to coach my fucking team." His "fucking" team was sitting right there in the dugout as he said it to.
The little person who lives in my head was repeatedly pressing the ABORT button because my temper was almost unmanageable. I just kept repeating in my head over and over and over, "Take a deep breath, we're about to leave, take a deep breath, we're about to leave..."
The girls were done handing out snacks and were getting their gear together when the coach came back into the dugout to give his End Of The Game Speech.
"Take a deep breath, we're about to leave, take a deep breath, we're about to leave..."
He went into this whole spiel about how he HAD to take the girls to their breaking point to bring out the best of them.
If I were a cartoon character, this would have been the part where the steam started shooting from my ears and my head exploded.
You have to berate and yell at my daughter until she cried in order for her to be a better player? I. Don't. Fucking. Think. So.
As soon as I got the girls in the car, I quickly and vehemently explained that that whole line of thinking was bullshit. That no one has to tear you down to build you up. Immediately forget what you've just heard.
I was so mad.
When I got home, I did a lot of thinking about what I was going to do about all of it. I came to the conclusion that it wasn't ok and I needed to report him to our board. I talked to Camille's mom about it and then once I'd written up my compliant, I emailed it to her. She read it and called me and reassured me that I wasn't being all crazy-female and I sent it to the board.
The conclusion to this whole hot mess next, stay tuned.

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so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 2:06 AM
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Who: katehopeeden
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