noun (c) mainly US informal
a person who is new to an organization or an activity
Source: Cambridge Dictionaries online
I guess I have a 'self deprecating' sense of humour. It started at school as a kind of humbling self protection mechanism. I think I find it reassuring to acknowledging my weaknesses before someone else has an opportunity to point them out to me!
This morning I was a 'Hot mess Rookie Mum'. I've been flying solo this last week, as my American boy is up in San Francisco at a Virtual Reality conference aka Gamer Geek-fest aka lots of free dinners and opportunities for pictures with Power Rangers (really!). It wasn't great timing as we'd just signed our eldest up for Little League, and this weekend was his first proper game. It's been my husband's dream to have his boys play baseball. Being a mother of 2 boys I have also had my dream of one day my husband taking the boys out for sports so I can read Hello magazine and eat cake in peace, perhaps even sneak in a mani/pedi!
So, this week Little League duties fell on my shoulders. I do enjoy the odd Baseball game, I enjoy the singing, the crowd participation, and buy some peanuts and cracker jacks, buy me a beer, and I'll sure root, root root for the home team! But, that's about the extent of my baseball knowledge. I've already made plenty of Rookie Mum faux-pas by referring to the 'field' as the 'pitch', it's a 'game' not a 'match', and I'm pretty sure 'hey batter batter, Kennedy Kennedy, swing batter' might just be reserved for watching certain films from 1986.
This being his first game (see I'm learning!) I'd left plenty of time to get us all up, dressed and out the door, but somehow, as often happens when you attempt to leave the house with small people, it never quite goes according to plan. That spare time seems to get sucked into some kind of Parental time vortex.
Arriving 5 minutes late to the 'field' (brownie point Laura), I realise this seems to be THE event of the weekend. There seem to be a million Kids, playing multiple games across many fields, and every kid's Mum (Mom), Dad, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Dog walkers etc seem to have turned up with carts complete with cup holders filled with chairs, snacks and semi-professional photography equipment to watch them all in action!
After tracking down which field our team was on I bundled our youngest under one arm, and bucket 'o' baseball kit in the other and ordered my eldest to run! Hot and sweaty we made it just as the team were finishing their warm up, and with a 'Don't worry, it happens' from our forgiving Coach I got our lad to the dugout (bench where the team sits). ONLY to discover we were missing one of his cleats (Baseball shoe)! Pleading with my eldest to stay put whilst Mummy went in search of said shoe I again bundled our youngest onto my hip (other side this time, gotta even out the Mummy work out), and we pegged it back across the field. Visions of my son in therapy in years time flashed through my head, recounting how he'd missed his first baseball game because he only had one shoe. I frantically searched the path we had taken, praying that the Baseball gods were in our favour today...and low and behold, in the distance I spotted a wondrous vision of our long lost blue muddy shoe!
Heading back we made it to the dugout just in time to get him suited and booted for the game to start. 'Don't worry it happens' said the kind Team Mom to me, as I sweatily shovelled my child's feet into place.
For those of you who have not heard of a 'Team Mom' or 'Team Parent' if we are going to be P.C, I shall explain. This is a volunteer parent from the team who's job it is to ensure kids and parents do their bit to make this well oiled machine work. He/ She ensures the kids have snacks, the right kit, get out onto the field in the right positions, and they're also apparently available to reassure Rookie Mums like me, that I am not a complete twonk. They will reassure you that loosing your kids chuffing shoe minutes before his first ever game 'happens'!
I went on to catch my breath, drink my latte, get my hot mess self together, and bloomin' well enjoyed that game. Our little man did great. His idiotic Mother's actions didn't seem to distract or psychologically damage him, and he went on to hit 4 for 4! (Totally made that bit up, he did hit the ball a few times, but no idea how you describe it!). He had a great time, and I had a great time watching him in action. I also got to meet some of the other parents, and they're a real nice bunch! Turns out I'm not the only Rookie Mum. Even though some of these guys had the advantage of growing up in this country which is the home of Baseball, they are also somewhat clueless on how this whole Little League season will play out. Let's just say they may just be A LOT better at managing their children's footwear situation.
You know what? I think we're all Rookies, particularly in Parenthood. We will forever be faced with new experiences and challenges throughout our child's life. We'll screw up, we'll have successes, but with a bit of help and support from our Parental Peers and reassurance 'it happens', we can help each other survive this crazy fun adventure!
So, watch this space. This gal may just be reconsidering her weekly date with Hello magazine. Looks like being a Little League Rookie Mum might actually be my 'cup of tea'...and I can still have that with a side order of cake.