Today was Aiden's first day of soccer. Let me preface with I did not sign him up for this with any more intention than for him to have a good time. Maybe that's why it felt like such a fail.
Despite the fact that Aiden only took a 20 minute nap yesterday, he refused to fall asleep until 11:00 last night, then woke up around 6:30 this morning. By the time 10 rolled around he was already pretty exhausted, but it was time for soccer, so off we went!
Since we were about 10 minutes late everyone was already gathered on the indoor field as we rushed in. There were approximately 20-25 kids there, which meant about 50 parents/grandparents as well. It was pretty busy and more than a little chaotic. Aiden was not in the mood to follow instructions.
There were 4 stations where the kids could go to take turns practicing basic soccer skills. It was crazy, yes, but most everyone seemed to be having fun. Then there was Aiden. Kicking his ball in other people's space. Picking up the ball and running from Aaron (he liked the game chase a lot better than kicking the ball). Throwing himself on the ground when he couldn't get his way. Trying to balance on his stomach on the ball. Head butting the ball, Aaron, and the ground. It was kind of embarrassing because he looked like one of those kids you'd want to keep your kids away from at the park. He was that kid.
I had to swallow my pride and own up to being his mom when Aaron had his fill and I took over (when your kid refuses to listen and acts like a feral monkey, his behavior is not as embarrassing as the fact that you are the one who raised him). I pushed up my sleeves and mustered up all the enthusiasm I could gather. I brought him near the only kid he knew there and said things like, "Look at Ryann, see how she's kicking the ball? Doesn't that look fun? Let's try it!" And things like, "Let's pretend the ground is lava and the ball is on fire! You can't touch them with anything but your shoes or they will burn you!" in an effort to get him to actually kick the ball and stop rolling around on the ground. It worked for a total of 2 minutes.
On the drive home, I tried to convince Aaron that it wasn't a waste (I think he had even higher hopes for this than I did). He admitted that even though the last thing he wanted to do was push his own interests on Aiden, he was afraid he couldn't help it (Aaron played a lot of sports growing up, basically from the time he could walk, so its hard to imagine Aiden not doing the same). So I tried my best. It was Aiden's first time doing anything close to an organized sport, I explained. He's only 3 (just turned 3 at that). There were a lot of kids there, it was chaotic. He hardly slept last night, he was just really tired. All the things a good mother says in defense of her child.
Anyway, I think I got through to him because everyone was in a better mood by the time we got home. Aiden even seemed excited when I mentioned soccer next week. We'll see.