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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Soccer: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, a brief note from a few days ago: Jon David prayed a marathon prayer tonight... I loved it! He thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, Luke, and the baby. He prayed that God would help Don do well in his classes, and that God would help him (JD) to do well in soccer, and for God to help my belly not to hurt. He asked God to help Luke not to be sad while he (JD) was at school...and a whole bunch of other random things. Well, in the middle of it, he broke some serious wind... Luke, Don, and I all lost it. It was hilarious!
OK, on to the soccer scenarios. I blogged recently about Luke starting soccer. Jon David is playing soccer as well. He has been practicing some, but the first 3 games of the season were rained out. Anyway, he finally had his first game this past week, and the other team was considerably better than the Magic (the Magic is JD's team). Well, Don decided to take control a little bit. He asked the volunteer coach for permission to do some drills with the kids during the next practice--which was the next day. Thankfully, the coach was more than willing. I stayed home with Luke, but Don said things went really well. The kids responded positively to every drill he ran with them. So much, in fact, that the very next day, they "won" their second game. I put "won" in quotation marks, because there is no score keeping. However, we all know how competitive kids can be anyway, and JD was keeping score without a score board. It was a shining moment for him. He scored the first goal of the game, and also the last. He stopped the ball a few times from the other team, and kicked the ball down the field some, too. 3 or 4 of his team mates also scored several times, and made some great plays for 5 and 6 year olds. In short, it was a glorious moment for all of us. I was so proud of Don, and many parents seemed grateful for his efforts. Granted, the other team didn't seem to be as good as the first one we played, but still! :)
Above, Luke lounging during JD's game.

OK, now for Saturday. Luke had his soccer practice at 9:15.

He did very well. We then had to go straight to the field where Jon David had another game, because they were going to take team and individual pictures early. So we arrived at our next destination at 10:20 or so. Let me also interject here that things were not going so great in the Caulley household thus far. The boys had not eaten a great breakfast, because they wanted some Easter candy, Jon David had of course gotten hungry during Luke's soccer practice, AND had to go to the bathroom--in the port-a-potty at the park--AND it was #2. Lovely! Thankfully, he is old enough to handle most of this by himself, but I put toilet paper down for him, trying not to look down as my nausea still occasionally flares up... Anyway, on the way to Jon David's soccer pictures, I had packed an early lunch, which they were already eating, because Luke was genuinely hungry at this point, and I don't really know what Jon David was--probably a combination of bored, grumpy, tired? (sure, why not), car sick, hungry at the same time? and for some reason not excited about taking pictures and having a game on the same day. He had decided that was all together too much for him. Not to mention that the occasional back talk and sassiness were already brewing something dark in the air... So, we arrive, and Don drops us off and runs to grab a quick cup of coffee. To spare some of the more gory details for the sake of my precious son whom I really do love with all of my heart, it was just not pretty... I threatened to spank him as we were waiting for all of the team mates to arrive. Finally, the picture taking session was about to begin. All of the team members were sitting together on the bench:
Take a look at the third child from the left... Mmmm hmmm! You got that right. A picture says a thousand words! And this one says a few more than that! Well, I had taken his sunglasses off--since he was about to get his picture made. This was to be the beginning of the end... Ok, enough build up. He started crying during his individual picture taking time because the sun was too bright and he couldn't look up (I was standing in the background, trying to act like I couldn't see him, knowing full well that there was absolutely nothing I could do at this point). During the team picture, he just flat put his head down, I'm talking top-of-his-sweet-but-impish-at-the-time-little-blond-head-visible-only!!! In rebellion against the bright sun, and in intolerance of the light without his sunglasses, I guess. I couldn't even look and see what happened when the photographer actually took the shot. Don walked up right then and asked me if he was doing OK... Me: strong head shake!! I don't know exactly how many times the photographer tried before giving up, I was too embarrassed at this point to care. I know, it's sad to admit that I was embarrassed by my own son. I learned that I have areas of pride that should not be there, but anyway, that was the least of our worries that day. We start to walk back to the soccer field to get ready for his game, and Luke starts to cry because the sun is in his eyes. Try to picture the scenario at this point of us walking with two(NOT toddler) crying children, Don not making any bones about disciplining JD and me trying to hang back with Luke, in some obscure hope that maybe the people who don't really know who we are might think that Luke and I are in a separate family! JD also doesn't seem to care how many spectators there are, and starts screaming at his Daddy. Something to the effect of: (Don first) "we're just going to go home, you can't play soccer today if you are going to act this way" JD: "No Daddy!"... more bargaining and discussion about having a better attitude, being brave without sunglasses on, etc.... Finally, after an excessive amount of fit throwing, we decided that we just had to go home. Don even gave him a final chance, saying that if we stayed, he needed to behave perfectly and be a good boy. JD said that he thought he had better go home. Ha! I guess he knew he couldn't handle it. Well, the ride home was unbearable. More screaming, gagging even, crying, begging, bucking... we decided to throw his sunglasses away as a punishment, and not allow him any special priviledges that day...
Mama said there'd be days like this...
There was also a carnival that day at JD's school. We did not feel like we could possibly take Jon David, but we hated to deprive Luke, so Don took Luke by himself... more screaming, protesting, agonizing (from child #1 of course). I cried a LOT that day!!! I was exausted that night.
But, to end on a positive note, and in order not to torture the grandparents anymore, Jon David finally did calm down. I played baseball with him in the backyard some, and Don cuddled with him a lot, and finally told him towards dinner time that his day of consequences was over, that we were ready to start over and not talk about it any more.
I gotta tell ya, Don and I felt like horrible parents yesterday. We acted, we reacted, we were taken aback by our son's behavior... I'm sure we did one or two things right, but we sat in bed last night thinking about the wrong things... Don stayed up much later than I did. Please pray for us and our parenting, and for our little boys to be good, godly little boys, and good, godly big ones too eventually! Please pray that we would seek God more, and that God will make us into good parents. We need all the help we can get!
Today was a MUCH better day! Jon David looked sweet and precious to me again. It's funny how his face can look so different to me at times. He was still his occasional fysty (sp?) self, but overall, very sober. He struggles with getting car sick almost every time we go to church (we have to drive 30 min each way). He complained some this morning, but not nearly as much as he normally does. He and Luke both sat sweetly and quietly listening to the rain hit the car as we drove. Don and I were able to talk. Then we both wanted to talk to them! Don even let each of them eat a piece of chocolate on the way home. They smiled knowing their parents were proud. Don had to study this afternoon, so after letting the boys watch Air Bud, I took them for a walk and they rode their bike and razor around. I would say that overall, peace has been restored.

Here are a couple of random backyard shots, to end with a smile and a laugh. This one below is of the boys sitting in front of their tent with our two year old neighbor, who thinks they both hung the moon. It's very sweet. He sometimes calls them "Jon Luke". We're not exactly sure which one he is referring to when he says that. :)


  1. Im so sorry to hear you had such a bad day!! I know what you mean about being embarrassed by your kids behavior- thats exactly how to felt Sat. morning when Nathan refused to participate in soccer unless I was next to him! ugh! I was totally embarrassed as all the other parents watched on (I had to keep reminding myself he's barely 3). I think all parents relate to days like that. We've had a weekend full of attitude as well, but it was probably our own fault as we had several late nights in a row.
    I hope that, despite our depressing weather, your week continues to improve!! =)

  2. Anna, just think, without days like this you wouldn't have stories to tell like these. You would be that annoying woman who, when everyone else is complaining about their struggles with their kids, says something like, "Well, I just don't know, my kids never do that!" Oddly enough, I've experienced a little bit of this with our dog. When we are up in the middle of the night hosing out poop Chris says, "Just think of the story this will make."... it never makes me feel better at the time though :)



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