Editor’s Note: This is one of Heidi Woodard’s first blogs ever posted on the site. Enjoy!
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You’ve all either witnessed one or been one or are one yourself: the psycho, overly-involved, hovering-over-your-child mom. You have good intentions (or so you claim), but your actions tend to speak louder than words.
So which division of moms is the most intense? Is it the sports mom? The cheer/dance team mom? What about spelling bee mom? The “My child’s on the honor roll, homecoming court or show choir” mom?
I think by watching only two episodes of “Toddlers and Tiaras” I have locked in my vote. If you are forcing your 3-year old to spray tan and whiten teeth, you maaaay want to step back, take a long look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “Why?”
This psycho mom thing really started to rear its head as I sat and watched my 8-year-old practice baseball last week. First of all, I felt the need to introduce myself to the coach for the first time upon arriving at the field (my husband had handled practice duty up to this point) by saying I would be willing to help during practice if he needed anything. I also tossed in the fact that I played ball at Creighton many moons ago.
And that’s when the little voice in my head said, “Really? You are dropping credentials? It’s a 10-and-under league. If you know which hand your glove goes on and where the concession stand is located, you are probably qualified enough to help out if needed.”
Later in practice, the team started taking batting practice. This is the first year that Owen has competed in a league in which the pitchers are his peers (prior to now it was coach pitch).
My little lefty was at the plate, his helmet balanced too far back on his head, taking cuts. The count was 3 balls, 2 strikes, and I could see that the teammate who was pitching to Owen was trying just as hard to ring him up as Owen was trying to make contact.
Then it happened. An inside fast ball nailed my little man smack-dab on his bony hip. And he went down.
I know I made an audible gasp. The pitcher actually glanced at me. And I gave him this “It’s OK … I know you didn’t mean to do that” look. And then my focus returned to my son. He slowly got up, wiping away tears, trying to reassure his coach and me that he would be OK. I was so proud of him that I can’t even put it into words.
I met him in the dugout (yes, I did … the sacred space where parents really shouldn’t be). I told him the pitcher didn’t do it on purpose. He told me he knew that. I explained that left-handed batters, when facing right-handed pitchers, tend to get hit — especially if the pitcher really wants to strike them out.
The pitcher inevitably winds back to put a little more juice on the ball, and if he doesn’t release the ball at just the right moment, it can result in a pitch that is hard to avoid getting hit with. I told him getting hit with the ball was the worst thing in baseball, but that the pain would go away.
And, finally, I told him to not be scared the next time he went up to the plate. He looked up at me and said, “I won’t.”
All that kept racing through my mind was that someday I would have to explain to him how there will be opposing team pitchers who throw at batters on purpose just to mess with their minds and try to intimidate them.
What will happen if one of those pitchers intentionally hits Owen or someone else on his team? And has a loud-mouth mom who yells, “That’s right, Timmy! Teach him not to crowd the plate the next time he faces you!”?
Well, I can guarantee you that that will be the day I leave the “Toddlers and Tiaras” moms in the dust and solely secure first place in the psycho mom division.
Heidi Woodard is married with three children. Read her Thursdays on momaha.com