We Need More Balls
“We need more balls!” my wife cried urgently.
Giggling, I replied “That’s what she sai–”
“Don’t. Just get another one.”
We were in the midst of a Clash of the Ti-twins over a ball, only one of which was out in the living room with them. When an item changes hands between my loinfruits every five seconds punctuated by banshee screams and floor flails, it can get ugly pretty quickly, hence my wife’s desperation. She kept them separated like a boxing referee listening to The Offspring while I hopped the baby gate and scoured the playroom for more balls, trying to suppress the flood of terribly unfunny ball-related innuendos I wanted to crack.
Does ball size matter?
Where would you like me to put the balls?
Will the deflated balls still work?
See? Just terrible. Anyway…
Digging through Rubbermaid bins, tossing Elmos and possessed V-Tech animals aside, I glanced back in the living room to see the Twins had dispersed to opposite sides of the room. My daughter was the most recent tug-of-war champion, proudly parading the ball above her head, taunting her brother despite my wife’s warnings against it.
“No, Baby Girl, don’t tease your brother. He’s gonna get angry.”
You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Just then, I found it–not just any ball, but the exact same ball they were fighting over. We’d bought two of them precisely for moments such as this. “I got it!” I proclaimed, strutting my way back into the ring.
Then I saw something I will never forget as long as I live.
It happened like a slow-mo sports highlight. My son made a sudden beeline for my daughter–who still had the ball–and squaring off as he approached, his feet left the ground. Taking flight in full Superman form, he ducked a shoulder, buried it in her stomach, wrapped his arms around her waist, and assisted her to the floor Terry-Tate-Office-Linebacker-style.
Then, rolling over, he looked me dead in the eye and sang the ending jingle of the SportsCenter Theme Song. “Na-na-na! Na-na-na!”
(Okay, maybe that last part didn’t happen, but I have been teaching it to him and he’s really coming along.)
Eyes as wide as the ball in my hand, I was conflicted. I knew the right thing to do was scold my son for pouncing on his sister, but…I mean, did you see that textbook tackle? That’s my boy!
Oh my God. I don’t think he has a football. I need to go to Sports Authority and get him a ball. And cones for backyard agility drills. Gotta start now or he’ll never win the Heisman. Do they have Pop Warner for one-year-olds? No, wait, you probably have to be at least two…
“John! Will you help me here? Give me the ball!” My wife was comforting my despondent daughter, who had apparently fumbled. Meanwhile, my son performed a celebratory dance that might as well have included a first-down swipe.
“Oh, right. Sorry. Here, Baby Girl,” I said, handing the ball to my poor, disheveled daughter, her eyes welling with tears.
I then turned my attention to my son. “Buddy!” He stopped in his tracks. “No, no. You don’t tackle your sister.” His lower lip began the slow, sad tremble we’ve come to expect whenever we discipline him. He dropped the ball and ran into my arms for assurance that everything was still okay. I picked him up and gave him a squeeze.
“It’s okay, Buddy. You just can’t attack your sister like that…but I gotta say, that was one hell of a takedown.”
“No, really! Did you see that tackle?”
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If not, watch out for my son. He’s right behind you…
Love it! Great post! I hope you noted it in his baby book. First tackle is a significant milestone.
Yeah, it’s in there. Right next to his first March Madness bracket, drawn with crayons and saliva. He picked Elmo over Thomas the Tank Engine in the National Championship. I told him Simba was destined to defeat Scar, but he insisted.
Kids! They never listen. :)
Don’t discount that early bracket training. Our whole family does it every year. Shoulda seen my 17 yo son when his youngest sister’s bracket beat his this year! Great life training. I love watching all the research he puts into his. If only he’d apply that to his homework.
They grow so fast! You’ll blink and they’ll be ten. Soak it all in now.
BTW, if your daughter is anything like my 3, she’ll display her hidden tackling talent at a truly amazing moment. My youngest took out a kid she thought was too close to baby Jesus during the Christmas pagent when she was 3. Every dad in the place applauded. It was a fine tackle.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to my daughter getting into the act. It’s going to be hours and hours of entertainment.
Gotta be an exciting moment for a dad. Just wait until she gets the “balls” to tackle him back!
I’m sure she will. She likes to tease him way too much to let stuff like this go.
funny stuff. hope my second one’s a boy so i can do the same.
I hope so, too, man. It’s been fascinating to me to see the different dynamics between my son and me and my daughter and me. The relationships are completely different, but equally as awesome.
I’m the exact way when I see the Kid wind up and throw a baseball just as hard as Nolan Ryan could!
It’s incredible, right? I know it’s also incredibly male, but I can’t deny the jolt I get when I see my boy do stuff like this.
I would’ve done the same (tackle my sister).
I am a big supporter of doing your best to raise your kids free from gender stereotypes and despite best efforts I have a sugar and spice girl and a puppy dog tail boy. Sounds like you’re in the same boat.
I am! The Twins are so incredibly stereotypical and we have absolutely nothing to do with it. He’s a little athlete who loves digging in the dirt an throwing things, an she’s a little princess who loves snuggly pink blanket forts, hairbrushes, and flowers.
lmao! whenever Sweet Boy (age 4) gets too rough with Pretty Girl (age 1), he tries to justify himself by saying ” i was just hugging her momma; she likes it, see?”
Nice. I can’t wait to hear the excuses mine come up with. As a former teacher, I’ve had a lot of practice fielding excuses. They won’t know what hit them.
sweet..i’m also coming up with a list of mundane things to do for when they try to claim that they’re bored
Oooh, that’s a great idea. Definitely gonna start one of those.
Looks like you’re going to have to teach your daughter how to protect herself going over the middle like that.
True. Might need to get out the whiteboard and draw up some plays for her. And of course, there’s always the old classic: the stiff arm.
So, have you bought the football yet? Loved the tale. And “Clash of the Ti-twins” is truly inspired! ;)
I haven’t, but it’s on my mile-long list of things to do. It’s coming soon to home near me.
Thanks so much!
Great post! I can only imagine how that tackle looked like. Hope your daughter is doing okay.
I’m a new reader and absolutely dog everything. Keep it up!
Thanks so much! Welcome aboard! Yeah, my daughter’s fine. It’s only a matter of time before she picks up on his new trick and starts tackling him back. I’m hoping to get a winning AFV submission out of it.
Ooooooh my lord that is my house you’re talking about!! We have 15 month twins boy/girl. My daughter Lily bullies her brother Noah and the he hits her after a good bottom lip trembling cry*nd a hug!! Love the blog thank you!
Welcome! Glad to have you aboard. Yeah, who knew socialization was a contact sport?