Tyler dotted his forehead with sideline chalk. His own version of Ash Wednesday.
He army crawled across the field - a sneak attack, if you will.
He lifted his shirt to show off the remains of the monster truck tattoo on his tummy.
He stood on the other side of the goal, poking his face through the net and roaring at the other team. That's one approach to defense.
He found a treasure on the ground: a plastic, pink ring. Oh, the things one can find as he army crawls during a soccer game.
He told Coach Sarah, "I'll run if you will." Except she's the coach. It's not her job to run.
He told her she was being a bully. She said, graciously, "Yes, I am. Now come over here and get in the game."
Girl after my own heart.
Meanwhile, Tuck was doing this wide-girth thing with the soccer ball, running around the perimeter of the clump of children chasing it. He had his eye on the ball and his head in the game, but he was doing this weird passive thing he's never done before. He seemed to be anticipating the trajectory of the ball, waiting for it to come to him when somebody gave it a good kick.
It's actually a fairly reasonable defensive approach, except that on the preschool team, they don't play with goal keepers or blocking. So he really got no points for this approach; and his team scored no points at all.
And suddenly, I found myself saying, from the sidelines, "Tuck! Get in there, buddy! Get in the game! Go! Why are you way out there?! What is this strategy?? What are you doing?!"
And suddenly I became that mom. The competitive one on the sidelines. I had no inention of becoming this person. I barely recognized myself.
At the end of the game, Tyler received the sticker for best sportsmanship, because he's better at cheering than playing.
Last week, he received the sticker for best defense, since he knew what it meant. (That's what we've come to: Can anyone verbally define the term? Aha! Sticker for you! We'll work on application another time...)
Tucker won the sticker for best offense. Because he got close a couple of times. And that counts for something. It counts for a sticker.
I am encouraging Coach Sarah to start a blog entitled, "I Coach Preschool Soccer." She'd have no shortage of amusing content.
We'll do some off-the-field reminders this week.
"Hey, Tuck? It's not selfish or rude to get in there and get the ball. I realize it's counterintuitive to the things we do at home. But kiddo, go after that ball."
"Hey, Tyler? Engage, kiddo. Just engage."