The Fun, the Not-So-Fun and the Bizarre

That’s a fairly accurate description of our weekend.

Let’s start with the fun, shall we?  I mean, since it’s my blog and all…

Ahem.

Friday night we headed to the Zoo for the Jungle Boogie concert and some animal sightseeing.  And it was perfect.  The weather was spectacular, the animals were in fine form and the music was great.  And I’d LOVE to show you some pictures, I really would…but I can’t because my camera batteries died and I’m out of AA batteries. 

Seriously – who runs out of AA batteries.  That’s gonna be a big hit against my run for Mom of the Year.

Moving on – hey guess what!?  The time of day to visist the Zoo is late afternoon/evening.  We usually go in the morning and the animals are always napping when we’re there.  Friday night, all of the animals were out and were playing and interacting with the kids.  A bear waved at us, a gorilla flirted with us – particularly Tia – the tigers were wrestling in the pond and the leopards stared back at us through their wired cages with blood thirsty eyes.

It was awesome!

The Bizarre also occurred on this night, however.  In the form of an older gentleman dressed in drag, dancing interpretively to the music.  It was obvious that he had some mental issues so we tried not to make a huge deal out of it, but honestly, it was hard not to stare.  It’s not often you see a man in a wig, tutu, tights, makeup and ribbons spinning circles in public.  It just isn’t…

Sunday morning, I had the privilege bad luck of serving at my son’s baseball field.  Chalk it up to Lee and I being newbies at this whole baseball thing, but I have to say I’m more than annoyed at the requirements they put on parents to work a shift. 

It’s one thing to ask us to come work the concession stand on a Sunday morning, something I’d be willing to do, but instead Lee and I were assigned to field duty (Each child is required to have a parent work two seperate shifts-which means Lee and I both had to do this on different days).  Do you know what field duty is?

It’s cleaning up the crap all over the field from the weekend.  And what’s more – it was me and one other woman left to remove the overflowing trash bags from no less than fifty oversized trash cans and take them to the dumpster (the only plus being that I got to zip around in a golf cart).  We were also supposed to pick any trash up off the ground, wipe down all tables, clean both bathrooms and sweep the sidewalks and dugouts.   Again, there were two of us.   

All I could think as I pulled out ant infested garbage and spilled two-day-old soda down my front is that I paid them to do this.  Seriously, you can’t tell me they’re not making enough money to hire a company to come in and clean up the fields on the weekends.

Oh, and the kicker?  If we don’t show up for our duty – no matter what the excuse may be – they will fine us anywhere from $150-$300.  Yes, so not only do they require that I work, but they threaten me if I don’t.  Unbelievable.

Next year we will be buying out of field duty, which also makes me angry because on top of the fees I’m paying for my son to play ball, now I have to pay them extra fees so I don’t have to work – and what will they do with the extra money?  I’m not sure, but obviously they’re not going to hire help.

Honestly, I do not mind a little grunt work, and, if needed, I’m happy to serve.  I worked hard yesterday to have a good attitude and not complain about the situation – even quoting over and over that I shall do all things to the glory of the Lord!  But expecting two people to clean up 10 fields (and I’m not just talking trash cans - there was rotting food all over the stands, the dugouts, under the stands, etc…) alone is beyond ridiculous.  And to the men who used the Ballwin field bathrooms yesterday – sorry, but those didn’t get cleaned.  I just wasn’t going to do it.

There is a fine line between encouraging parents to get involved and alienating them into feeling frustrated and used.  If you want us to feel a loyalty to you and to want to help serve, then you really shouldn’t shove a piece of paper in our faces with an unrealistic check-list on it and leave us a job better suited to a team of people, not two lone women.

And that’s all I have to say about that…

Comments

  1. I know what you mean. Fenton Athletic Association is the same way with their soccer stuff in the fall. You give them a check for $150 at the beginning of the season and if you don’t show up for your shift, they cash it. And its rather expensive to play, PLUS once kids hit first grade you wind up traveling all over the place. It was a total pain. You’re paying alot of money but the kids aren’t even staying in Fenton. But the kids on Seth’s team (and parents) are great people. But still… I agree with you and that travel stuff has put me on the fence this year.

  2. What a load Kel! I am flabbergasted! I heard Erika Conley briefly mention something about this, but that is crazy! I would seriously choose not to participate in that sport if it was me and our family. Not because I don’t want to work or help, but because if I am paying for my kid to play, then that should come with something…a perk if you will. I’ll work the concessions stand, but I’m not cleaning up 10 fields, plus bathrooms plus hauling trash. That’s insane…I want to see their insurance statements…

    I would seriously tell Cooper we’ll get our own little group of kids and go play baseball somewhere else. GEEZ! As if parents and families aren’t busy enough. That ridiculous. I’m just stunned…I’m thinking you should call the news…I’m serious! That’s money grubbing at it’s worst if you ask me. What if you would have been hurt? This is crazy…..Sorry I’m just in awe of this!

  3. Wait a minute!!! You have to do FIELD duty at Ballwin??!! We have NEVER had to do anything like that. That IS beyond insane. We (Mike) only has to do concession duty twice each season…..and that stinks! That just doesnt seem right to me! Oh, yeah, we are at Ellisville. maybe look into playing at Ellisville next yr if Sloan is still into it. I am gonna ask Mike about Ballwin when he gets home, if he’s ever heard about that. Definately sounds like a job for each TEAM to do once a season…..it would be good for the kids.

  4. Wow -
    Thanks for your responses guys. I was wondering if I was being a total brat about this myself, but it’s good to feel a little validation. I am thinking, actually, of writing the Ballwin league, though I’m not sure it will do much good. Actually, there was another volunteer – a dad – who showed up with us Sunday morning who was apparently there on the wrong day and he told us that the Ballwin Athletic Association is being investigated by the USBBA for some of their policies and practices. Telling, wouldn’t you say?

    Yes – we will check out Ellisville next year. While I won’t be thrilled about having to work concessions, I’ll sell hot dogs over hauling trash any day!

  5. Wait, you had to do field duty at Ballwin? We’re playing in Ballwin, and we didn’t have to do that! We had 2 five hour concession stand duties, which I thought was bad enough! Jason did both of them, so I really had no reason to complain.
    That is insane! Because we don’t already pay enough for our kids to play…and that’s just for one kid right now!

  6. All 3 of my kids played in the Ellisville association and concession duty (back then) was the only requirement. Don’t know whether ‘field duty’ is used anywhere else or not. Ellisville does a nice job and has a terrific facility. Having been a board member of the Little League association back in Ohio (long time ago), I know the frustrations of having some parents not showing up for concession duty – we used ‘buy out’ fees to hire teenagers to fill their spots in the concession stand – in order to keep the other parents from being overworked. Hang in there – it’ll get better!

  7. Elizabeth Ward says:

    Hmmm. My kids are playing through Twin Oaks School in the CYC league and we have NO concession duty NOR obnoxious field clean up. Our responsibilities begin and end at getting our kids there on time and providing one snack for the team. I’m feeling lucky!

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