FLASHBACK on PITCHBACK!!
So Chef would always tell me about how poor his family was and how they would often find discarded toys at the local junk yard--which they would refurbish and get good use out of them.
One of those items was a "pitchback." It's basically a metal frame with netting so that when you throw a softball or baseball at the netting, it rebounds back and you can practice playing catch by yourself to your heart's content--reminiscent of handball but I digress.
Well several years back, Chef, convinced that all his progeny is "athletic" and bound for the major leagues, bought lots of fancy, expensive baseball gear for YSS.
Now this was AFTER a scenario of Chef trying to TEACH YSS to catch a ball at age stb 7. Frankly I have NEVER seen a child so inept and NON athletic as YSS. He would close his eyes, stand about two feet apart from Chef and STILL manage to miss catching the ball. He must have "missed" about 50 times before I had to walk away for fear of laughing out loud. I honestly have seen toddlers, including my own bios when they were small, catch the ball with much more accuracy and enthusiasm than YSS. I realize that playing ball isn't everyone's cup of tea but YSS was always less than enthused about anything other than screens. Side note: All of Chef's kids are absolutely HUGE for their age. YSS at stb 7 was often mistaken for a 12 year old.
Chef sets up the pitchback and all the fancy baseball gear. Chef demos the items for him over a span of about 25 minutes. Chef walks in with an air of confidence that YSS would be off and running by himself with the pitchback for at least the next 30 minutes or so. WRONG!!! YSS probably stands outside with the gear for about 35 SECONDS before he comes running in and DEMANDS to be "supervised" all during play or else he just wants to do screens.
Now I come from a generation where kids self-entertained the whole day long and had to be DRAGGED in for supper. Chef did too. I wasn't expecting too much different from skids but boy did I get an education. Today's children will simply NOT self-entertain and the parents are right there to see that they don't.
What reminded me of this was that I saw a young man with his young son and a pitchback in their front yard. At least the boy was making an attempt to work the pitchback whereas YSS wanted nothing to do with it.
In fact, the next weekend when YSS was over, he literally left all his fancy baseball equipment outside in the rain after Chef had dragged it all out for him (leather catcher's mitt, pitchback, etc). When I let YSS know he needed to go outside and bring it all in, he said "Nah, I think I WON'T!"
This was during my semi-disengagement--because it was actually MY money that had paid for this top of the line gear; I then insisted he pick it up, which he tried to stall by saying "I'm not done with this video game yet." Reminded me of a King of the Hill Episode where Bobby wouldn't mind his father when told to stop playing a video game.
The upshot was, the fancy gear was practically abandoned the second it came out of the packaging; like everything else to a spoiled, jaded kid. I ended up selling the stuff on craigslist after a "safe" period of time following the final PAS out.