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thinkthrice's picture

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, Blum 3 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.

Fast Forward:

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. Blum 3

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.


DaizyDuke's picture

HAHA we just ran across a pitchback at a rummage sale for $1.00. We almost got it for BS7 then decided the side of the barn works just as well for his baseball practice sessions. lol

I think it's kind of hard to get an "older" kid excited about a sport. I remember when SS was about 9 BM signed him up for soccer for the first time. Most of the time he just stood there acting clueless while his teammates (who had probably been playing for 5 years, played the game) SS only played that one season and then never played any sport again after that. And I guess not every kid is cut out for sports. SS18 is much better at smoking dope and failing school than he EVER was at soccer. Wink

thinkthrice's picture

The thing though is that from age 5 on, the Girhippo would sign up all three skids for every.activity.under.the.sun (TM), of course in the attempt to keep Chef from interacting with them and preoccupied with providing 45 minute (one way) transport to and fro from such hometown events the entire visitation.

At one time, the older two were in at least 3 sports individually. OSS would be signed up for tball, pee wee football and soccer, boy scouts, community center activities and drama. Same thing with SD. We would be handed the bill but never the schedule.

And what an amazing coincidence!! OSS stb 21 is also very good at smoking pot--he barely made it through high school!! Lol

agitated's picture

I just read somewhere about how different times are now from back when we were kids. Parents (most anyway) feel as thought they MUST entertain their children. UMMMMM, no. Developmentally it is important for children to learn how to entertain themselves, it opens their imagination to all different kinds of things. It's proven to help them function as adults! Do I entertain my children on occasion, SURE I do, but not all the time. The awesome, self-made (no instructions) Lego worlds my kids have created out of "boredom" are awesome. Had I stepped in an entertained them, they never would have had the chance to use their imagination. One of my children now wants to be an architect, because he loves creating and building little villages.

Tuff Noogies's picture

you should hand him a few packs of cards and let him build card-houses with them! that's what my brother used to do, we'd spend hours. it self-teaches symmetry and weight support.

agitated's picture

We used to do that! All of us as a family. We are dorks. BUT he has like 50 decks of cards, no joke. He is huge into magic tricks and is really good at them. I'll suggest to him building houses with the cards, see what he says.

ESMOD's picture

I catch like your SS.. problem is I have no depth perception. One eye is very weak so I have a hard time with catching small objects thrown at me because I have a hard time judging distance.

I can drive ok because I have learned to interpret an object's perspective.. but the world does appear a little "flatter" to me.

I scared the crap out of my husband once because I swore we were about to get hit head on.. it was two different cars a distance away.. just fooled me.

Cooooookies's picture

SS14 is a screen addict and DH allows so I say nothing. We went to the beach the other day. DH left early because it's not his thing so SS and I walked home. The walk is about 10 minutes max. Not even 20 paces from the beach, he's moaning that the bag he's carrying can't be put over his shoulder.

SS - How do I hold this?
Me - With your hand
SS - *Swings it this way and that, stops, adjusts, huffs, swings, adjusts, stops...*
Me - Just give it to me, you're going to drop everything in it!

He has the cooler with long straps over his shoulder and I'm carrying the huge bag and the foldable beach chair. He then gets slower and further behind me.

Me - What's wrong now??
SS - I have a stitch in my side
Me - We have been walking for 5 minutes and I'm carrying all the heavy stuff and you're tired?? Honestly I'm 27 years old than you and kicking your butt. You're nearly 15, you should be running circles around me.

Sometimes I just can't bite my tongue. It's so infuriating how kids are raised on screens and aren't even healthy enough to go for a simple walk. I, too, was raised on 'get outside and only come in if you need a pee or drink and you better be quick!!' motto. I really wish it would go back to that. SO much better!

Pilltock's picture

I have one of these as well and it is so infuriating!! He is lazy, unfit and rude - just happy to spend all the time on his screen and ignore DH and the rest of the family. Always a really bad atmosphere whenever his spot-riddled face enters the room. I'm trying not to hate him but I'm failing miserably - I feel your pain! Smile

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

OMG, this makes me flash back to when the skids used to come. OSS was 12 and YSS was 6 when we updated the backyard- built a new patio, hung a tire swing (at YSS's insistence), set up a basketball hoop (at OSS's request), and bought a bunch of outdoor equipment- scooters, yard games, every kind of ball imaginable, etc. etc. etc. The kids went shopping with us and helped us choose everything. At the store, they were excited.

The following weekend, DH tells them to get off the screens and go outside and play. We check the backyard after a little bit as it was eerily quiet back there. YSS is standing in the middle of the yard like a zombie. "What are we supposed to do out heeeeeeeeeere???" OSS is sitting there picking at the grass.

Shrugs. Oh well. They stayed outside away from the screens (both were getting full-on addicted to the point where they'd CRY when being told to put up the PlayStation.) If they chose to spend their time outside doing nothing, that's fine. It's their time. My BS, nephew and niece enjoyed all the outdoor stuff so it didn't go to waste.

DaizyDuke's picture

OMG!! that is hilarious! lol Before I even had BS7, I vowed I would NEVER let him be like SS18.. attached to screens and sitting in his room every day. nope, no way. I grew up on a farm and let me tell you the minute I finished my breakfast in the morning, I was a whirlwind of activity... helped milk cows (not because I was told to, because I liked to) chased barn cats around, rode my pony, ate lunch, went back to the barn and brushed pony, or gave pony a bath, "helped" my grandpa in the garden or in his woodshop, or helped my grandma snap beans, make cookies or whatever she was up to, went to the creek and caught crayfish, or went to the pond and went fishing and then it was about time for mom to get home from work and we'd have dinner, watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and then off to bed. When I was a teenager, Atari was HUGE, everyone had one... well except for us, because my mother forbade it. Said she was not going to allow us to sit in front of video games drooling like idiots. I used to think she was mean, now I see why and I wouldn't change it for the world.

BS7 has a tablet, but we have ZERO gaming systems in our house and won't be having one either. He'll play on his tablet if it's raining/snowing outside and he's been cooped up all day but never spends more than 30 minutes at a time on it and that's HIM, I have never had to tell him to put it away. Other than that we are out riding bikes, hiking, swimming, doing chores around the house/barn, he is riding his four wheeler, playing with the dogs, throwing pitches at the side of the barn, playing Star Wars in the yard and actually LIVING life.

24 years as a SM's picture

I look at my grand-kids and just shake my head, they have no clue of how to entertain themselves. I was raised on a ranch, we were up at the butt crack of dawn, did our chores and then we were off and running until lunchtime. My mom could whistle so loud you could hear it for miles, you would haul butt back to the house, eat lunch and back out you went. If you hung around the house, mom would find extra chores to do. Nothing is worse then scrubbing the bathroom tile with Comet and a toothbrush.
Some of our friends thought our mom was mean, because she made us do extra chores if we stayed at the house. Now that I think about it, she was a genius, with 9 kids, to get us out of her hair most of the day.

thinkthrice's picture

Today your mom and mine (and me) would be called "abusive." Sad.

I can only imagine why so many kids have ADHD etc. all cooped up and ramped up over screens but with no outlet. Kids were meant to move, run and play. The cognitive dissonance between watching exciting flying cartoons and 3D anime running at you but being physically still must be murder on the nervous system.

notsobad's picture

If any of you are readers you will enjoy Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. Very well written and is the future we're looking at.

It's been made into a movie and will be out soon.

It's all about how life has become online in virtual worlds. Kids don't even go to school anymore, they log in virtually.