When my boys first played tee-ball, there was no warning about the road to hell we were soon to travel. After all, when they are 5 and 6, there are no outs, everybody gets a turn at bat during an inning and and we cheer for every play – no matter how many errors the little darlings rack up.
Plus, the only expense was the registration fee and two cheap tee ball gloves. A small price to pay to have them learn the lessons of teamwork, develop a few baseball skills, and get a little exercise to boot.
But once tee-ball was over, it’s been a downhill, super-sports-money-suck ever since. Don’t believe me? Here’s the shopping list.
Little League Baseball: a recreational and learning machine pitch league for 7 and 8 year olds.
Editor’s Note: My husband was a coach last year and let’s just say that the parents have a lot to learn about being nice to the coach who is putting up with their sassy-mouthed, ADHD spawn.
$hopping List: Registration fee (x2). Cleats (x2). Cup (x2). Batting gloves (x2). Bat bag (x2). Bat (x2). Baseball glove (x2). Batting helmet (x2). Team and individual pictures (x2). End of season coaches gift (x3 coaches).
All Star Baseball: last summer, our oldest Alex tried out for and made the machine pitch all star team.
$hopping List: Sliding pants with new cup. Better batting gloves. Bigger cleats. Drinks and munchies for all the games we travel to. Bigger cooler for the drinks and munchies. Cash for parking at the games. Toilet paper and wipes for the port-o-potties that never seem to come equipped with any. End of season coaches gift (x3 coaches). At least 2 hot dogs for son Nick at every game we attended. Photo CD of a tournament they won, including mostly photos of all the other kids on the team. I estimate that I spent about $3.50 per photo of Alex on the CD. Mega vat of sunscreen.
Editor’s Note: Contemplated the purchase of one of those big, outdoor shade tents. Until I priced one. Made the executive decision that the Rice family was going to squeeze under other peoples’ tents because — by God — the sports accessory manufacturers already had enough of my hard earned cash. Damn it. To hell.
Football: Alex played in an organized mini-pony league. Our youngest Nick played on a YMCA flag football team.
$hopping List: Registration fee (x2). Football cleats (x2). Team and individual photos (x2). Editor’s Note: evidently, baseball cleats don’t translate to football, in spite of my best and pretty much constant arguments that they should, given the amount of money I paid for them.
Now on to the additional expen$e$ for mini-pony: $50 deposit for football pads on loan. $120 for additional pads/gear that daddy insisted “were not mandatory, but Alex really should have”. $150 for fundraiser purchases so we didn’t have to nag our families to buy cookies, cakes, pizzas, etc. Football underpants/bikeshort thingy with pads and built-in cup. Extra practice jerseys. More Gatorade than even Florida State uses in a season. “12th man” t-shirts for me, husband and Nick to wear to every game. Entrance fee for family at each game. Multitude of hot dogs for Nick.
Don’t blink, or you’ll miss Nick’s shot
Nick played for YMCA. Alex was on a recreational league with many of the same kids he played baseball with.
Shopping list: Registration fees (x2). Basketball shoes (x2). Team and individual pictures (x2).
Editor’s Note: Mommy loves basketball. Minimum financial output, shoes can be used every day after season is over. And expenses don’t cut into mommy’s mani/pedi fund.
Travel Baseball: a.k.a. the big bait and switch. My husband signed Alex up for a Winter baseball skills camp. He
forgot to tell me
failed to mention
neglected to advise me
deliberately lied to me — in addition to skills camp, this would be a try out for the travel baseball team.
$hopping List: Hasn’t even been started yet, but you can bet your ass none of the money to pay for it will come out of mommy’s mani/pedi fund.