Sunday, October 02, 2005

We walked out of the baseball park after watching the Giants lose 2-1 in an 11 inning game.

"Daisy," I said, while we strolled down the street, "You know why the Giants lost? You didn't cheer hard enough."

Daisy has heard all this before. She shot me a you-say-dumb-crap look. Meanwhile, a bystander whipped her head around.

"That's awful!" she screeched. "How could you say that to a kid!?"

It's pretty easy, actually.

The bystander walked on, repeating my comments to her posse in disbelief of what she had heard.

I get this type of reaction a lot. Other parents will ask some question about Daisy, and I'll give a blunt answer, something like, "Yeah, she's still playing soccer, but, boy howdy, does she ever suck at it." Usually the other parent's eyes will bug out a bit and they'll laugh nervously.

There's an unwritten rule, apparently, that you're not allowed to speak ill of your children in seriousness or jest. I'm not so good at following that rule. I guess I'm suppose to spray out the superlatives when describing my super-duper talented and marvelous child-genius.

Note that I don't give Daisy rude criticism to her face, (excluding the obviously joking kind). It's really always just between me and some other adult. And now you. And hopefully not Daisy at some future time if she decides to read this blog. (Hi Daisy! Go play outside!)

I make a concerted effort to give Daisy praise every day. Although she will hear constructive criticism from me, I'm aware that saying "Hey, you SUCKED at that" would not be appropriate.

That being said, I watched Daisy's second soccer game of the year today, and, boy howdy, did she ever suck.

Of course, most of the kids suck at soccer. When the players surround the ball, as they do most of the time at this level, they turn into Keystone Cops, landing more kicks on each other than they do on the ball. Most of the kids end up tumbling to the ground, often on top of, or more humorously, beneath the ball. It's like watching kittens and a ball of yarn. The rare child who can dribble the ball downfield stands out like a miniature Pele.

Daisy, however, stinks in a different way. It's like there's a weak force-field around the ball and she's propelled away from it. When she does approach the ball to kick it, her efforts are timid and generally ineffectual.

She played goalie for a while today, which is her favorite position due to the lack of running, and that position brought on a whole new way of sucking. Generally, if the ball didn't approach her at a snail's speed, she shied away and let it roll into the goal. Really, her best chance of blocking the ball was only if it was kicked so hard that she was unable to flee in time. Unfortunately, kicks of that strength rarely occur on a field populated with six year-olds.

Her main strength as a player is her enthusiasm. If she sees a teammate score a goal, she pounces on them and gives them a fierce hug. It's cute.

After the game, Daisy said, "Did you see those 2 great kicks I made?"

Unhesitatingly, I said, "I sure did."

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