Friday, November 5, 2010

In which I am slowly driven insane.

So you know when you're out at a club and a guy asks you to dance and you don't want to be you dance with him, but the music isn't really the kind you're into, and the guy isn't either, but you keep dancing because you're so polite and the song is never ending and eventually you have no choice but to fake an ankle injury to get away?

Yeah. Last night was like that. Except there was no guy. Just the longest awards ceremony ever.

The older kids had their soccer awards ceremony last night. I didn't attend last year as I was in California visiting Advanced Bionics, so I had no idea what was in store for me.

First, we were late. As we approached, we saw all the kids running down a huge parent victory tunnel to the sanctuary, and Jace immediately started screaming his head off about missing it. Ava rolled her eyes and made no bones about the fact that she thought the victory tunnel was the cheesiest thing in the world and she was glad to be missing it.

That's my girl.

We got inside and Ava and Jace joined their teams and I took a seat in the back with Vivi and Seth. When I looked in the program, it said something about an "energy activity," which immediately made me nervous. My kids have a lot of energy as it is, and the last thing they need is someone actively trying to bring it out in them. The director of the program brought up an apparently up and coming hip hop duo...who were kids. They came onstage with their dad, and I figured he was going to introduce them and let them do their thing.

Except he stayed up there. He shared with us the details of "their" (read: his) writing process of the song they were about to sing. He told us it was catchy, which....note to self...if you ever have to tell someone something is catchy, it's just not. Then they sang their song, which was about getting it on and playing basketball before it got dark. The dad was up there, popping and locking and singing, stealing the show right out of his kids hands.

It was at that point things started going south. Evany climbed out of her stroller and went in search of a pen to gouge her eyes out. Seth tired of coloring quietly on the program and started calling random people on my phone. After the first song, there was a second. A second! And this one was about the conscience. The dad was still up there, busting a move. I laid down to take a nap as other people started to convene in the back nearby me, too polite to leave the sanctuary but still bored out of their minds. Evany started crawling towards feet at random, untying shoes and causing a ninja baby uproar.

Finally, the performance was over, and I sighed in relief, ready to get on with handing out the trophies. The trophies are the main reason my kids played soccer this year. The promise of that shiny plastic soccer player frozen mid-kick has been dancing in their overstimulated brains for months. But no...first there was a game called "Remember When." I guess the point of the game was to recall things that happened throughout the season...which was eight weeks long. And just ended this week. Ahh, memories. Remember when we drank juice on Saturday and ran away when our moms called us? That was the best! 

Seriously? The best part? We were an hour in and the trophies were nowhere in sight. Seth was licking the window. Evany was army crawling under the pews. Then...a video.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you this video was at least twelve minutes long and was basically a medley of identical shots over and over. The music was some kind of head banging masterpiece that repeated the same phrase a million times and gave me a headache thirty seconds in. Some of the parents from Ava's team were sitting next to me at this point, and after a few minutes, one dad stood and said "I'm going to have a cigarette. I'll be back...sometime." "But you don't smoke!" a friend of mine whispered futilely at his rapidly retreating figure. Then she looked at me. "Maybe we should start smoking, too." she suggested.

I don't think she was joking.

At this point, Seth pulled off his CI processors and hurled them in two different directions. The kid has an arm on him...they were both close to fifteen feet away. Then he started running in circles around a pillar over and over until he fell down and just laid there, flat on his back, staring up at the ceiling vacantly. I looked up at the players watching the video and they were all jumping around jerkily, a sea of uncoordinated elementary school headbangers. I think they were having the kind of fit kids have when they watch the cartoons with the flashing lights and go bonkers. I seriously considered diving into the sea of soccer jerseys to collect my children and give them all the cash I had to leave with me immediately.

Finally the video ended. But that wasn't the end. Oh no. Then the thanks began. Thanks to so and so for setting up the cones every weekend. Thanks to someone else for being a coach. Thanks to Mary for bringing me a jelly donut that one day! There were, apparently, a whole lot of people who needed to be publicly recognized. But recognition was not enough...let's interview them, too! What was your favorite part of the season? What advice do you want to give the kids?

I'm all for saying thanks...but at that point, after over an hour and a half of insanity, the best thanks would have been letting us take our overstimulated, cracked out children home. Finally, the kids got their trophies and were dismissed, and we exited the sanctuary to the dulcet tones of Eminem, serenading our exit into the night.

Which was weird, to tell you the truth.
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