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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Whiny Curmudgeon Alert

This post has been sitting in draft form on my blog since last spring.  I was reminded about it last night when Rainman told me that we have to bring stuff to share with my high school daughter's team this weekend. Then he informed me that the last time everyone brought drinks/snacks to share, the kids hardly even touched them.  I practically shouted at the poor man. "So, what is the point? Why can't everyone just bring their own stuff?!?"  Which sparked my memory of this post I wrote and apparently wasn't brave enough to publish last spring.  I am feeling feisty today, so here you go:

Okay, I can't control myself.  I have to vent a little here.


Why do kids need "snacks" for their sporting events.

Why do 12 year olds all the way up to 18 year olds, need mommies and daddies to sign up to bring "snacks" to the little darlings?

I am using snacks on quotation marks because apparently in some circles, snacks actually means meals.

We have numerous kids in sports.  Already a fairly expensive endeavor when you factor in fees, sports physicals, and any equipment that the athlete needs.  Now add in the fact that transportation needs to be provided to and from "away" events (although there have been 2 where they have actually been able to ride a bus).  Also. add in that of the 3 kids in a sport this current season, somehow their games all seem to be on the same night and around the same time.  Rainman works many of those nights, so there have literally been times that I was supposed to be 3 different places at 3 different times.

So, yes, I am already a bit ticked off about sports.  Now, add in the expectation that I am supposed to not only feed my own 6 kids, but the team and in some cases, the coaches.  I believe the magic number for one team was to feed 25 people.

For the 12 year old, the expectation is actually a quotation marks.  But, my problem is the same:  Why?  Why can't I just give a snack or meal to my own child?

The reasoning for the high school team "snack" is that they get out of school and then have to head to their game.  This is where I begin rolling my eyes, just like a teenager, and say, "So, what?"

My question, albeit said under my breathe (because apparently I am the only non-Stepford parent in these parts), during the meeting where I was informed of this requirement, was......why can't they just pack themselves a sack lunch on game days?  Why can't they make themselves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, throw in a bag of chips and a Gatorade and call it a day.  Feed themselves what they would like and what they will actually eat.  They have shown they are responsible and can actually....gasp.....feed themselves.  Their parents don't have to take out a loan in order to feed the team, or take off of work or make arrangements for the food to be delivered to the school at the appropriate time.

To me, this is just lunacy.  

Why do high schoolers still have a snack list for their parents to be involved in?

Why does a 12 year old team have a snack list?

It is idiotic.

It is.

I love my kids.

I want my kids to do well, in life, in sports, in love.

But, geez Louise, they can feed themselves if they need to.

My precious little snowflakes will survive if they have to snarf down a slightly squished PB&J and not a hot Chic-Fil-A sandwich or something before their game.

It may surprise people to know that I was once an athlete.  I was also a frequent participant in dramatic shows and competitions.  I also competed in vocal productions and competitions.

My mom never had to bring snacks for me or the "team".  Ever.

Was she asked to volunteer at fundraisers.  Yes.  Did she have to drive me back and forth constantly.  Not really.  I will admit that she had to do it occasionally, but in the olden days, there were buses for that, or it pretty much didn't happen.  She also did not attend my "away" activities (but that is a whole other blog rant).

We also planned ahead and either had a big lunch at school on game day or threw in an extra sandwich for later, to hold us over.  Then, when we got home, we snarfed down whatever we could find.

Our church also asks parents to volunteer a few times a year to bring a "snack" for the youth group on Sunday nights.  Yes, I am again using "snack" in quotation marks.  Yes, I understand the idea in theory, but I wonder what is wrong with them eating when they get home at 6:30 or 7:00.  You know? I do not volunteer very often because of a few reasons:

Number one:  The concept annoys me.  (Surprise.  Ha!)

Number two:  Those kids waste a LOT of food.  (I have a thing about wasted food.  Ask anyone who has met me).  I serve a plate of food and then 15 minutes later when they are cleaning up to start playing their games, I see a full plate being thrown in the trash.  We paid good money for that food and could use it at home if you aren't going to eat it. Don't take it if you don't want it.  Which brings me to...

Number three:  Money.  Rainman and I are working hard for our money.  Money that I would like to decide where it is to be used.  We give quite a bit to charity.  We tithe.  I don't really want to include a budget item for feeding other people's kids every month.  Feeding my own costs enough.  I am okay feeding my own kids.  I am also okay if my kids skip a meal every now and again.  When you start adding up all the extra money, it is not cheap.  Especially, if you happen to have more than 1 or 2 kids.

I just don't understand what has happened to our society where this expectation is normal.  Where it is up to me to make sure my kid (and every other kid on the team) has enough energy or hydration to compete in their chosen sport.  If you, as a grown up, have a meeting from 5 to 7 p.m., don't you use common sense and say, have a snack at home before hand to hold yourself over and them eat a later dinner...or another snack when you get home?  Is that so awful?

Guess what?  If they are stupid enough not to know to fuel their body before the big game, maybe they shouldn't be playing in the first place.

And, before you get started, this is not one of those situations where....this might be the only good meal these kids get in a just isn't.

Again, I must say.....why?  Why are we taking every little inconvenience out of our children's lives?  And, in the process of that, completely inconveniencing ourselves!  Ridiculous.  But, somehow, I seem to be the only parent who thinks this way.  Or, perhaps the only one stupid enough to put it in print and publicize it.

I think we are doing a huge disservice to our kids.  They need to figure out to do little things like, do their homework and plan ahead to complete assignments.  They need to figure out how and when they are going to feed themselves, when necessary.  They even need to know how to do their own laundry, fill out their taxes and that things like car insurance and cell phones cost a lot of money.

You know what else costs money?  Food.