“A place for everything and everything in its place” is a mantra that is supposed to work for me and other parents who are desperate to be organized, but I am here to tell you that it doesn’t. Take, for example, Little League uniforms. Ideally, uniforms should be located in one spot, easily accessible by the child who is going to wear it. However, because there are so many games, my son’s uniform is almost always “in the wash,” which means at any given point in time, it could be in one of five places:
- The washing machine
- The dryer
- A basket in the basement
- A basket on the main floor
- The hamper, still dirty from the last game
As a result, I have given up on the idea that a baseball uniform can ever have a permanent home, which means that on the rare occasion it isn’t in the wash, I have no idea where to put it. Most of the time, I’ll put it in his dresser drawer. Other times, for reasons I can’t fully explain, I’ll hang it in his closet, and still others (mostly when the drawers are too crowded and the closet is too full), I’ll put it in a plastic bin under his bed, along with a ton of other sports-related clothes.
Those of you without kids in baseball (or any other sport) will be shocked to learn just how many components there are to a Little League uniform. As far as I can tell, there are ten:
- Under Armour (if it’s cold)
- Official uniform belt
- Heart guard, purchased at Dick’s on sale for $78
- Special baseball underwear, purchased at Dick’s with a coupon for $42
- Official uniform socks
- Official uniform hat
On those days when my son’s baseball game starts at 9am, I have to set my alarm for 4am to make sure there’s enough time to get him dressed. If both of my boys have a game that day at 9am, I have no other choice than to pull an all-nighter.
An hour before every baseball game, my son and I will have a screaming match throughout the house which always goes something like this:
Son, from the bedroom: “Mom, where is my uniform?”
Me, from the kitchen: “In your drawer!”
Son: “I checked, it’s not there.”
Me: “Ok, check under the bed.”
Son: “It’s not here!”
Me, sighing hard: “It’s probably in the basement.”
Son: “Come with me!”
Me: “I can’t!”
Son: “But it’s dark down there!”
We’ll find the pants and the jersey in the basement, but the other eight items won’t be there. We’ll go back upstairs to find the special underwear in his brother’s drawer, and the protective cup that slides into the front of the underwear in the dog’s mouth. We’ll chase the dog around the house until we are forced to yell, “Do you want some cheese?” so that the dog drops the cup and tears into the kitchen for a tiny piece from a Kraft single, cementing in his brain the reward he gets for stealing the cup from now until forever, Amen.
Against all odds, I will finally get the boy dressed, only then to move on to Phase 2 of Baseball Game Preparation, which is gathering the equipment. As far as I can tell, there are eight of these items we need to gather:
- Batting gloves
- Bat, purchased at the local sports shop on sale for $345
- Helmet, not for sharing lest you get lice
- Water bottle, leaking from somewhere
- Sports glasses
- A bag to keep all of the above stuff together
As is the case with Phase 1, it’s anyone’s guess where these items are, although they are supposed to be in their designated places. The bat is supposed to be in a bin in the garage, but we’ll find it hidden in the grass in the backyard. The water bottle is supposed to be in a kitchen cabinet but it’s in the back of my husband’s car, and the sports glasses will be in his desk at school.
Phase 3 is when we pour into the car and I’ll back out of the driveway without having any real idea as to where the game is being played. I’ll take an educated guess, and if I’m wrong, I’ll check an app on my phone from the parking lot, but only if a) I remembered to bring my phone, and b) it’s not dead.
Thankfully, baseball is almost over, except that it’s not because both of my boys have signed up for summer leagues. I think I’m going to need a new mantra.