There are rules (Little League Aggression Man)


So Walter continues to play Little League Baseball and to our delight he’s very gifted little boy.  The kid can roll.  He’s hinder by the fact he’s played only about 20 games and most the time has no idea what is going on.  He loves it though and is catching on.  Recently Walter has been struggling with focusing as most 8 year olds do but Walter has the added emotional weight of all the “legal” shit that’s going on now.  He’s not seeing his BM nearly as much as he used to and though that is best for him the transition has been hard.  His moods and behavior have been good.  He’s working very hard, his concentration is just off.

So I told him before his game last week that I wanted him to do one thing for me out there.  I said, “I don’t care if you hit the ball, catch the ball or score.  The ball can come to you and you can pick it up and throw it into the parking lot for all I care.  I want you to face the batter and keep your glove on.”  My little achiever did a great job and even ran over to the fence to ask me if I was “proud of his focus.”  I acted like he used the force to pull the ship out of the swamp and praised him like I do.  From that point on the coaches were very hard on him about not being in “ready position.”  Meaning squatted down, glove on the field.  I for one was happy with his progress but managed to keep my mouth shut.  After the game one of the coaches gave Walter a hard time about focus and I again pulled him aside and praised him for his minimal progress told him to keep up the good/hard work.

ThelineSo the next week at practice Walter belts one to the short stop and starts running towards first.  The first baseman was blocking the bag.  Walter slows down and gets called out.  Coaches have been admonishing him for not “running over the first baseman” but Walter has confided in me that he’s worried he will hurt someone.  I’ve told him if his fear of hurting someone out weighs his desire to be on base then slow down and get out.  He needs to be ok with that though and the coaches will let him know they are not.  I told him I’m proud of him no matter what he decides to do.  So he gets called out at first and is running back to the dugout when an assistant coach reaches out grabs the face mask and jerks him around to face him.  He gets up in his face and I can see him point in his face and jawwing.  He let’s Walter go and wacks him in the side of the head with his glove. Not hard but a good whack none the less.  Now I’m a cool dude but I got my own Walter running around inside me and I saw this guy grab my kid and I was ready to yell “OVER THE LINE!”

I ended up writing a email to the head coach and asking him to implement a hands off policy with my son.  I told him I knew Walter’s focus was fluctuating but that he’s dealing with a lot and needs some time.  I asked that the if the coaching staff has to be critical to try and end on an encouragement or positive note because he is so hyper sensitive especially now.  I’ve talked to many friends and family about this since the incident happened and to be honest I’ve had a 50/50 split on people’s reactions.  A lot say “that’s sports and he needs to get used to it.”  Others say “This aggression will not stand.”  Ironically these reactions are split between those with and without kids perfectly.  Thos without the kids say “that’s how it is” friends with kids say, “hell no.”

Me? Fuck it.  That’s like their opinion man.  If my biggest mistake is being overprotective of Walter than I guess I’m going to make a big mistake.  I understand that some people feel like sports gives people the right to act like complete ass hats but guess what?  It’s like that because people don’t stand up and say “take it easy man.”  I may be pissing up a tree and I’ve told Walter this sort of thing gets worse as we go and to get ready but fuck it.  We tell the kids constantly to keep their hands to themselves, don’t bully, don’t be aggressive and then they get treated like this by coaches and told to “run over” other kids.  It’s game people.  Take it easy.  8 year olds dude, 8 year olds.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.




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Checking in…

Hey there fellow dudes.  Checking in while I got a second.  Dudette dragged Walter to the grocery out of spite.  Thing continue to be up and down but the extreme are not as severe.  He’s started referring to Dudette as “mommy” indirectly and still calls me mostly by my first name.  2012 was easily one of the hardest of my life but also one of the first I can look back at and say “work was done. Progress made.”  It feels pretty good to feel as if I’ve taken a step forward.  For long time we were just kind of here.  I don’t blog as much frankly because I really worry about exposing too much personal information of Walter’s.  I encourage you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.  I keep my post parenting related and try to be funny.  I’m not sure what this blog is going to become.  It might even just be an archive of 2012.  I’m still around though so holler if you need me.


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Dude Dad to just Dad…

Looks like Walter will be finishing his tourney here with us.  Should be 100% official sometime next year.  I plan on getting back into updating here.  I was hesitant to over the past few months because of all the court stuff and frankly I didn’t want to bum anyone out man.  Thank you for reading and being apart of this with us.


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4 Decades of Nonsense

So I’m 40 now.  Have been for 16 minutes and I look forward to being a grumpy old man.  I’m not even going to transition slowly I’m just going to start being a dick to random teenagers immediately.

During baseball practice today the kids got a  “Coach can’t catch.” chant going cause I missed a poorly thrown ball.  I laughed it off and proceeded to miss the next ball thrown my way as well.  Perhaps a 30 year old could of caught it.  This guy, who hasn’t done a sit -up since high school out of spite for the gym teacher whom I told my last day of school “I’ll never do another sit up,” could not catch that throw.  They started a “Coach is a failure,” chant.  I told them I could drive away, and buy things.  They’re stuck there till there mommy comes.  That quieted them down.

Told you I wasn’t easing into this grumpy old man thing.

Told Walter tonight as I was putting him to bed that he had a great practice today.  I ran through a list of all the good things I saw him do.  He said to me, “Someone else had a good practice too.”  I asked who, and he said “You!  You’re like a real coach now, telling people what to do, throwing the ball super hard so no one could catch it…”  He trailed off but the thought was sweet.  I kissed him on the head and told him he was a good son and he told me I was a good dad.  It makes me sad and happy at the same time.  I wish he’d tell Dudette she’s a good mommy.  She needs to hear it from him but he still just too tied up in everything to give her that yet.  We’ll just have to abide.

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Mark It Down!

First baseball game for Walter today and he came away with the gameball for defensive player of the game.  I was so proud I almost pee’d myself.  He made two very good plays and certainly caught the eye of the other coaches.  I knew he would.

When we got home he did something I’ve rarely seen.  He played.  He got toys out and played.  He insisted I sit in his room and play with him, which I did.  But eventually, like it always does, it ended up with me sitting and watching him slam action figures and Hot Wheels together.  He’s been so down with recent disappointments that I won’t go into it really just kind of bowled me over.  I hope we get out of the middle soon.  I like it when he plays.


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So far…

Been awhile so I thought I’d update everyone.  We’ve been doing pretty well despite all being stuck in a hard situation.  The introduction of the “Good Times” chart has all but eliminated the violence we were experiencing a few weeks ago.  The “Good Time” chart is made up of three sections: Morning, Afternoon and Bedtime.

Behavioral Chart for Walter

If Walter goes through the morning and afternoon without throwing things, hitting, biting or scratching then he gets a smiley face.  Two smiley faces means an extra 20 minutes of pre-bed time play activities.

He used to draw the faces himself but he likes me to do it now.  I’ve tried to represent our day with them and make them fun.  He really likes them.  He also drew the naked girl on Thursday and thought it was hysterical.  I found it funnier than Dudette.

We’ve also been taking the I-Phone away.  I gave him my old I-Phone.  It’s in airplane mode so it’s just for games and a camera.  No internet, calls or text.  He loves it.  He thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.  I’ve taken that for two days twice now and the results have been good.  My words carry a bit more weight now.  The other thing Dudette and I have both started doing is avoiding confrontation at all costs.  So if he won’t give us the ball/remote/phone/whatever instead of wrestling it away from him I calmly say, “you can keep it for now, but I will have it.  The longer it takes me to get it the longer you’ll wait to get it back. It’s up to you now how long that is.”  I’ve also mastered my father’s ability to drop my voice to the “I mean business, fuck with me if you dare level” and think the stink eye is coming along nicely.  Most people dread sounding like their parents, I’m glad I got the lessons.

Walter told his therapist that when he gets mad he just goes in his room and tells himself to “take it easy.”  I was very proud to hear the verbiage.  Nice to know some of what I’m saying is sinking in.

Had a tough week as Walter’s parents missed the visit.  He was quite distraught.  We took him to Chuck E. Cheese but it was a band-aid on a bullet hole to the heart.  He was good though bless his heart.  Next day at the Aquarium wasn’t quite “fun.”  Much like Disneyland he gets stimulated and then kind of a weird morose, passive aggressive, agitated mood comes over him.  Then the next day he talks of yesterday as if it was magical.  Dudette and I recall him being kind of a jerk and not letting us take pictures with him.  It’s hard for him though and we are not mad and did not make a big deal out of it.  I’m glad he remembers it as fun.  Hopefully next time he’ll be more relaxed.

New school is great.  He loves it.  Goes early and wants to stay after school as late as he can.  Homework is still touch and go but we are getting most of it done for now.  The teacher won’t give me her email or phone number of course.  I don’t want to hear teachers say parents aren’t involved.  Whenever I try and establish communication I get stiff armed.  I’ll abide for now, but we all know how this can go.


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Top 10 Things I Should/Shouldn’t of said… (NSFW)

So I got chewed out today by some random lady for letting Walter scoot “too far” ahead of me.  To hear her describe it he was nearly killed by a car and she let me know under no uncertain terms that I was a crap parent and she was better than me.  I was stunned into silence and frankly did not want to lose my cool in front of Walter so I simply thanked her for her “feedback.”  Walter was standing next to me shaking like a leaf.  She’d scared the shit out of him.  She keeps yapping and I ask her if she’s done?  She says yes and I say to Walter, calmly “she has some advice for us and though she might have a valid point she’s being very mean and nasty.  She should try and be much nicer.”  We kept walking as she kept talking and I couldn’t resist and flipped her off as I walked away.

Mind you Walter was not “almost killed.”  She claimed she had a 6 year old that never stray that far from her.  I saw nothing dangerous and frankly I give Walter space.  Probably more than most but for a kid that can’t be alone even for a minute, has to be touching one of us if we are on the couch and as insecure as he is when he’s brave enough to test limits I let him test.  Frankly I trust him to look for cars and he wasn’t in danger.  Of course ten minutes after this went down I thought of better/awful things to say.  So here we go.  Here’s the Top 10 Things I Should/Shouldn’t of said (NSFW)

10.  C U Next Tuesday!

9.  Based on your current mood I’m sure your kid loves all your attention.

8.  Your kid probably wears a helmet to play basketball – Dudette

7.  Is your husband deaf or just numb?

6.  Hey, I don’t tell you how to suck cock, don’t tell me how to raise my kid.

5.  He’s not a boy.  He’s a robot.  (Then just nod my head till she walks away)

4.  Miss I know it takes a village, but the village idiot has some very specific jobs and child rearing is not one.

3.  My wife says the same thing.

2.  Guess who shrieks like a harpy and is in desperate need of dick?

1.  That’s like…your opinion man.




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Been awhile I know.  I’ve wanted to write but have struggled with telling my story without betraying Walter’s.  In many ways the last two months have been the hardest yet and we continue to struggle.  Walter continues to push and test and try and divide me and Duddette.  We’ve become very good at tag teaming him for our own sanity but life on egg shells makes your knees weak after sometime.  In many ways Walter is bonding with us and that is why things have been so tumultuous.  As he bonds, he gets scared or insecure pulls away and we start a new.

There’s no end in sight with court and everyone says he should be with us but no one has said he will be yet.  We hope once this is all over he can settle into being a well adjusted little boy.  We hope we can help him with his anger.  We hope a lot these days.  Also cry a lot.  It’s been hard and we’ve been doing it alone with the exception of our therapist who frankly I don’t know what we’d do without.

Right now, we don’t know if he’ll stay.  It changes nothing.  We love him and make him feel safe.  If you miss the blog check out the Facebook page.  I put shorter, humorous stuff up there from time to time and you don’t have to sign up to see it.  Thanks for reading.


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Day by day, pin by pin…

Not a bad day really.  I had to stay up all day with Walter cause Dudette worked.  That’s always hard.  At the public pool Walter had taken my change from the bag.  I asked him to put it back and he told me it was his.  I politely informed him it wasn’t and repeated my request and he again refused letting me know under no certain circumstances it was his.  I walked away and took some deep breathes.  I came back and asked again and we repeated the above.  So I walked away again.  Third time I roll up and say “Put the change back or we leave now.”  He says, “No.”  I grab the bag to go and he says, “I put it back.”  I can hear it jingle.  I say, “Cool, you want to swim?”

“No, you aren’t even in the pool.”  he says.  I say, “you found some friends you were swimming with.  Seemed like you were having fun and I wanted to lie down.”

“They’re gone!” he yells.  I calmly say, “So lets get in.  I’ll get in.”  He comes back with “You said we’re leaving.”  I was so tired I didn’t want to fight so I took him up on it.  He was pissed of course.  What he didn’t expect was I made him walk home with me instead of taking the bus.  I was determined to wear him out physically one way or another.  No more fresh kid at bedtime.  We walk past the bus stop and he says, “Where you going Dude?”  Mind you the walk is maybe a half a mile.  3-4 blocks.  Not terrible, not a stroll but more than dooable.

“Walking home.”  At an intersection he refused to cross and sat on the corner for about ten minutes.  I watched the lights cycle three times before he got bored and started to walk again.  We saw a young lady with a violin case so I struck up a conversation with her.  The talk of music brought Walter around and he got over the change.  We stopped at Taco Bell got some nachos and Burrito and abided the rest of the day.

Tonight we had a flawless bedtime.  Dudette told me he mentioned today he thought we were going to call and have him moved.  Breaks my heart that he could even think that.  Honestly we discussed it.  We both know it’s just talk.  We’ll see how today goes.  Either way we abide.

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No end to the middle…

It’s been an extremely hard few weeks.  Some changes with Walter’s bio family have brought on a renewed vigor to his tantrums and fits.  He’s upped the ante in a lot of ways and frankly it’s wearing the Dudette and I down.  Tonight was one of the harder nights and I can’t speak for my lady but I’m not proud of myself.  I was very un-Dudelike but the mind games, passive aggressive struggle for control had just pushed me and Dudette too far.  I got to leave for work and Dudette finally got him to open up that the incidents with the bio family are weighing on his mind.  She text me this and I think to myself, “of course it is. ” I wonder what the hell is wrong with a grown man who loses sympathy for a little boy who’s lost so much.  I can’t blame, or be angry with him because he can’t find words and frankly has grown up with no certainty.  No structure.  He’s got to trust me and Dudette and frankly we both need to take a deep breath and suck it up.  We just thought we’d be so much further with the legal battle and permanency by now and we are not one inch closer to adopting this little boy than we were in January and there is no end in sight.  At this moment I don’t know where I’ll find the strength.  Don’t tell me God either, unless he can babysit.

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