We let Tweenie play basketball this year. And now I'm pretty much regretting it. I'm fairly certain she won't be playing next year.
A few years ago we let her play soccer. (We let her do one thing a year, the following year she chose softball - but that was when we had moved away briefly and lived close to her school). The soccer was pretty lame, they had about 3 games. I was a little disappointed. And one of the parents said that all the sports were that way, even the high school. I was disappointed then - but back then I only had one little almost toddler, and the school had an activities bus that dropped her off a couple of blocks from home. They have since lost the funding for the activities bus - it only runs on Mondays and Wednesdays and only has 2 stops, the closest of which is 7 miles away from home.
So I pretty much expected the basketball to be the same way. They had a couple of practices during the week before xmas break. And 3 practices over break. But once they went back after break they started having practices every single day. And they have 1 or 2 games a week from that second week back until the end of Feb!!
She had secured her own ride to begin with - knowing that we usually don't let her do any after school activities because transportation is an issue. But after that first week of practice she lost her ride. Her ride was with a 5th grader and as there were way too many girls on the team they cut the 5th graders.
Her school is 30 mins away. Twice a week we can pick her up 7 miles away, but of course they have ended up having games on those days and we have to go all the way to the school anyway. It's a huge put out to have to go pick her up every night. And it's become quite an expense... We are pretty much low income, and here is the run-down of expenses: $50 for basketball shoes, $35 for the jersey, $15 athletic fee, $5 for meals for every one of her away games (which comes up to be around $50) and then an extra $50 in gas per week!!
It wouldn't be so bad, but she is not appreciative of any of it. She acts as if it's her right to do this. She has no appreciation for the time or money we have put into it. And she absolutely takes advantage.
Her first home game she called at 5:30, said it was halftime and that her game would be over around 6 or 6:15. I told her we would leave right then and be there waiting for her. She knows that when we come it's with a car full of kids and that she's to come out. We got there at 6pm and waited. And waited. And waited. At 6:30 we thought about going in to see what was taking too long, but we didn't see a bunch of people leaving, so assumed that her game was still going. We figured she would come out when it was over. Nope. At 6:45 I went in because little man had to go potty. There was a game going on, but it was the 8th graders, I didn't know they split them up like that, but her game had been over since 6pm. I found her messing around in the hall with her friends. I was so ticked off!! She knew we were waiting outside. She knew she was supposed to come out when her game was over! Then she went to the car while I took little man potty. As I was walking back out she came walking back in saying she had to go to the bathroom. When we asked her why she didn't come out she said that she was watching the 8th graders play. I asked her why she was messing around in the hall and she started to say that she was just going to the bathroom, but then realized what she was saying and said she was just getting a drink.
The real kicker about the situation was that she was mad that we were mad at her! She felt like she had done nothing wrong. She felt like she was justified in her behavior. She didn't feel bad about the situation until I told her she couldn't attend practice the following night. Then it was all tears, but not apologetic, not realizing how much she put us out. It was tears for what she would be missing out on. She called us for a ride at a specified time! Why would she call for a ride and then mess around while she knew we were waiting outside?? We were waiting outside with 3 kids 4 and under for 45 minutes! And she felt like it was her right to do what it was she was doing. Why didn't she say to pick her up later? Anyway, she missed her practice which made her ineligible to play in the next game. And she was all mad about it. I told her that if she pulls a stunt like that again that she will be off the basketball team. I explained to her that we are *letting* her play and that we don't have to. I still don't think she understands that.
Her next away game she was instructed to call when they were *leaving* the McD's. Because I know that it is about as far from the school as our house, so if I left when they were leaving McD's we would get there around the same time. So what does she do? Calls when they *get* to McD's and says they will be there for 30mins and it will take 30mins to get back to the school... I knew what she was doing... surely her friend did the same because her and her friend were the last ones there. I was mad, but I just let that one go. The next day my husband took his time picking her up from practice. But of course she took her time as well and was one of the last ones out. So we pretty much agree that she has no appreciation. And won't be playing again next year.
Every time we let her do something she totally takes advantage. I just don't get it. Both my husband and myself were rarely allowed to do special things at school, and when we were you can be sure that it didn't come with the attitude that it was our right or that it was expected our parents would just let us do it. There was no one to take or pick up my husband from such events. I was lucky enough that I lived one block away from my grade school. But of course in Jr High and High school I had to either hoof it, ride my bike or find my own ride.
I used to feel bad that we didn't let her do more things, but now... I really don't feel bad at all. If she were more appreciative I might go out of my way a little more often to let her do more.
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