So have you ever been blamed by your kids for something being your fault? Well, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that everything that Gerald does wrong is somehow MY FAULT… For real. “I missed that football tackle because you were taking too many pictures from the bleachers a half mile away.” “I missed that basketball shot because you breathed too loud.” “I didn’t pin that kid in the wrestling match because you blinked.” Today at baseball practice was the perfect example of yet another thing I did wrong. Now keep in mind that I have never played baseball a day in my life. I mean, sure, I throw the ball with the kids and play a pick-up game with them every now and then, but I throw like a girl, and I hit like a girl, and I would never EVER expect a team to rely on my mad baseball skills. So anyway, today at practice, he was working with a batting coach who’s played in the Major Leagues. He was showing him how to step into the pitcher and power up his swing, keep his head down and eye on the ball, and where to connect with the ball on his swing. Now when it’s Gerald’s turn to step up and hit, he does a good job with all the steps, except keeping his head down and eye on the ball. So what happens as a result? He either hits a foul or misses it completely. This happens about three times before the trainer shows him again how to keep his head down. As soon as Gerald steps back up to hit, he keeps his head down, and he hits it… Imagine that! But, by this time he’s already furious because, as he so eloquently puts it, “he sucks at hitting.” The very SECOND that practice ends, he yells to me from behind the fence, “I suck at hitting because last year YOU told me that I need to open up my swing more!” Now if you read back up a few lines, you’ll remember that the reason he missed the first few balls pitched to him was because he was picking up his head and not watching the ball all the way to the bat. Two questions: 1. What the heck does opening up his swing have to do with keeping his head down? 2. How the heck is it MY fault that he’s not watching the ball? I didn’t hide his eyes when the pitch was thrown. I didn’t pull a pillowcase over his head. I didn’t jump up and down screaming his name so he would turn around and look at me. How in the world can I possibly be to blame for this? I wasn’t surprised in the least to be the brunt of his wrath because, like I said, I’m ALWAYS the bad guy. WTH??? So my response… “Gerald, I’d take the blame for this, except I don’t even know what the heck “opening up your swing” means. If I really said that last year, then I’m completely impressed with myself, and I will probably tell you to do that again all year this season because it sounds completely cool!” The response I got: The awesome, infamous, teenage boy GLARE. But, ultimately, I got the response I wanted… He shut up.