Before starting this off I’d like to take a minute, again, to thank each and every one of you who bid on my Wii auction to benefit my kids’ school. I really thought, when I put that post up, that I might very well end up with $20 and a hearty smack to the forehead (my own, for being dumb, you see), so it really warmed my heart that y’all were so generous.
Also, our PTA president specifically asked me to pass along her thanks, as well, which was very nice because I am still feeling a little overwhelmed with the new knowledge that the entire group is apparently reading my blog now. *waving weakly*
With that, I give you our GORGEOUS winner: Naomi, who is also half of the duo behind Rock-N-Tot. Naomi totally proved her rockstar cred by bidding $375, and our little Title 1 school will be receiving every dollar of her bid. Thank you so much, Naomi! You are SUPER PRETTY!
So while I have money on the brain….
Monkey has played a couple of seasons of soccer here in Georgia, and he has enjoyed it very much. What’s not to like? There is grass! And running around! And SNACKS! All ingredients for a happy child, ’round here. What I have particularly loved about this league is that it’s very low-key; one practice during the week, one game on Saturday, and no official score-keeping. That’s my kind of sport.
Granted, you have the option, with this organization, of two different tracks. The first track—let’s call it Fun—is the one Monkey’s been in. The cost is minimal, the mood convivial, and it doesn’t matter one bit if your kid isn’t exactly an athlete.
The second track—let’s call it Serious—is a whole ‘nother situation. It costs approximately five times what the Fun track does, and they work HARD. This is for kids who can actually play soccer, and who want to keep score, and who travel to games and stuff. They have real uniforms and numbers, as opposed to the branded t-shirts the Fun kids wear. Also, I hear they actually have to be GOOD.
There was never any question as to which league Monkey would play in. While I can understand ponying up the money if it’s something your kid is truly dedicated to and good at, my child is neither. I doubt he would make the cut even if he tried out for the Serious team, and the very thought of the cost makes me light-headed. No brainer all around.
Well, registration came along this Fall and I signed Monkey up for a third season, but I was shocked to discover that the cost had doubled. Huh. Well, it was pretty cheap, before, so perhaps they are just finally taking a long-overdue inflation adjustment, or something. Okay. I paid my money and signed him up.
The time came for the coaches to contact the players, and I discovered that Everything Has Changed. Apparently Monkey and his pals have now aged into the next tier in the league—despite being in the Fun track rather than the Serious track—and now instead of 1 1-hour practice each week, they were to have 2 90-minute practices each week. Across town. (Previously our practices were at a field on this side of town.) Late enough that it would significantly interfere with the kids’ bedtime on two school nights.
We sat down and did some thinking about this (mostly in the form of me saying to Otto, “Do you BELIEVE THIS crap for a bunch of 8-year-olds???”), and then after some discussion with Monkey (whose firmly held opinions ranged from “Whatever” to “Well, I wouldn’t mind swimming, instead, if I still get to have a snack afterwards”), elected to withdraw him from soccer. It just felt like it was really going to be too much.
(And yes, now that he’s doing swim team, instead—twice a week, yes, but only for an hour, and not 30 minutes away, and not during bedtime—we always have a snack afterward, as the cornerstone of any good physical fitness practice is how many carbs your mother will let you consume in the car on the way home.)
Problem solved. In fact, problem solved beyond my wildest fuel-saving hopes and dreams, because for the first time my kids are in the same activity. Hallelujah and amen.
Except… I cannot get the soccer program to give me my money back. As Otto put it, the other night, it’s likely not a matter of malice, but of ineptitude. I have sent several emails and now I’ve moved on to phone calls. Just yesterday I was ASSURED that yes, of course, they’d be happy to refund our registration fee, and the person in charge will call me back FIRST THING TODAY. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten a call. Or a refund. And you can call me crazy, but I’m starting to get a little annoyed. Especially seeing as how I registered my kid two months ago, and withdrew him over a month ago. They’re not telling me “No,” they’re simply ignoring me.
What would be the family-pet-in-the-stew-pot equivalent for demanding that the local soccer association not ignore me? Deflated soccer balls scattered throughout their parking lot? Jockstrap missiles fired at their windows? It’s gotta be something cheap, because I’m still waiting for my damn money.