Soccer today. Noah's been playing great this season. Watching him play is always the highlight of my week. Today was no exception while he was on the field.
Off the field however...*sigh* Turns out when he wasn't playing he was dumping out the other kids water bottles. It wasn't just Noah, but my guess is he started it.
We played a team from a neighboring township. They are undefeated and until today had never allowed another team to score. The game would have ended 2-2 except our team scored their second goal with an extra player on the field. Want to guess who that player was? Yup. It was Noah. Just hanging out on defense.
Two of the dad's from the other team jumped up out of their chairs screaming to the ref that our team had eight players on the field instead of seven. So the goal didn't count and we lost, but our team still played an awesome game!
After the game is when the fun really started. And by fun I mean horror.
The kids on both teams line up and high five each other after each game. Today Noah decided he'd power high five the other team. Fists may or may not have been involved. Kids on the other team say he did. Noah said he only gave really hard high fives. As I explained to Noah though, I tend to believe the other kids since Noah has such a hard time telling the truth in situations like this.
Bad choice on Noah's part!
The absolutely best part of all of this though, and by best I mean most horrifying, was that one of the dad's, who likes to play "assistant" coach (and yes, I did mean to emphasize ass. He only wants to coach during games, not practices. We call him the faux coach) blew a nut and came running across the field screaming for "Noah's parents."
Looking back it's kind of funny. I remember watching him run and almost turning to Rich and saying "wow, the faux coach is running."
So back to our story - the faux coach runs across the field screaming for Noah's parents.
If I'd been thinking on my feet better I would have turned around pretending to look for them and then told him I think they left. But I wasn't. Instead I stood up and said "we are, what happened."
Still screaming, the faux coach told us (and all the parents on both teams) that Noah "punched the other team" and he wants him "kicked off the team for unsportsmanlike behavior."
Rich and I of course immediately went over to Noah to deal with him; both of us thinking from what he said that Noah was actually fighting kids on the other team. (Noah, to his credit was sitting on the ground away from the rest of the team, well aware he was in trouble.) I know the faux coach was still screaming but I guess I'll have to wait to hear from the other parents at practice this week what he was saying.
We talked with the real coach, and Noah knows he made some pretty poor choices today. The coach assured us Noah isn't going to be kicked off the team and he apologized for the faux coach. In the future Rich may hang out on the team side to make sure Noah is behaving. We made him clean up all the trash on the field since we were the last game. Then he came home and spent some time "thinking" in his room before he wrote an apology letter to his coach. He also lost electronic privileges for the day.
It's taken a few hours for the tight feeling in my chest to loosen up, which is much more about the faux coach making this a public spectacle than anything else. I'm half tempted to ask him if he was at McDonald's approximately seven years ago and yelled at a mom in sweat pants because her son pushed his son in the play area.
The good news is that like earlier in the week, I think Noah really does get why what he did is wrong. That's new for him. It gives me hope. Now we need to work on thinking before acting. I'm not as hopeful about that.