Sunday, August 28, 2005

Me, Max, and the Maytag Man

The Maytag Man here in town is Rodabaugh Maytag and I managed, through gross Quicken mismanagement and the failure of a client to pay me in anything close to a timely manner, to bounce a check there. Darn! So I went in a few weeks ago and made everything right. I was there, maybe, five minutes.

Well, today at the football game there's this guy and he's talking to my kids about butterflies and smiling at me like we know each other and I have no clue who he is, but it's clear he's not on the dark side and I have to admit the face looks familiar. I'm MUCH better with faces than with names.

But you know, it could be someone from church since none of the men ever look anything like themselves once they're not in a suit. I don't say anything because I hate for people to know just how phenomenally pathetic I am at remembering names, and in this case, it's even worse because I just can't quite place . . .

So the afternoon continues. Max weighs in and I sit a few feet from the scale and breath a sigh of relief when I hear his (fully clothed and in-cleats) weight. That was the end of the issue for me, but just the beginning for Max. Apparently the kids all took great interest in each other's weight and Max was the biggest Pee-Wee. I think some of the kids had been hoping he'd weigh-out of the group and go up to Midgets to sit on a kid his own size. The kid next closest in size to him was 6 lbs less, and that put him below the 100 lb mark. So Max finds himself in the position of minor celebrity as "the biggest Pee-Wee." He doesn't quite know what to make of this at first, but soon grocks that it seems to come with some status -- so he flows with it. I watch with some amusement from the side lines. He still needs to lose ten pounds, but I'm glad he's not being teased for being big. He's at least a half inch taller than everyone else. I heard about it a lot.

PA Stranger: Which number is yours?
Me: Max is 60. :::point:::
PA Stranger: Oooh . . . he's big!
Me: Yep.

There was a variation that went like this:

PA Stranger: Which number is yours?
Me: Max is 60. :::point:::
PA Stranger: Oooh . . . he's big!
Me: Yep.
PA Stranger: :::eyeballs now half-naked twins::: How old are they?
Me: Three. They'll be four in November.
PA Stranger: All your kids are big!
Me: Yep.

What can I say? Making monsters is a gift.

But back to my main monster, Max. (The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind or another . . .) He goes off to join his team and it's sweltering now. HUMID and too hot. Wah. So I take the twins back to the car for the chairs we forgot and it takes us FOREVER because both boys are playing a rolicking game of too-independent-for-my-own-good. We get the chairs and go back to the field in time to see the kickoff.

It was an exciting game but I wasn't getting to watch much of it. Too-independent-for-our-own -good was continuing and they were increasing the stakes with Milo finally upping the anty with a sassy, "MOM, I'm FINE!" and turning and marching back in the direction from which I had just brought him, AGAIN. He got a swat and then he had to sit with Mom for awhile. This displeased him. In the meantime, the butterfly guy had started playing catch with Ben. I wasn't going to interfere because I avoid doing that when I see one of my kids glowing and so happy he's floating inches off the grass. Then suddenly I placed butterfly man -- he's the maytag man!

Well, that was just fine because really, he'd been super understanding about the whole check thing, and I guessed that he'd placed me by then but was too kind to say so -- "Hey! You're the woman who bounced that check!" That's an akward start to a conversation. In the meantime his mom came over and we talked about the twins and the knitting I was doing and to make a long story short, two more quarters sped by. Both twins peed behind a tree. Max sat on the bench with the other bench sitters. I worried. The Maytag man and his sweet mom and his sweet kid -- boy they were a nice family -- continued to play with my kids while we all kept an eye on the field.

Finally the fourth quarter arrived and by this time we were good and slaughtered by the panthers in spite of some heroic efforts on the part of our (first-year) team. (We're new to the league.) So whether by advance arrangement or not, the coaches send in the "B" team. So Max gets to go in.

Now truthfully, at this point, if it hadn't been for the continued efforts of the Rodabaugh (Maytag man's) family we might have lost the twins for good because now I really *am* hyperfocused on Son #1. But somehow we managed to keep them in sight. Max plays better than I've seen him in practice, but still, he looks unsure and seems to hesitate to overpower the opponent. I know him -- he's not afraid -- he's too nice. After about five minutes, half the group runs off the field to be replaced by other kids. Max is with them.

But when I look back a few minutes later, Max is back on the field! There was some confusion and he wasn't supposed to come in. He's back in front of #85 and the ball leaves the ground and Max goes for his guy -- and shakes him like a wet puppy and tosses him to the ground before charging after the ball.


What happened? I immediately infer that (as much as I would like to believe that the coach said something and Max responded to direction) #85 brought that on himself.

Well, Max caught on. 9 year old boys are, apparently, harder to break than they look -- that his position is supposed to do that for every play and then he's supposed to run after the ball.

Max played hard for the rest of the game and stayed in for the entire fourth quarter. A very satisfying game to watch.

I tell Mr. Rodabaugh's mom my life story while we're chatting. I don't know. My kid gets all footballish and suddenly I'm out of my shell. It was a wild moment.

The game ends. I round up my half-naked wild men and my chairs (the cover of one has completely disappeared -- a bummer because the other one didn't have a cover either and now I have way too much to carry), we say goodbye to the Rodabaughs (and I hope secretly that we end up near them again for the next game--only this time with Chris so that one of us can watch the twinkies and one can watch Max) and we go find Max.

Max informs me with quiet indignation that he's never been so insulted in all his life! It turns out he means that quite literally. He's rarely been insulted and never to the extent that #85 was laying it out there. Apparently he called Max a loser, a chicken, and other synonyms for those two. Max, who has never, ever been in a fight in his life, was suddenly inspired to take three weeks of coaching and put it to use. This was the moment I observed. After that he'd caught on to how the position was meant to be played and it didn't matter what the guy did or didn't do after that. He came at him. Max was pleased with himself for "giving him a good smack down at LEAST once, Mom."

It is further proof that God knew what he was doing when he didn't assign me any girls to raise that I nodded and replied, "Now, even if the guy in the game on Tuesday is the sweetest kid and clearly your next best friend -- you still have to knock him down like that. Okay?" Okay he says.

It was a blast. I don't know the final score -- it's a sign of our newness to State College that it doesn't matter to me (for the record, Max and I never bothered to find out who won the swim meets either. We were just there for the fun of it.) The next game is Tuesday night. Tomorrow it's back to work and school and all I have to show for my five days off is 6 pints of applesauce, 3 pints of pear butter, and a whole bunch of pints and cups and half-cups of plum-orange jam. They all turned out well, but there are air bubbles in my applesauce, so I may have to reprocess those. I still have a huge bag of apples to turn into applesauce and I still have a huge collection of tomatoes to process. Maybe tomorrow after piano. I only just got the kitchen clean again. Tomorrow night is a sleepover here at our house. Yay for Max! I love this town.

1 comment:

LH said...

Cute post about the "big" kids. I am tapping here thinking the twins are already larger than My Son??

I haven't been to your blog in a long times. Cute knitting! and yes, nice Col-or-way (and thanks for the word!) :) Wish I could visit State College!