As I sat watching the World Series, I had an epiphany. Abner Doubleday, the supposed creator of baseball, must have been a dad. The game of baseball is so full of life lessons and parenting advice that there's no way he wasn't a father. Here are my top 5 (I can never seem to make it to 10) parenting tips from the game of baseball:
- Don't let the other team steal your signs - Kids are a crafty lot. They'll look for any sign that may give them the advantage. When your kid gets out of hand, maybe you pull on your earlobe, then tap your elbow just before 'parenting.' This allows the child to avoid being picked off. If you have more than one kid, they can relay signs to each other, which provides them a competitive advantage. They know exactly what's coming next.
- Always wear your cup (or nuttybuddy) - As a firm believer in laying on the floor this is a must. Mere hours ago, as I received a flying knee to the berries, I was again reminded why I must always wear protective gear.
- Utilize the closer, but only in save situations - Sometimes as fathers, you need to relieve the mom fo your kids, or vice versa. But, if you bring in your relief too early, you risk burning out in the long run. So... wait until your better half is down and out, with the bases loaded and no outs, and then (and only then) lend a helping hand.
- Lay off of the high heat - There are times when your kids know exactly how to get you out. It usually starts with something like "Remember when you said I could _______?" Whatever you do, do not take the bait. I know it's tempting, but only ends with you striking out.
- You have to play all 9 innings - I'm slowly coming to the realization that this parenting thing is going to stick with me for 18+ years. It's comforting to know that God willing, it's a long game, and if I screw up along the way there's still another inning. So I try not to beat myself up too bad for the little missteps along the way.