What Should I Do?



I am the Little League team parent for one of my hooligan's baseball teams.

We've had a tough season.  It's a young team with not a lot of baseball experience among them. 

However, we have three awesome coaches who have done everything to keep these boys spirits riding high even though the taste of victory has been in short supply.

Tonight is our last game and we are having a small celebration right after to give the boys their trophies and present the coaches with their gifts.

Yesterday I sent an email to the parents confirming the after-game-shindig.

One mother quickly shoots me back a note thanking me for putting everything together but her son will not be playing in the last game of the playoffs (he hasn't played in the past two either)  and to just THROW his trophy in the trash because he doesn't need it.

What?

Now to be fair, this boy has not been the most enthusiastic player in the group and the mother has not encouraged him to keep up his commitment to the team. 

BUT instead of her saying to her son, "Hey, you have an obligation to fulfill to your team mates".  She wants me to throw his trophy in the trash because.....???....baseball will then just disappear?

Let's not mention she emailed me a couple weeks ago, worried about his name being spelled correctly on the trophy.

Now throw it in the trash?  That's a little harsh don't you think?  And mean.

I feel so bad for this kid.  Why should he be left out?  I don't think it's fair.

However, I don't know anything about the family situation or the father. 

What should I do, dump the trophy in the garbage as she wishes or take it over to their house after the game?  By taking it over there, am I overstepping her parental wishes?  She did pay for the trophy, why can't he just have it?

She's a meanie, in my opinion.  Or should I just not care?

Follow-Up.

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43 Comments

  1. Kathy from NJ 1

    She may have been having a bad day when she sent the email. Pretend that you never got it (your cable was down, the computer had a virus, whatever) and when you deliver it, ask her to check and make sure you got the spelling right.

    Reply
  2. Jen 2

    I so agree with NJ. She could have been having a bad day or just been angry with her son about something.
    I think you should just take it over there and give it her. And if she ask if you got the e-mail just say you didn’t receive it there must have been a failure in the system.
    But I would also show here the spelling and say to her I know you wanted me to make sure the spelling was.
    I hope this is correct.
    Some parents can be jerks when they have something going on in the household .
    They tend to take it out on the children with out realizing it. You don’t know what the problem there is so just humor her and see that he gets his trophy.

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  3. Poor little boy. Now you know why he isn’t committed or spirited. On my worst day, I would never do what that woman did. You are being too generous! I hope she reads your blog…

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  4. Karly 4

    I can kind of understand where she is coming from IF the boy decided he no longer wanted to play. I could totally see my son doing something like that. And I could see me trying to encourage him to keep playing and finally saying “If you don’t play, you don’t get the trophy.” If that wasn’t the case and the boy did want to continue playing and wasn’t able to for some reason, then yes, she is a big fat meanie. :)

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  5. rachel 5

    That is really strange and a bit disconcerting even.
    I think I would probably hang on to the trophy for them, just for a little while. She may pull her head out of her nether regions, or her son may decide it’s important to him (forcing her to once again extract head from anus)
    Bizarre.
    Sorry you’re in a pickle.

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  6. Wow… this hit a nerve for me.

    If she wants it thrown in the trash, she should do it. She’s just trying to pull you into her vibe so that she gets what she wants but doesn’t have to do the dirty work. Maybe it helps her feel better later… like someone who asks their a family member to drive the dog to the pound. Wasn’t their hand on the wheel and it mitigates their own guilt.
    No matter what, it’s not your task on the planet to figure out why she doesn’t want her kid to have it and why she wants you to do the dirty work. I would absolutely deliver it to her. Use the above “I didn’t get the email” or be honest and say “I’m so sorry, after such a tough season, I couldn’t bring myself to toss it. I know in my heart you would want your son to have it.”
    Then walk away. Whatever is in her heart, she cannot expose it after you’ve made such a lovely gesture. And you’ll feel better for having done the best you could in this situation.

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  7. Erin 7

    I would drop the trophy by the house with a plate of cookies and a polite note. “Enjoy! We hope to be slugging balls with you again next year.”
    You never know what kind of hard things people are going through, and usually “meanies” have deep personal issues. Sometimes a suprising act of kindness will jolt them out of their funk.

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  8. I vote with the majority above. It could be the boy, and then again, it could be the boy. In either case, one of them may change his or her mind later and actually wish they had it. She paid for it, and wanted his name spelled correctly, so you should deliver it. Good luck!

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  9. Marcy 9

    Wow, hmmm. She may have beenhaving a mood, or maybe her son was being difficult and she was just fed up and said to chunk it.
    I know my daughter played soccer one season, she stuck it out but wasn’t thrilled and never did get her trophy and she doesn’t miss it. Maybe the mom was just frustrated for her efforts of trying to get him to plya , then finally gave in.
    I would however keep it for a little while, and if you accidentallyrun into her somewhere ask her when you can see her and give her the trophy, m,aybe she will have had a change of heart:)
    ttyl

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  10. jancd 10

    I am also torn about what to do. It does seem silly to reward the kid for doing a crummy job, but again we don’t know whose fault that was–maybe the mom wouldn’t bring him to the games. The cookies and trophy was by far the nicest decision. I think I would hang on to the trophy for a while to see if there is any interest by either of them. If not, I would probably just toss it, like the mom requested. It could be the boy was not at all interested in the team or game.

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  11. Wow- what a tough situation. I would hang on to it for a while, just in case the boy asks about it.

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  12. Blair 12

    Wow, yeah… I would be struggling with this one too!
    I try to remind myself that when people are often that way it might be because they are in a crisis; emotional, physical, spiritual, or otherwise. So I tend to go the route that I think in the end would touch me if the positions were reversed.
    Based on the way this story played out in my head (meaning how I am interpreting it) I would wait a bit, then either deliver it or send it with a note saying that you hope all is well and that you hope to see them again next season.
    Sometimes when I see meanies like this, I try to show them what kindness does… of course this can get thrown back in my face because they are still in a bad place, but I have never regretted taking the kind and gentle route.

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  13. Alisa 13

    It’s amazing that some parents are so mean and clueless. I feel so sorry for this boy, can you imagine how she treats him?
    I would take the chicken way out and give the trophy to the coaches and let them make the decision. I’m a chicken like that though, I usually try to avoid conflict unless I really need to step up. Then, watch out! There’s no middle for me really. One of my many faults.
    Good luck and have fun at the party!

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  14. I think I would box it up and leave it on the doorstep. That way, if she was having a bad day and has regretted her rude comment, she can give her sone the trophy. And if she meant it, you avoid the negative backlash by a drop and run. Let her throw it in the trash, if that’s what she really wants.

    Reply
  15. Wendy 15

    I would take it round. I’m sure this little boy will be pleased to see it despite what his Mother insists. And worse comes to the worse? No-one’s home? You leave it on the porch – y’know? You tried, and if the Mother is going to be a dingus, then that’s her issue and not yours. You did the right thing.

    😉

    P.S. I made the cookies y’day – AWESOME!! Went down a treat at the b’day party I took them to and I pimped your good name. 😉
    Happy weekend!

    Reply
  16. Stephanie 16

    I agree with most everyone above…Bring the trophy to the house, use the “didn’t get the e-mail” and “hope hope his name is spelled correctly”. Watch the guilt wash over her face, and tell us what happened.

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  17. Carol 17

    I agree with most of the above. Act in your normal polite manner. She was expressing her frustration to you rudely, but probably didn’t truly mean it. If she gives it any thought, she knows a person like you wouldn’t throw his trophy in the trash. Poor kid. Obviously more going on at the house than anyone else knows. Bring the trophy to their house with a comfort item or goodies for the player and perhaps family, with a friendly note. I am also a team Mom and ran into the same thing with team photos. Parents who had paid for them earlier in the season, and were at the time divorcing. Cute kid, nice pictures. I called Dad. Mom had taken off with the son to Lake Havasu, he said, “just forget about those pictures”. My son saw the child at school later in the month and we chased him down and gave them to him. He was smiling. Good luck!

    Reply
  18. I confess I had a little league dropout who never got his trophy and never missed it. He just really isn’t the baseball type.

    I would contact the league office. I bet they’ve run into this situation before. Let them store it or deliver it for you. I don’t think you should be obligated to follow up after this.

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  19. Egghead 19

    I agree with the above. I wouldn’t throw it away. I would either leave it with the league office or take it in a bag to the mom and tell her you are uncomfortable throwing it away. What she chooses to do with it is up to her but it should not be your responsibility to make that decision.

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  20. She paid for it so bring it to her.
    Tell her he son was missed at the party.
    Then if she wants to throw it she can throw it.

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  21. Sheila Wilson 21

    What a NUT CASE Mommy. Why put that on her child. She should have supported him throughout the season, teaching him how to be part of a team instead of a quitter. What a shame.

    I just FOUND your blog in my NEW YORK paper and I love it. I love the name Noble Pig too. Your newest fan!

    Reply
  22. I agree with everyone else…take the trophy to their home and let the mother decide what to do with it. If she wants it thrown away she can do it.

    Reply
  23. How sad…
    Here is a totally different ‘view’:
    I’m guessing the father is a POW (piece of work) and gives the mom crap about the son playing ball, and therefore the son picks up on dad’s vibes…I mean, if Dad is no where to be seen, he obviously doesn’t give a rip, and mom has been trying to be the cheerleader for her son…and perhaps lots of other things in this family, and must have reached her boiling point…
    So, save it… box it.. and give it later with a ‘thinking of you and your boy and hoping everything is fine’ and if you are inclined, an additional note ‘if you ever need a friend to talk to, I am here – coffee, tea or margaritas!’…
    Just depends on how far you are willing to go with this relationship and potential friendship… and if the boy is someone you would welcome at your house with your boys (does he play well with others, at all?)…
    Good luck girl…
    I feel for all of the parties mentioned…

    Reply
  24. Stacy 24

    This is a tough one! I definitely don’t think you’re obligated to take the trophy over to their house, but, in the interest of the kid, maybe hold off on getting rid of it. Do you have enough space to hang on to it for a while? If so, maybe keep it until the next time you or your son will see this other boy, and then you can give it to him.

    Reply
  25. Howdy 25

    I think I’m with the majority – if she wants it tossed she’ll have to do it herself. I would take it over with a note saying you’re sorry they missed the last game and the award ceremony.
    Playing at this level should be all about the fun…

    Reply
  26. I would email her back and tell her that you respect her wishes, and that if she changes her mind, you’ll hang on to the trophy for a couple of months – and just stick it in the garage for a while.

    She has her reasons for making that decision. I would respect them to an extent – not show up at her door with the trophy, but would also give her a chance to change her mind.

    Reply
  27. jean 27

    I read all the previous comments and I have to agree with most of them. I would hold onto it for a few weeks and then throw it away. You never know what is going on in their life right now so I would give her a break.

    Reply
  28. giz 28

    People are sometimes “interesting”. I’d like to give this mom the benefit of the doubt and think she’s a little wierded out about something. It doesn’t even make sense to try to assume anything. My guess – the kid was standing right in front of her and she was trying to teach him a lesson for something totally unrelated to baseball.

    If I were you (and we spent many years with both hardball and softball, soccer, hocket, gymnastics – you name it) – take this kid’s trophy home with you. Give them a few days. Does the boy go to school with your hooligan?

    The unfortunate part of this is that this mom is sending a horrible message to the kid. How can he have more enhusiasm when the parents don’t give a damn. I feel really sorry for the kid.
    Have someone other than you call the mom in a few days (the coach would be good) pretending that you hadn’t said anything and that you had just handed back this child’s trophy to the coach for safekeeping. You need to get out of it now.

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  29. Flea 29

    It’s your job to make sure all the kids get their trophies. At least that’s what you can tell her. And I agree that you can pretend you never got her email. So sad.

    Reply
  30. Like other have said you should not take responsability. You should give the trophy to the head coach with an explanation and he will be the one making the decision. You never know what’s going on behind doors. Sometimes a day can go so wrong and you have a reaction that you regret down the road.

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  31. Yikes! That is a TOUGH one…

    I say give it- but I have no good reason why. I just that I think he should have it… but it’s not up to me, eh?

    Let us know what you do.

    Reply
  32. Now this is just what I would do….I’d ship it to her…address it to her name..I would make her chuck if that’s what she wanted done…you aren’t giving it to the kid, but you aren’t chucking it either…so your not interfering nor are you tossing aside the child’s feelings…maybe she’s just to lazy to come and pick it up..and if it’s there she will let him have it.

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  33. grace 33

    oooh, i do not envy your position here. it looks like you’ve gotten some good feedback above, so i’ll just tell you what i’d do. i’m a coward and avoid confrontation at all costs. therefore, i’d just hang on to the trophy in case she has a change of heart (which nutcases are prone to do…). good luck! :)

    Reply
  34. Kimberly Ostrowski 34

    I would drop it off at their house, you dont need to make contact. If she says anything to you, you tell her that its not your place to throw away her son’s trophy and she can do it for him. Plus she can explain to him why she wants to throw awy his trophy. — Its moms like her that make me even more thankful for mine!!!! I would love to confront her!

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  35. Tipper 35

    I agree with Egghead’s comment. Is there an office you can leave it at?Then email her that if they change their mind thats where it is. I kinda agree about dropping it at the boys home-but you never know-it could make things worse if they have put their baseball problem behind them. Good luck-I hope you’ll share what you decided to do.

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  36. I agree with Kim, I would just drop it off at the house and let the mother deal with it.

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  37. Cathy-

    People say a lot of silly things in the heat of the moment. Maybe the son was frustrated at “stinking” and maybe the mother was reacting. Maybe the mother felt guilty for not being able to get the boy to the game and did not want the kid to have the reminder of his neglectful Mom. Or maybe 100 other things.

    I would respect the Mothers wishes insofar as not delivering the trophy. But hold onto it. Maybe even let the mother know that you are keeping the trophy for little johnny should they change their minds.

    Either way, GOOD LUCK!

    Reply
  38. april 38

    Okay, my first reaction was that this mom probably just had a few rounds with the little boy about playing baseball and he won.

    It sounds like a frustrated mom that may have wanted a sympathetic reply like, “Oh, are you sure you want me to do that? Maybe I’ll hold on to it if you change your mind.”

    Or she’s off her rocker.

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  39. Liz C. 39

    Frankly, we always made sure our kids knew that if they committed to a sport, then they had to ride out the season. Period. They watched other kids drop out & saw those who seldom showed up and came to understand why we stressed the committment part. They both always made all their games, win or lose. Losing builds character. That mother sounds like a freaking nut case to me. You should leave it on their doorstep with a note that says something like: Joey: Even though you weren’t able to finish out the season with us, your trophy was paid for and we felt that you should have it anyway. You did a great job! (not part of the note)——->Screw the mother.

    Reply
  40. Sounds like there is more to that story. She may have been having a bad day. I would probably email her and tell her that since she paid for the trophy, you don’t feel comfortable throwing it away. But, you will deliver it to her and she can do with it whatever she wants. She may think it over and change her mind.

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  41. wow. What a mind blowing predicament. I guess adopting the kid is out, huh? Poor little guy. I’m with the others on delivering it with a smile as if you never got the email. If it’s too late for that, maybe leave it with the school so they can give it to him? I would NOT throw it out.

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  42. Poor little guy! I would email her and say that you had already ordered a trophy with his name and you think he is more than deserving…he did a great job, etc. Just let her know you have it waiting for him and see what she says again. If she acts like a witch again, key her car with the edge of the trophy.

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  43. Lex the Mom 43

    At the same time I think that her suggesting you “throw it out” is terribly wrong, it has to be that she is also influencing how her boy may respond to it all. If she doesn’t want the trophy, who’s to say her boy (that was disinterested & she didn’t encourage his commitment) wants to have it? If it was a crisis or even just a bad day (which it may not be, maybe she really doesn’t care), then it would be a good thing to wait & deliver later. If she really doesn’t care, then it would be a bad idea to involve yourself that way.

    For me, this would certainly be a step back moment. I can honestly say I wouldn’t know what to do about it. If I had a little familiarity with how she was with her kids & how she was as a person, I’d know better what I might do. I think this falls on asking others about her (if you can nonchalant that). If you can’t get enough from that, to form a better idea of what she’s really like, then I say refrain from it at all or send it to school with one of your hooligans next year to deliver to the boy. If the boy wants it, cool – no harm no foul. If the boy shuns it, he can be the one responsible for getting rid of it.

    Just my humble opinion. Some people are really like that – it’s sad but reality. My boys play baseball & I am in it with them! I look forward to summer for their baseball, among other things!

    Reply

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