April 27, 2009

Those Balls Are Not For Kicking

Forget the Resurrection and where babies come from, one of the hardest concepts for my kids (6yo girl and 5yo twin boys) to grasp is why their favorite clothing store sells soccer balls…and why they aren’t allowed to play with them.

“Don’t even think about it!” I barked as Twin A reached into one of several large ball bins that were scattered around the store (which shall remain nameless, but by way of a clue, shares its name with a branch of the U.S. Military).

“If the balls are here, why can’t we touch them?” my son wanted to know. This was in fact a good question, but not one for a mother to answer, but a store manager.

My sons exercised considerable self-restraint and managed to keep their hands off of the balls located next to the rack of toddler cargo shorts, as well as the ones piled next to an impressive stack of women’s panties. By the time we made our way to the front of the store—where an even bigger bin of balls awaited us—my threats and warnings had begun to wear thin. While I paid for my purchases, one of my boys played limbo under the checkout ropes. The other twin decided that it was just as good of time as any to practice his field goal kicks.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the ball whiz over my head and across the storefront. The ball made a perfect arch over the display of women’s tank tops, meeting resistance only when it reached a plastic mannequin wearing sunglasses and carrying a floral beach tote. As the mannequin and the table of beach-themed t-shirts she was pointing to toppled to the ground with a loud thud, my son yelled, “SCORE!”

I opened my mouth to say something meaningful, if not apologetic, but strangely, nothing came out. As it turned out, the store manager had more than enough to say for both of us.

“Little boy!” she screeched. “Those balls are not for kicking!”

I saw the woman’s point, but suddenly, for the first time, also my son’s. In a rare moment of generosity, I sided with my offspring. Turning to the manager, I found my words.

“What exactly are they for then?” I asked.





35 comments

Jen said...

That's a great post, and as a mother of a boy who wouldn't understand the concept either, I can relate!

Tiffany-Joy Mo said...

I am right there with you with a boy who doesn't understand why he can not, under any circumstances touch those bins of soccer balls. Did you congradulate your son on his great kick?

natalie said...

HAAA!! My son would have done the same thing. So what did the lady say to your retort?

Anonymous said...

That's awesome. I usually end up yelling at my kids when things like that happen to us, but that's a nice reminder to look at things from their point of view, and stick up for them when I need to.

Holly said...

My son (almost 9) would have been rolling on the floor because someone had said 'kicking' and 'balls' in the same paragraph.

canadianmom said...

That is hilarious! My son would have so done the same thing! Yet I am not sure what my reaction would really have been, though I would like to think I may have the same response as you did.

Robin said...

Hilarious! I had a very similar thing happen to me....my 6 y.o. grabbed one of the "pet frisbees" and proceeded to launch it UNDER one of the shelving displays.....I just DARED them to try to make me pay for it!

Robin :o)

The Crazy Coxes said...

Oooooooohhhhhh........I know I will be deemed unsympathetic. But I have three boys 20, 17 and 14 and they would never dream of touching someone else's balls- not even when they were five. ;)

But in all seriousness, this is a pet peeve of mine right now. Sorry. No means no. Don't touch means don't touch. Stay by me means stay by me. I witches claw grasp on the underside of an arm means I will kill you. :)

LeMira said...

I wish that I were as witty as you are and could think of that retort. Instead I would have been too embarrassed about my kid, although I really would have been mad that there are soccer balls in the store.

newlyweds said...

Visiting from MoM. Cute blog I'm off to read more.

Jenny said...

I have going to Old Navy because of those stupid balls. I guess I should be thankful that my daughter just wants to bounce them and not kick them! LOL!

Rebecca said...

hahahohoheehee, great question! If they don't want kids to kick the dang balls IN their store, then they need to not have them in kid reach locations. DUH! I have four kidlets too and I find I have the same problem, this is WHY I don't take them in the store unless absolutely necessary.

Charmaine said...

That was great! Way to stand up to her!

Gibbs said...

I'm with your son on this one! What are they there for? It's a clothing store with soccer balls? Entertainment for the kids while you shop? And i bet the manager didn't have a answer either what they are for!

Lillie said...

Great post! I really enjoy your blog!

4handfulls said...

Great post! My issue with Old Navy is the bouny balls- my kids want to know why if they have already paid for them can they not bounce them around the store right away!

Thanks for sharing the site too, I had not seen it. I am a mom of 4 boys, including mz twins.

zelzee said...

Mean manager...bursting his little winning bubble!

Jennifer said...

I totally agree Why have the balls on the floor if you can't play with them. That's just asking for trouble.

beth said...

loved your story. i have totally wondered the same thing while in said unnamed store. i totally love that you sided with your son. i would have been all over my kids (boys aged 9, 4, 3 and twin girls aged 2) until the second someone else scolded them. then i totally would have gone your route, as well!

twiddyfam said...

And that would be why I no longer bring my 4-year-old to that store unless it's absolutely unavoidable.

Jan Russell said...

And JUST when you make it out of Old Navy without buying a ball, despite the endless pleas...what do you pass? The bleeping 5 below store next door, with MORE BINS OF BALLS at the entrance. I may need to boycott that entire shopping center.

Err..except for Chipolte, since it's on the other side of the parkking lot, and the manager is 1/2 my boyfriend.

Jana said...

Jan!

Are you after my boyfriend? GRRRRRRRR! He is soooo mine.

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, it's one thing when *I* am yelling at my kid to stop it, but it's a WHOLE different story when it's a stranger yelling at my kid(even if it is for the same reason). Mama Bear makes an appearance!

Deanna said...

Oh, my heck. That is hilarious!!! I wish I had the guts to say stuff like that when my feisty 3-year-old does stuff. That was so AWESOME!!! I wish I could have seen that manager's face!!! priceless.

angellee said...

Oh that is funny! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who curses Old Navy for even having those stupid balls in the first place - and so accessable too! By the time me and mine leave the store, every person in there knows each of my kids' names, first and middle. I think next time I'll just join them in their fun :)

Anonymous said...

I've had the very same thing happen to me and my boys!! Hilarious!

lisha said...

I am glad to know that my kids are not the only ones who can't leave those balls alone. Seriously, why DO they have them?

kathleener said...

my soon-to-be 2 yr old loves the balls there too...although he's young enough that the powers that be let him kick them around since, really, what ARE they for if not for that?

The Myers Family said...

That was a great post! Thanks for sharing and a good laugh for the day! I totally agree..about the ball thing in old navy. I have nver understood WHY they have balls in there! LOL!

Amy said...

Priceless!

Tianna said...

Loved the story, but request the link be updated to point to the actual post instead of just the main blog, so that people like me who are WAY behind in reading blogs can find it without having to search through her entire blog.

It was worth the search, though. :)

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