From the time we found out we were having a little boy, my husband and I were well aware of the fact that we would soon be spending our weekends at various sports fields and participating in games/practices/fundraisers. We both grew up in families that loved and actively participated in sports. My mom, dad, brother, and I spent many a cold morning at a soccer field with hot chocolate, and I think I will always remember sitting with my mom on Monday mornings counting up wins on fundraiser football pools for my brother’s travel soccer team. My husband is irritatingly good at any sport he tries, and I have a long history of ice skating and running track and cross-country. Our kid was sort of doomed from the start.
Thankfully, our little guy LOVES sports. Already, he’s proven pretty impressive with a soccer ball, and he can hit a mean baseball off the tee too. I was super excited when I found a league that had a team for 3-year-olds, and after a quick sign up and decision on jersey size, we were officially a sports family. Wee Ball began in full earnest in late March, and we have been enjoying some sunshine and exercise every Saturday morning since. My husband is the coach, my little guy loves his “baseball friends”, and yup, you guessed it, I’m the team mom.
Now before you judge me too harshly, know that I did not intend to become team mom. It just sort of…happened. Two weeks ago, I got an email from the league mom telling me that our team mom (not me) could no longer fulfill her duties. And so I became team mom. Mostly because I’m a control freak and was too busy to hunt down all of the other moms on the team and get a new team mom, but also because I thought it would be easy and fun.
The timing for this switch of team mom duties was really unfortunate. I got the email on a Thursday and headed out of town for a work conference where I was presenting that Saturday. That Saturday also happened to be Wee Ball picture day, the day that fundraisers were due, and one week before the league’s opening day. As you can imagine, I was cool as a cucumber. HA. I was slightly psychotic as I attempted to prep my husband to be team mom for Saturday’s practice while also getting ready for the presentation, prepping to be out of the office for several days, and meeting a non-negotiable writing deadline. All while figuring out a Wee Ball snack schedule. But it all got done, the conference went great, the hungry toddlers were fed, and we’ll see in another couple weeks if my little guy smiled for his pictures.
With opening day less than a week away, I had to get started on our team’s banner. YES – a banner. Right up my alley, except I would never have willingly left it until the last minute if I had known I was team mom all along. Crafts are far less fun when they have to get crammed in between 1200 other things. But off the little guy and I went to Joann’s for fabric, felt, and glitter glue. He may have also found some fleece that he liked, so we got that to make him a no sew blanket (clearly I looked bored to him).
For the banner, I was equal parts inspired and overwhelmed by what I saw when I looked up baseball banners on Pinterest. I cursed myself for only the 2940735375386538th time for still not knowing how to sew. Even with my inability to sew, I feel fairly confident than I could have sewn two squares together, but I seriously did not have the time to try. I broke out the tacky and hot glues and got to work. I had to maneuver things around over the next couple of days, but on opening day, my little guy and his team were proudly introduced following this banner:
Not to shabby, eh? I was pretty proud of myself.
- 1.5 yards fleece Orioles fabric for the backing (cut down slightly)
- 1.5 yards stiff orange fabric for the banner (cut down slightly)
- black tension rod (straight from my laundry room window)
- black stiff felt with adhesive on one side
- large letter stickers that I used as stencils for the black felt
- precut foam stars
- one piece of white felt (and a red sharpie) for the baseball in the top corner
- glitter glue to write each player’s number on a star and the year on the baseball
- foam baseball stickers for decoration
This was surprisingly easy to make, and would have been even easier if I hadn’t been running around two days before trying to get players’ numbers. It also would have been easier if I had the time to sew, rather than staple, the backing around the tension rod, and if I hadn’t been panicked that my non-fabric glue wasn’t going to hold the orange and fleece fabrics together for the duration of the parade (it did).
I started worrying that maybe I had gone a little too overboard for Wee Ball until I got to the parade and saw that most of the banners were similarly, painstakingly assembled. Ours was the biggest, but there were some impressive banners out there. This made me feel pretty confident that this bunch of overachieving moms and I would be good friends.
As for the rest of the day? It was cold and long and great. And with that, my life as a sports mom began.