WHITE Enroll your child in a preschool team sport/dance class/swimming lesson of your choosing. Your family crest shows a skinny disembodied arm swinging a racket and missing need not determine your child’s athletic fate. You must imbue your child’s crest with POTENTIAL.
YELLOW Watch your child--two heads taller than the others--score many goals and become early-adapter for 15 minutes of first practice. Learn to tie your yellow belt, securing your parenting-I’m-doing-it-so-very-right! knot.
ORANGE Watch same child refuse to play for every subsequent game. Bribe child on to field with promise of bunny snacks at half time. Child joins team of crying mouths-stuffed-with-bunnies field-nomads.
ORANGE W/STRIPIES Child needs to dump at field with no bathrooms. Weigh 5 mile jaunt to gas station plus potential shite-in-shorts vs. child becoming dumping-on-subdivision-wisp-of-tree team mascot
BLUE WITH STRIPIES After three games of child non-participation regardless of snack bribe, and complete with Saturday morning tantrum, forfeit season and receive your “no more parent fake enthusiasm” blue belt with stripies.
BLUE Graduate to athletics-denial paired with skinny disembodied arm swinging a racket family crest inevitability and acceptance.
PURPLE WITH STRIPIES Learn kindergarten team sport is recruiting members. Many of the players are in child’s class. Use friends card to lure child back into team sport/dance class/swim lessons. Kiss weekends goodbye and meet your new best friends—the other sideline sitters. They, too, ask themselves how it is their own parents got away with giving them money for a bus pass and saying “see you at dinner.”
PURPLE Child enjoys team sport! Adult pack-n-play chairs take up residence in your trunk. Practices increase to twice weekly plus show up 30 minutes early on game day.
RED WITH STRIPIE Child becomes firmly entrenched in team sport. Command new vocabulary involving “if the team plays in the rain, than you play in the rain.” Sit in the rain in parent pack-n-play eating extras-for-siblings snack bunnies. Younger sibling plays 100 miles away at the playground with no bathroom. You can tell he has to dump.
RED NO STRIPIE Season ends!! Succumb to off-season “children must exercise” guilt and enroll in free-trial karate banking on children’s boredom due to rote commands.
BLACK STRIPIE Children love shouting YES SIR and YES MA’AM and complying to rote commands so long as they come from adults in bathrobes with bellies that are not you.
BLACK WITH MANY MANY STRIPIES Re-up after six months and two belt graduations which conveniently coincide with re-commitment dues.
BLACK WITH INFINITY XRAY SHIELDS GOOGLEPLEX STRIPIES Lack of forced musical instrument introduction doubt plagues your from karate-watching bench as you eaves-drop on piano-practice conversations. Your child’s synapses are closing, his brain plasticity is hardening with age, IT’S YOUR JOB TO INTRODUCE HIM TO AND DRIVE HIM TO AND TASK-MASTER HIM INTO ALL OF THE THINGS. The likelihood grows that he will never Sing You A Song He’s Piano Man. You remember that Hebrew School begins next year because BAR MITZVAH-JEWISH IDENTITY-CONTINUATION OF THE PEOPLE. You don’t garden. You don’t habla to him en Español. Your belt tightens.