Tuesday, March 8, 2016

ToddlerBandit: Unofficial Reporter

ToddlerBandit ended up with a small following this year, thanks in part to his accidental sports reporting and his status as the unofficial (and sometimes unauthorized) mascot to his brothers' hockey teams.

He dutifully followed them like a groupie, always trying (but mostly failing) to keep a good attitude about being dragged around three states like an unwilling sack of sugar. He went where he pleased, scoping out the perimeter of any given rink and having his way like he owned the place. He loitered in locker rooms, was mesmerized by the Zamboni all alone in the cold and unsupervised, and lay like a starfish in the middle of high-traffic lobbies, unapologetically making spectators and players step over him. Much of his attitude and actions depended heavily on how close it was to, or whether he had missed: NAPTIME.

I decided to have a little fun by documenting his point of view for the games so that people who were missing the action wouldn't feel left out. And by "people", I mostly mean "Grandma" and maybe like one or two aunties. I expected that very few folks would have any interest in a recap written by a second year hockey mom who barely knows the rules, writing from the view of a kid who got his nickname from being little, looking cute, and stealing your heart (and all your shit).

The first breakdown? Not even called a breakdown.
It's was ToddlerBandit's analysis of LC Squirts' two losses to Tri-Cities.
*They would only have one more for the entire season.*

When we called it a breakdown. He was obsessed with Red's
shoes and completely over his own snowpants.

He didn't report on every game. There were times that he couldn't be there. I relied heavily on the official scoresheet to get the facts straight, though if anyone has ever really looked at one, it's apparent when they attribute a goal to a jersey number your team doesn't have, it may not be the most reliable information source. I also depended on the scoresheet because, thanks to TB, I would miss half the action myself with his constant demands for snacks and electronics and general wiggle issues.

He's a shitty bleachermate. For real.

I did my best to spread the love around, giving kudos to everyone on the team. This isn't because I have an "everyone deserves a trophy" mentality, but rather because the coaches in this chilly sport shoved the new kids out on the ice like baby birds out of the nest, the same thing they did to my kids last year when we didn't know a shin guard from an elbow pad. Everyone had a part to play, and those who showed up and did their best, well, it showed in the game. And on the report. But for any shining stars, the teams as a whole were the focus, and I hope that nobody took the writing to either glorify or embarrass anyone. Especially with the nicknames I assigned them in any given game.

I know that "Hell No Silflow" stuck a little too hard, and for anyone who was offended by that or by the subsequent screaming of it by any...certain...loud...like...a FOGHORN parents in the stands, I apologize.

Not really. Jack is a bad-ass goalie. He earned that name.

But now the season is coming to an end. The Squirts finished out their last game last weekend (until the parent/kid game which promises to be...injurious) and the PeeWees will battle it out in a Coeur d'Alene tournament this coming weekend.

And then the ToddlerBandit Breakdowns are going to retire. And it's bittersweet. The love from this extended weird family, those who Harrison knows are his "people" when we're in strange places, the kids that he has grown to love chasing and wrestling with and watching for hours and hours and hours...we will miss this.

I hope that one day he looks back on this and appreciates my marking his participation in what was really his big brothers' thing. And I hope that those who weren't able to be there in person had a little more feeling of inclusion in what was a fun, frozen, and sometimes frustrating and long sport season.

*To revisit any of the ToddlerBandit Breakdowns, look through the scrolling photos in the banner at the top of this page and click on the picture of the breakdown you want to read. The link will take you to that post on my Instagram account -  @DayLeeFix.

Which ToddlerBandit Breakdown was your favorite?

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