Being snack mom isn’t exactly a treat
I may not have a high-powered corporate position, but I certainly know what it’s like to be under pressure.
You want to know the meaning of the word stress? Try being snack mom for a Little League baseball team. Or two.
As if spending your own hard-earned cash to dole out snacks for 12 kids isn’t insult enough, you’re immediately labeled a “good snack mom” or a “bad snack mom.” Or, if you’re me, a “forgetful snack mom,” a stigma of which I am still trying to rid myself. OK, so I forgot the snack a couple of times. What ” your boys are so puny they can’t make it from breakfast to lunch without a box of Teddy Grahams?
I have two sons who played Little League this year ” unfortunately for their father and me, on different teams. Which meant we planted our behinds on the bleachers five times a week and twice on Saturdays. And did my snack responsibilities coincide? Never.
One day I was tight on time and didn’t have a chance to go to the grocery store for a “good” snack before the 45 minute drive to my son’s game. I figured I’d stop at Safeway, but unbeknownst to me the road in front of the store was under construction, creating a log jam that would have taken 15 minutes to get through. Do I risk it and miss the first inning? Or do I take a quick left at the Kum N’ Go and make the opening pitch? I opted for the Kum N’ Go.
I rounded up some of those little orange crackers with something that passes for peanut butter inside, grabbed one Gatorade just for my son (What? They’re expensive!) and was off.
The abuse was relentless.
“You bought the snack at a convenience store?”
“You must be rich, how much did you have to pay for that?”
“Afterward, you gonna take your family there for dinner, too?”
Ha ha. Very funny. I see it isn’t stopping your kid from snarfing down the treats, now is it? Who’s the good snack mom now?
Still, the relentless teasing was too much. My next go-round I decided to go all out. I went to the store early and bought a big bag of navel oranges. Organic. I sliced them up in tidy wedges and refrigerated them for that extra little touch. Nothing better than a juicy, cold orange on a hot day. I also bought some packages of string cheese to go along with them ” healthy, tasty, the perfect “good snack mom” treat.
At the game, the coach told me not to put the snack out till after the fourth inning because it distracted the players.
“Where’s the snack?” the boys began to ask by the second inning.
“Who’s snack mom today?” parents were murmuring.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got it all under control,” I assured them, even as the orange wedges wilted. A few of the moms exchanged looks.
By the time the fourth inning rolled around the oranges were languishing in their own juice, limp and hideously unappetizing. The string cheese had reached dangerously high temperatures.
“Yuck,” one of the boys said. “I’m not eating this.” The others followed suit in a chorus of disgust and the moms clucked their tongues.
Had I known they wouldn’t be able to eat their snack early on, I would have brought an ice chest. Really.
But now the pressure was too much. I was ready to relinquish all future snack responsibilities until I looked in the dugout and saw Ben, my own 9-year-old, chomping away on an orange, a little smile on his face, and a nod and a wink for his mom.
Charla Belinski’s column runs every other Sunday in the Post Independent. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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