At some point last fall, S. let the girls put some games on her iPhone, and they each get turns playing them each day. As you would expect, that has lead to a conflict or two.

Last night, we were talking about how the girls would, one day, have their own phones. We explained that it wouldn’t happen until they were able to babysit other kids, or were going to school/sports events on their own. As M. and C. talked about what kinds of apps they would put on their phones, L. piped up with this gem.

“I’m only putting games on my phone. No offense!”

Not sure why she thought that would be offensive, but we loved it.

M.’s grade gets to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in a couple weeks. On a recent Target trip, we were digging through the dollar bins looking for stuff she could wear that day. As we examined the gloves, sunglasses, hats, and bead, C. pulled on my sleeve and said, “Ooooh, I want this!”

I looked down and she was holding a flask with a leprechaun on it.

We’ve been worried about her and high school since she was about 18 months old. More confirmation we were right to be concerned.

We also signed up M. for the spring kickball season at St. P’s this week. If you’re not a Catholic from Indianapolis1, you may not understand what a big deal that is here. When S. and I were first dating, I asked if she played any sports growing up. She said kickball and I laughed in her face. She quickly informed me that kickball was a real sport and she didn’t appreciate me questioning her athletic pedigree.

Last fall we were at a party and I found myself in a conversation that featured parents from four different Catholic elementary schools. Kickball came up and I shared that story with the group. Another parent who is not an Indy native chimed in. “Oh, you CAN NOT say anything bad about kickball to an Indianapolis Catholic! They take it very seriously!”

Anyway, it normally starts in fourth grade, but apparently this spring several of the local schools are running out third graders so they can get used to the rules, learn some skills, and be raring to go in the fall.2 M. has not shown much interest in playing. In fact, last fall when I told her about one of her fourth grade buddies who loved it, she muttered to L. that we only wanted her to play kickball because S. did.

I asked her several times if she wanted to play this spring and the answer was always no. We had already ruled out soccer for this spring, so we were hoping she would take advantage of a school-based sport for her spring activity. After a couple days of cajoling, I finally sent an email out to all the other third grade parents asking who had daughters that were going to play. It was about 20-2 in favor of playing.

That afternoon, I assaulted M. with that information, going down the list of all the girls that were playing. She sat and listened with only mild interest. I mentioned her friend A. was playing.

“Oh, A. is playing? Then I’m definitely playing.”

“That’s a yes? You want to play now?”


I should have found out if A. was interested in kickball months ago.

Finally, we’ve been talking to the girls about what behavioral change they will be making for Lent. We let them know that they can just as easily decide to do something positive during Lent as give something up.

M. is still thinking it over.

C. decided to give up playing on S.’s iPhone, which I thought was a bold choice.

And L. told us, with wide, gleaming eyes and a happy grin, that she would not get into bed with us at night. I was quick to celebrate her choice but S. shot it down.

“Are you kidding me? You’re almost five-and-a-half years old and you’ve never gone 40 nights without getting into bed with us. Pick something else.”

Maybe next year.

Or have a daughter going to a Catholic school here. ↩
I shook my head in sympathetic disgust when a friend shared that they were pushing second graders to play CYO football at the school where his sons go so that they would not be behind when formal CYO ball started in third grade. And now I’m basically doing the same to my daughter… ↩