Everything my daddy taught me about sports…

“The best offense is a good defense.”  We’re not going to just “zap” Lis into shape by pushing her to do what we want.  We set a few limits and STUCK to them.  Like the fact that we don’t just suddenly throw things across the room.  This was not done in a malicious way, but it’s still not acceptable in my book.  So I said, “No. We don’t do that.  Pick up the thingie, and you can play again.”  Of course, what I actually said was, “No, No hacemos eso.  Recoge la cosita y puedes jugar otra vez.”  Lis isn’t bilingual…yet. Then I defended my position for about 15 minutes as I waited for her to pick it up.  Of course, I was praying all that time, and to my surprise, she picked it up and walked back to where she’d been sitting – laughing!

“Watch their midsection to see which way they’re going to go.  You can fake with your arms and legs, but your body can’t go anywhere without its middle.”  Lis is an escape artist.  I’m sure of it!  I have never seen someone dodge and wriggle like her!  But whenever I need to get her out of something that was off-limits, I just scooped her up by the middle, and WON!

“On defense, always stay ball-side/goal-side.”  My daddy didn’t teach that to me in those words.  That came from field hockey.  But he taught the concept in basketball too.  I thought about that as I waited in the bathroom.  Lis doesn’t like to go to the bathroom for anyone but her mom.  When her mom was working, Lis would either “soil” her pants or go find her mom, but she would never tell her aunt she had to use the bathroom!  So we knew this would be a struggle.  When she obviously had to do SOMETHING bathroom-related, I took her in, sat her down and began to clean the sink – anything to keep water running.  I washed everything I could find to wash, including the tub.  I finally heard a trickle and decided we must be done.  As she started for the door, I told her we needed to wash her hands.  Trust me, we REALLY needed to wash her hands!  She said, “NO!”  So I put my hand on the door and cut off her way out.  The door was the goal, so I stayed there, sitting on the bathroom floor, explaining various aspects of the importance of hand-washing, looking out the window at the trees, listening to the birds, PRAYING, and just waiting.  Wes says I was in there at least an hour.  I could see the battle going on in her mind.  Her hands would come out from behind her back, rub her tummy, and SHOOT back behind her.  So we sat.  And sat.  AND sat.  I asked if she wanted to play.  She squeaked “Si”, so I said, OK.  Right after we wash your hands.  NOPE.  Eventually I saw that she looked thirsty, so I had Becca come bring her some water.  She drank.  For some reason Becca needed to wash her hands, so I squirted soap in them, and Lis plunged her hands into Becca’s soap, and scrubbed and scrubbed as she laughed.  DEEEEEP sigh.  Another battle won.

A few hours later she went RUNNING into the bathroom.  I went after her to make sure she didn’t get into anything, and there she stood in a very large puddle.  I popped her into the tub, and washed and changed her.  As we were leaving the bathroom, I held her up to the sink, where she pumped the soap and washed her own hands!!!!

I think that’s all I have time for now, but thanks, Dad, and all my other coaches!  You’ve been a big help!

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