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Let's Play

Ever since the doctor said that I was having a boy, I've been imagining Max's first day of soccer.  With the same enthusiasm that purchased the plush soccer ball rattle for his crib, I searched far and wide for the perfect pair of sneakers because the cutest outfit, of course, was going to ensure that Max would become the next Lionel Messi. 

As you may recall from my post Shoot...Goal...Bravo!, my husband is an avid soccer fan so we were both anxious for Max to exercise his potential. However, isn't it funny that when you want your child to do something, he has the complete opposite in mind. We arrived early at the field early with water bottle and camera ready. All the kids looked adorable, especially one little girl in the cutest hot pink thermal dry jersey! I could tell that all the parents were experiencing similar feelings of excitement!

 Luckily, the weather was overcast so there wasn't too much sun, and the thirty-minute lesson was appropriately scheduled for three-year-olds during mid-morning without a nap in sight! However, what I hadn't planned on was the chain of mini-meltdowns that would connect each child in the class in a sequence that almost seemed choreographed. While dad encouraged Max in Serbian, he became even less interested in the instructions from his English speaking coach. As Max shook his head in distress with tears flowing down his cheeks, I turned off the camera. I wanted so badly to jump in and rescue him from the situation! After all, it was my fault that Max was even in this pressure cooker!

Then just when timed seemed to be running out, Daddy made a quick decision to break code and engage with Max in English! It has been our strict rule for the last twelve months that we each exclusively speak our native language with Max. Up to this point, I'd grown confident in the multitude of literature that claims bilingual children are not at all confused when it comes to language development. However, I hadn't considered how Max would juggle the two in an organized sports activity. 

The last minute move played by Dad proved to be a game changer and even though it wasn't planned, soon enough, Max seemed to gain confidence and started to kick the ball along the field with the others. By the end of the class, each kid successfully earned a sticker in the game of Duck Duck Shoot! Watching the kids play and have fun was all that mattered!
So what did Mommy learn from 3-year-old soccer?

1. Hydration, hydration, hydration.
Water breaks are crucial! So, insist on a bathroom run just before class begins!

2. Toddlers can wear whatever they want!
Perhaps their favorite shoes or shirt can help maintain a comfort zone. (Daddy found my son's Lionel Messi Toddler Adidas at the Adidas Outlet).  

3. Youth size soccer ball recommended. 
My husband ordered this Adidas Beau Jeu Euro 2016 Ball from

4. Make sure you and your kiddo are both having fun!