Youth sports can definitely be a highlight of childhood. You get to play hard, get sweaty, experience teamwork, learn how to take direction and constructive criticism, and set and reach goals. You know… the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But youth sports can also be fraught with drama, expense, parents’ expectations, coaches’ shenanigans, and injuries. While we are always shooting for the good stuff, and we can’t really control the coach who wrecks the fun by cheating during the 9-year-old’s baseball finals, we do have the ability to take reasonable precautions against the injury part at least.
Last season Kid D played with a tee ball team and they recommended that the kids wear a heart guard under their uniform. I didn’t even know that they existed. A heart guard is a light, compression shirt with a tough, high density, dome shape over the chest that absorbs impact energy and forces it away from the heart. They wear them to reduce the chances of commotio cordis, which is what can happen when an impact to the chest is transmitted to the heart muscle. Depending on when during the heart cycle the impact occurs, it can affect the heart’s electrical activity, causing an arrhythmia and possibly death. Scary stuff. The kid wears a heart guard.
This year he plays machine pitch baseball on a 7/8-year-old’s team. It is the first time that they don’t have the coaches’ (semi-) controlled pitching AND they also rotate in the position of catcher. Guess what protective gear is recommended this season? You guessed it… the kid needs a cup.
Since the purchase of anything penis-related falls under Sheepdog’s parental jurisDICtion (heh, heh), I sent the boys out to buy a cup together. Apparently the sales clerk was a young girl, so when Sheepdog inquired as to where they might find the protective gear, she directed them to the display and then made a hasty exit, adding quickly, “I’ll leave you two to figure out the sizing…” Um, isn’t that her job?
So Sheepdog calls me to ask whether Kid D is a Pee Wee extra-large or a Youth small. I tell him to check the sizing recommendations on the packaging and give him the kid’s current weight. Besides, how am I supposed to know? I have no brothers and I have no penis. I’ve never bought a cup before. I’ve only seen jock straps in the locker room scenes of 80’s movies. I can’t even picture how my six-year-old is going to wear those elastic straps around his tiny heiney anyway.
Turns out, they don’t have to wear the strappy things anymore. Now they make compression underpants with a pocket in the front. In this pocket you put a plastic (highly protective with names like “ultra carbon,” “bioflex,” and “titan alloy”) cup. As always seems the case with boys and their family jewels, protection of them is of the utmost importance. I will bet money that NASA develops this stuff.
And as always seems the case, Sheepdog would never buy anything for a jock that had the word “small” associated with it, so of course he came home with the extra-large version.
Kid D thought the whole thing was hysterical and he spent the better part of the afternoon making completely inappropriate (but funny) ball jokes and acting out shots-to-the-crotch in slow motion, all while sporting his new plastic bulge in his shorts.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…