sports guys

Ever since the sports guys hit the scene, Connor has laser focus on his guys. The tiny plastic snap together hockey boards are a permanent fixture in the family room. I occasionally pull the "rink" up to wipe it clean, but otherwise it sits at the ready for the next game. When football was in season, the green field was set up permanently beside the television and Connor would go between watching the game with Daddy, to setting up the offense for another touchdown. We apparently watch a lot of hockey right now because hockey is on permanent display and watching the Bruins happens from his odd vantage point beside the fireplace. At this very moment, the hockey game is in an intermission and the football guys are getting organized for a practice.

Practice occurs upstairs on the sofa. All pillows are removed and the couch is smoothed clean with both a brush and then a lint roller before practice can even begin. Connor still has many Neil cleaning tendencies. The cleaning cart is NEVER far away. He sets up intricate arrangements of players circled up perhaps strategizing, he pairs them up for face offs, and skates them carefully and deliberately through their practice drills. Here is a recent weekend practice session. Football guys were circled up in the middle, hockey guys skating around them. How cute are these pjs?

After practice concludes, he packs them ALL up and walks them downstairs to the appropriate field for the main event. The skaters line up on the far ends of the ice for "the song" and he announces to everyone in the room that BC is once again playing the Huskies. (voice in my head: "great.") He sends some players out, sets up the goals and goalies, and puts the rest to the other side of the boards to cheer for their friends. He moves them purposely, two at a time, moving with the huge enormous (thank god, we haven't lost it yet) puck. If you listen carefully, you can hear the play by play and let me assure you it is extremely adorable and alarmingly accurate. Penalties are given for hitting the puck too high and we suggest high sticking instead. Then at some undetermined time, everyone exits the ice and he lines everyone up around the outside to watch the Northeastern Toy Zamboni that used to be in the Man Cave circle the ice in the correct pattern (!) before another period of hockey begins. Somehow BC always ends up winning, but he always makes it a close game or a tie, even though I can tell he wants to make BC win 6-0 or something else equally embarrassing.

Beyond just being completely adorable, this guy thing illustrates how different our kids are. Caroline is not nearly as independent as he is. She will play alone, but prefers someone's company. Connor would be happy playing alone like this for HOURS if we let him. He will even pack the guys back up for another practice upstairs and just head there on his own. Caroline panics if you ask her to go back downstairs to retrieve her backpack or suggest she get herself a juice box. He gets upset when practice gets cut short by dinner and if we get caught up in something and there isn't time for a game before bed, wow, hell hath no fury like a hockey player deprived of a game.

His affection for his sports guys is endearing and clearly, we will be picking these up ASAP because opening days looms!!


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