By giving up, Katie of Pick Any Two blog gained so much.
Katie’s blog speaks to the concession that a mom can do anything – but not everything. Katie found something on Pinterest (I guess you can do more than recipes and Lizzie O’Leary photos on there) that became a philosophy.
Katie explains it like this:
Pick Any Two: Giving up the “have it all” mentality and, instead, making choices without apology or guilt. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling better already.
Today, Katie’s here to tell why she’s signing her toddler up for sports.
Give her a warm welcome on the CD. Then go check out Pick Any Two. On subjects from body image to parenting, she inspires thought and engagement in her comment posts. Hers is what you’d like your own blog and tribe to look like.
Why I’m Signing My Toddler Up for Sports
By Katie McLaughlin of Pick Any Two
“Startin’ him a little young, don’t you think?”
“Are you gunning for an athletic scholarship in a few years?”
“What, do you think he’s the next Pelé or something?”
Those are the general reactions I get when I tell people I signed my 2.5-year-old up for soccer this spring.
They think I’m either delusional—believing my son to be some kind of athletic prodigy who should be groomed for the big leagues right away—or crazy competitive, obsessed with watching my son win from the sidelines.
But I don’t think I’m either of those.
Do I believe a toddler can grasp the rules of an organized sports game? Nope.
Do I think a preschooler has the gross motor skills to dribble a ball past a defender and intentionally score a goal? No way.
Do I want my 2.5-year-old absorbed in concepts of winning and losing? Absolutely not!
For me, it’s definitely not about competition, giving him some kind of leg up in the sports world, or even the fundamentals of the game itself.
Here’s why I’m still signing him up for a preschool sports league.
Because Being Active is Fun
We live in a society where people pay big bucks to go to special, shiny buildings and use special, shiny machines to exercise—usually grumbling about it the whole time. Many of us adults have lost touch with what it means to have fun while staying fit.
But kids? They get it. To see a child running, tumbling, kicking, and throwing—and getting totally out of breath in the process—is to witness pure joy. For them, moving their bodies is a gift, not a punishment.
I want my son to maintain that attitude long after he’s grown, so I’m nurturing it now.
Because We’ll Bond on the Field
Toddler and preschool sports almost always require the participation of a parent or caregiver—meaning when my son’s out there kicking that ball around, my husband and I will be right there with him.
In that sense, signing him up for sports—or really any organized activity—is as much about making memories with him as it is about playing the game.
I want to tell stories about that time he punted the ball so hard it went the whole way across the field. I want to frame a candid photo of us kicking it back and forth. I want to do this together.
Because it Eases Kids into Social Play
Toddlers and preschoolers are just starting to transition out of side-by-side play, which is when they play next to each other but still separately.
Sports are a great opportunity to practice the next natural steps: taking turns, sharing, and playing together—all skills that are important once you enter school and other more structured environments.
Because We’re Not Tied to It
I don’t think my toddler is old enough to need a lesson on quitting and the importance of “sticking with it.”
So if it turns out he hates soccer, or any other activity I sign him up for, I’m not going to force the issue. Instead, I’ll just look for alternatives that offer the same benefits—physical activity, parent-child bonding, and social interaction—but that is more suited to his current style.
In some ways, that’s what parenting is all about, don’t you think? Nurturing our kids’ growth and development in ways that honor their unique selves.
For us, that means a preschool soccer league. Now pass me the ball, would ya?
Do you think toddlers and preschoolers can benefit from playing sports?