Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Negative Nellie

The other day, I was at gymnastics watching The Girl when a friend and fellow mom pointed out another mom of a girl on the team. Since I am the "team mom," I decided to introduce myself to this woman. I wasn't overly concerned with making sure this woman knew me because she has an older daughter who has been competing for two or three years, so I knew she "knew the ropes" and all. Still, introducing myself and giving her an update was the right thing to do, so off I went.

This mom...we'll call her Rude Woman Negative Nellie...and I are chatting and I tell her of two potential upcoming meets, neither of which is in our state. The first is about 2.5 hrs away; the second is over 5 hrs away. Right away, Nellie tells me "there is NO WAY [she is] driving 5+ hours for a Level 3 competition! It would be a huge waste of time, gas, and money. [She] will not do it." Um...OK. No one said you had is optional. Nellie seems interested in the closer meet. I tell her for that particular meet, the team will be about a dozen girls. That's all she needs to hear. Immediately, she says there is no way she'll do it. It will take ALL DAY and she is NOT wasting all that time waiting around "just for a Level 3 competition." I ignore this but do not walk away just yet. I should have!

We stand there, watching our children on bars, and Nellie says (pretty much out of the blue), "They're going to get reamed at their competitions. They're awful. They are NOT ready at all." Then, she looks at me and says, "Well, maybe your daughter is, but the rest are not." Now - it is important to point out that she does not even know WHO my daughter is...and if she does, she's seen maybe 15 minutes of her work-out! Personally, I don't care how The Girl does. This is her first round of competitions. They're not even competing in the regular season but strictly in the "off season" because their coach knows they are all new to this and really don't know what to expect. He is trying to ease them into the team by competing in the off season this year and then during the regular season next year. That's how they do it here and it has proven successful for quite some time. I'm not entirely sure how or why Nellie has forgotten all this...

I really have no patience for people like this. Some of these girls are new to the entire sport. The Girl has been doing it for exactly 13 months. I'm pretty damned proud of her. She started last September in Level 1 and was promoted to Level 2 by mid-December. In May, she made Level 3/competitive team. A lot of girls did not make it. I don't care what Nellie has to say - this is a great opportunity and learning experience for The Girl...and you better believe we'll go to whatever meets we can.

Incidentally, we probably will not go to the optional meet that is over 5 hours away because the timing is not good. If I thought we could do it and it wouldn't cost so much extra, you better believe we'd be there!


  1. Man oh man would our gym eat her alive.
    Ummm, how does she expect darling daughter to advance to any level higher than 3 if she has absolutely no competition experience? Everybody has to start somewhere & trust's better to get your feet wet at a level 3 because those older girls are good.
    Just tell her that when you join a team you become a TEAM member & if she's not interested maybe she needs to go back to rec & let somebody who's dying to be on the team give it a shot.

    Ok - I'm done with my rant.:)
    (Email me about the one that's not to far away - anywhere I might know of?)

  2. Grrrr.. I can't STAND people like that... I just wanna kinda slap them, which I can't right now because the national media would pick it up and I'd NEVER win the election, but... after Nov 4th... all bets are OFF

  3. I deal with parents like that in every one of my son's sports, drives me batty!!!

  4. I refer to these parents as Eeyore. You know, poor Eeyore, always so sad. Then I avoid them at all costs.

    Crazy thing is I'm the daughter of a Negative Nellie and I am trying desperately to parent opposite of that. Kinda like my way to rebel.

  5. Welcome to the world of competitive gymnastics! The Negative Nelllies never fully go away, but the higher levels the boys get the fewer we have had to be around. Just hang in there.

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