Coaching track this year has been a bit more of a struggle than previous years, for obvious reasons. Gone are the days that it was ok to be at the track til 5pm and not have to plan meets so much. I am very fortunate to have a very easy baby that likes to be outside and isn’t afraid of other people. If he was Mr. Cranky-pants 24-7 and screamed if Mommy went away for a bit: then I simply would not be able to do track this year. I cannot explain why Max is the way that he is. I don’t think I do anything different than anyone else and just think that every baby is different. If we have a second baby, I’m positive it is going to be a little monster….
However, that doesn’t mean that I simply pack up my stuff and head to the track. There are quite a few things I have to plan in advance of a track meet:
This is a big one. Is it going to be hot, cold, rainy, sunny? This matters because I need to plan on bringing the right clothes for Max, plus shelter if needed. For example, if it is going to rain, I need to make sure to bring the Chariot (waterproof) not the Graco stroller (totally not waterproof). Temperatures are another thing: too hot isn’t good, too cold isn’t good. Because Max cannot wear sunscreen he has to be shaded at all times. On hot days he usually ends up just wearing a onesie. During cold days he will either be in the chariot or on my lap wrapped up in a blankie.
2) Food for Max
Bottles have to be ready to go and need to be timed. It took me about 3 track meets to get a system going for food. Another thing is when I have to help out at a track meet. I need to ensure that I don’t plan on officiating an event right during Max’s feeding times. If that does happen (Max does not have a rigid schedule), I need to find a student to feed him
3) How long at a meet/schedule
Max is good outside for about 6-8 hours in good weather. It also really depends on my officiating duties as well. Last week we were gone from 7:30am-6pm and we were ok. However, Max cannot just sit in the chariot all day. We have to have play time, nap time, eats time, etc. Sometimes it is easy for P to come and pick up Max. Luckily we were not there for too long for OFSAA (max about 6 hrs or so). The biggest problem is naptime. Luckily Max loves to sleep in the chariot (who wouldn’t? It is so cozy and warm). He also doesn’t mind the starting gun (which is just weird).
4) Toys/Other entertainment
Max likes blankie time, so that works. I have a few blankets that are ‘outside approved’ that live in my car. I also bring a selection of toys and his bumbo. Most of the time he is either in the chariot or on my lap. He also doesn’t seem to mind being passed amongst my students.
This may all seem easy – most of the time it is. However it can be difficult and I really do plan every hour at a track meet, both for Max and my team. It is really hard for me to sit down and eat – let alone going to the bathroom. I also can no longer watch the entire meet, especially at OFSAA where the stands are not covered. Not going to lie – I’m looking forward to the season ending just a bit 🙂