“I f*ckin’ hate this place.”
Were those the words of Philadelphia Phillies’ third baseman Alec Bohm who, after committing three errors earlier in the day, absorbed a sarcastic ovation from his home fans?
Or do those words belong to me, an everyday dad, who, after committing a myriad of parenting errors, absorbed a face full of La Croix from my spitting preschooler while my toddler screamed for twenty minutes because I didn’t give him one more graham cracker?
The answer is yes.
When cameras caught Bohm dropping the F-bomb, you could predict the reaction he’d get online. When you’re a professional entertainer or athlete, the fans come first. And showing disdain or disrespect for your fans, even if for a good reason, comes at a cost.
Just ask Francisco Lindor of the New York Mets, or Eric Church of the North Carolina Tarheels.
If you’re a parent, though, you’ve been there.
Perhaps you only dropped the F-bomb under your breath. And cameras and media aren’t following you around, waiting to shame you for your smallest mistake. When you’re a parent, the kids come first. And showing disdain or dislike for your kids, even for a good reason, is frowned upon. Just ask that voice in your head that is terrified your degenerate kids will blame your lack of love for their problems in therapy someday.
Like Alec Bohm explained during his post-game apology interview, sometimes emotions get the best of you as a parent. You make a few errors, lose your cool, and yell or pound on the table. Or drop an F-bomb.
Many days, I could see myself giving a post-parenting interview very similar to Bohm’s:
“Look, emotions got the best of me. I said it. Do I mean it? No. It’s a frustrating night for me, obviously, because these kids don’t listen to me at all and one of them spit in my face.
I made a few mistakes out there. Yelling. Saying the F-word barely loud enough so they could hear it, but my wife couldn’t. But look, these kids, they just want to win… at Candy Land….”
“Do you actually love parenting here?”
“[awkward pause] … Yeah, I do.”
I recommend following Alec’s playbook after both public blunders and private parenting fails. Own it, apologize, and reiterate your love for those damn kids who, like Phillies fans, are insatiable, screaming lunatics who may spit their drink in your face at any minute.
Your kids, like Phillies fans, may expect perfection from you. But every ballplayer, like every parent, makes errors and drops an F-bomb every once in a while.
Phillies fans appreciated Bohm’s apology enough that they gave him an ovation the following night. Perhaps your kids will follow suit and, in lieu of an ovation, keep your name out of their mouth during therapy.
Still, try to clean up that language a little bit, parents. You don’t want your kid learning the F-word from you.
That lesson should come from Wheeler Walker Jr.