There's this 5-year-old girl that I know. Her name is A. And she's the fucking worst.
I know her because Bay and Meechy, my twin 4-year-old sons, are on the same YMCA basketball team as her. The boys play basketball and t-ball and soccer and are in Tae Kwon Do and blah, blah, blah. One time, Bay intentionally crashed his head into a wall after putting on a bicycle helmet because he "wanted to see if it would work." Another time, Meechy took all of the food that he could reach out of the refrigerator and put it in the bathtub while I was asleep during sentry duty. So we try to keep them busy.
There are ten kids on this basketball team. Six of them were recently on the same soccer team together. (The Soccer Six, as they're known by no one but me). Having spent two months standing near each other on a soccer field, they are all reasonably comfortable with one another and interact well. The four new kids that were added at the beginning of basketball are tolerated, but not especially liked.
There's M and G, two Sikh brothers (part of The Soccer Six) that Bay and Meechy first met at basketball camp this past summer. They are the boys' best friends on the team. I remember I was told that Meechy had threatened to punch M in the face when I went to pick them up on the second day of the camp, though neither could articulate how things had reached that point. I assume it was because M had the audacity to touch Meechy, which, in Meechy's delicate brain, is equivalent to a declaration of war. For posterity, I pretended like I was upset with him, but I was fat with pride that day.
M is a long, lean child. He is naturally athletic and should be a dominant force in the league. (The team is in the 4/5-year-old division, but M is six and that's okay because the YMCA enforces age limits with the same tenacity that the MLB was enforcing steroids in the late '90s). However, he appears only mildly interested in basketball. Mostly, he just seems concerned with wearing sunglasses during timeouts. He's our team's Michael Beasley.
G, his younger brother, works hard, but his squat, short arms and legs render him useless against competitive teams. (I suppose that'd make him our team's Anthony Johnson.)
There's B, a new-to-the-group stocky kid with an overbearing father. He'll serve the team well because he's one of the three kids strong enough to throw the basketball at the hoop from further than four feet away, but The Soccer Six look at him like Kevin Garnett looks at rookies. He gets zero respect. He'll probably have to start fetching donuts soon.
There's W, a tiny, big-eared, likeable kid. He's a marginal athlete, but is hyper-polite, so everyone enjoys him (our Shane Battier). He's part of the Soccer Six as well. At the end-of-the-soccer-season pizza party, he chastised his teammates for eating too quickly. "Eating isn't a race," he said, which made me kind of feel like an asshole because I was cruising to a victory in the pizza-eating contest. When he pointed his finger at Meechy during his admonition, Meechy tried to bite it. Finger pointing is also a declaration of war.
There's C, who's the best player on the team but is as emotionally fragile as Sammi from Jersey Shore (our Tracy McGrady). During soccer season, he'd cry after every game if he didn't score. He's six or seven inches taller than all of the other kids on the court, so he crushes in basketball. He and M are the only players Bay trusts enough to pass the ball to. (Bay passes to Meechy also, but only if Meechy shouts at him to do so. This, duh, is perceived as a declaration of war.)
There are two boys that I've not bothered to learn the names of (That One Kid and The Other Kid) because, whatever, I'm not going to learn the name of every goddamn kid that my sons play a sport with. If That One Kid figures out how to dribble the ball more than three times without it bouncing out of bounds off his forehead, then I'll learn his name. Same for The Other Kid.
And then there's A, loathsome, loathsome A. She's larger than everyone but C. Her eyes are too close together and her nose is too tiny and her lips are too pink. She looks like how I imagine Adele looked as a child. I don't know if you could classify her as "rolling in the deep," unless "rolling in the deep" is just another way to say "pissing everyone the fuck off," because then, yeah, she's rolling in the deep like a motherfucker.
We had a kid on the team during soccer that spent the majority of the game running around hugging kids. It was funny the first time. By the fourth, that shit was infuriating. A is worse than the hugger.
Whenever she is on the court, she simply pushes through the thicket of children near the basket and snatches the ball from whichever player is unfortunate enough to have it at the time. I think I heard her call a small Asian kid a "bitch" once, but I can't be certain.
When she gets the ball, she bends at the waist, stares right at the orangeness, and attempts to slap it until it goes flat. The first game of the season, she dribbled the ball for nearly two minutes straight without acknowledging that anybody else in the universe existed.
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By the second game, the rest of the players on the team had figured out that if they passed her the ball, they'd never see it again. So they all just stopped acknowledging her. She is being shunned within the ranks, and that's a remarkable thing to watch happen among four-and-five-(and-six)-year-olds. Were they forced to bunk together, I don't think it'd be more than three or so days before the other members of the team wrapped bars of soap in towels and socks and yada, yada, yada.
I don't hate A -- hardly that, actually. She's a baby and I'm sure somebody somewhere considers her and her antics adorable.
But I have actively rooted for her to sprain either of her ankles these past two Saturdays.