The Best Offense is a Good Defense: A Basketball View of Parenting

When it was just Thing 1 it was all about the zone. One parent could guard X and the other would defend Y. It worked fairly well. Sure we would give up some points, but hell, the kid had a great offensive game.

Now, with the addition of a teammate, that being of course Thing 2, we’ve decided to go man. That’s man to man for those of you that aren’t savvy in the ways and lingo of basketball. Basically, I guard one boy and my wife the other. At least that’s what coach drew up in the locker room.

What Phil Jackson didn’t address is how this defense would apply in a fast-break 2 on 1 situation. That being when my wife is at work for 12 hours and I’m alone with them.

I’ve gone to great lengths to prove to them that we are on the same team, encouraging that we run a triangle offense together. It doesn’t fly.

Why would they make my life easier when they could have much more fun making it difficult?

So what do I do? I play a bit of everything.

When I’m trying to pee and Thing 2 appears like clockwork in the doorway I go man. It is tough. It’s like guarding Jordan. The kid wants his hands in the toilet, regardless of the fact that I’m using it. Or maybe because of that. I don’t know. Luckily I spent a few summers of my childhood attending a basketball camp, and while it didn’t pave me a road to the NBA, it did provide me with the footwork to keep in constant motion around the bowl. Plant and move, slide, slide, it’s electric, boogie-woogie-woogie, shake, aaannd flush.

The rest of the time I don’t fare so well. My alone time with my boys has become something of a photo shoot for the proverbial poster shot (see right). Granted, I’ve got the height advantage and can block a few here and there, but they’ve got speed and numbers. Basically I don’t stand a chance.

I am the Washington Generals. I can’t hang with these guys (shown below with kids from the daycare at the gym- the ball and the spaghetti are mine).

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