The day after Ryan's playing-with-the-neighbors breakthrough, Stu and I took him out to play ball in the backyard again. The kids outside asked if they could use his ball; I said they could, but only if Ryan could play with them. They immediately started the 500th game of kickball of the season, Allison, John Carlo, and Ryan at bat vs. Taylor and Jonathan in the field, a couple of girls riding their Big Wheels around the infield; John Carlo appointed himself Crossing Guard. Allison and John Carlo told Ryan when to kick and tried to show him where to run, but he had his own ideas.
Everything was going great. I was impressed at how well the kids were treating Ryan, how much fun Ryan seemed to be having, how good he was being about sharing his ball.
Then Taylor, who had been pitching, called "Three strikes, we're up."
Allison started screeching, "That's not fair! It doesn't count when Ryan's kicking!"
"Yes it does," shouted Taylor. "If it counted for Ashley, it counts for Ryan."
"That's not fair!"
This fight went back and forth for a while. Allison cried and stomped off to find her mother. Taylor huffed "You always do this!" Ryan wandered off toward the lawn, oblivious to his role in this argument. The tricycles continued circling the patio. The kids tried to resume the game, but nobody was having fun anymore. I reclaimed the ball.
At least Ryan had a good time.