If my sons ever doubt my love for them I will remind them not of the months I spent carrying them in my body, the hours I spent giving birth to them (9.5 and 7.75 respectively…not that anyone’s counting) or even the countless hours of sleep lost caring for them (approximately one billion). No, I will be reminding them of yesterday. The sunny, blue sky filled Sunday in June when we took them to their first baseball game. Why? Because I fucking HATE baseball. I LOVE my children but baseball…just shouldn’t exist. It makes me angry.
In fact, if we were to make a list of things I believe should be banished to the underworld (where are those angry Greek deities when you need them?!) it would read something like this:
- Nicki Minaj
- Orange Flavored Anything
So how exactly did I end up going to a baseball game on a hot Texas day at 38 weeks pregnant?
I was tricked. Tricked by cute little people. It started out so innocently…
Max: Hey Mom, one day I want to go to a baseball game with Daddy and Uncle B.
Me: Awww…well that sounds nice. I’m sure Daddy and Uncle B would love to go to a game with you. Maybe we can work that out.
Max: Yeah, that would be so fun.
Mason: Yeah, we would like to do that.
Me: Ok. (This sounds adorable! I’m totally going to buy them tickets! For their birthdays!)
So as I was working out all the details for this little outing – thinking the entire time that maybe I’d go get a pre-baby pedicure while the boys were at the game – my husband suggests buying the fifth and last ticket in the row we were on. He made it sound so reasonable. What if we want to invite one of our dads to go too? What if Uncle B’s wife wants to go? What if the boys want me to go? I pretty much stopped listening after the part about our dads so I just clicked and paid for that last ticket and didn’t give it another thought. Until we told the boys about the game and the first words out of Mason’s mouth were, “Mama! Do you want to go to the baseball game with us?! You can sit in a seat with all the other grown ups and watch me play baseball!!”
Two major problems with this scenario. First, NO I do NOT want to go to a baseball game. Ever. I would prefer to stay home and scrub every tile in our house with a toothbrush. Second, my son thinks he is going to be playing in the baseball game. Of course I can’t tell him I’d rather torture myself than go to a game with him. Especially since I’m going to have to break his little heart about that whole “only the professional players are allowed to play at this game” thing. In an effort to soften the blow, I agreed to go to the game before I attempted to explain how attendance at sporting events usually works. Which, by the way, is borderline impossible to explain to a stubborn very-nearly-three-year-old. He pretty much ignored everything I said and moved straight on to requesting that I take to him buy a “baseball hand” (aka baseball glove) so he could play at “his game”. This conversation was repeated for the better part of two weeks. Which wasn’t frustrating at all.
Finally, game day. I’m right in the middle of being hugely pregnant and feeling very nest-y and the last thing I want to do is go to this darn game. There are baby blankets to fold and muffins to bake! But I love my boys and they are excited, so I go. And here’s what happens:
- I pay for this game with MONEY and I attend this game SOBER. The first sporting event I’ve ever attended in my life that didn’t involve kick ass free seats & free booze on the company dime. I firmly believe this is the ONLY way to attend any sporting event. Little League is going to be a rude awakening for me.
- Upon arriving at our seats, both Max and my brother step in gum.
- Max gets his foot stuck in his seat and drops his $50 pretzel on the ground.
- Mason also drops his absurdly expensive pretzel on the ground…and attempts to pick it up and eat it.
- Both boys get bored after approximately seven minutes.
- We take them to a playground within the ballpark (genius) where they play happily until a little girl in line for the slide in front of them pees ALL OVER the steps, walkway and slide. They were not happy when we made them climb down instead of letting them happily prance through and slide down the trail of urine. We’re awful parents like that.
- We attempted to console them by taking them to buy “baseball hands” at the gift shop. The gift shop that was SOLD OUT of baseball hands. And gloves, for that matter. They settled for some small bats. I anticipate a game of Beat the Crap Out of My Brother with My New Bat to commence after breakfast tomorrow. At the latest.
- We hawk a piece of jewelry in order to go buy hot dogs and hamburgers. They eat three bites before managing to drop these on the ground too.
- They start asking for popsicles. There are no popsicles to be found at the ballpark. Ice cream cones are a completely absurd substitution and we are idiots for suggesting them. Dippin Dots are finally agreed upon.
- We settle back into our seats just in time for a fly ball to come literally curving around the net straight towards Max’s head. Seats that we very deliberately chose because of their low likelihood of fly ball traffic. Luckily I’m married to a freaking ninja with crazy fly ball catching skills; he caught that damn thing before it shattered my kid’s face. He was so excited to have caught a fly ball. I was ready to beat that player with his own fucking bat for nearly hitting my kid, scaring the shit out of me and taking a solid eight years off my life. I think my blood pressure is back to normal now.
- My feet are now swollen. This irritates me.
- The game finally ends!
- We work our way to the end of a seriously long line so that the boys can “run the bases” down on the ball field.
- Parents are not allowed to accompany their kids. We watch our babies hike all the way down the stadium and onto the ball field without us. I completely cease breathing.
- We watch our boys run with gleeful abandon around the bases. I almost cry. They’re so focused and so incredibly happy. They look a little nervous coming back up the stairs towards us but they’re little champs, so proud of themselves. Giving us high fives and hugs like crazy. (fuck…I’m crying right now just remembering it.)
As we drive away from the ballpark, they are exhausted and quiet. I glance back to see Max’s eyes sliding shut and his mouth curving into a sweet, sleepy smile. At home, we put them to bed and they insist on sleeping with their new baseball bats.
I still fucking HATE baseball. And I would still prefer slurp up cold (free) beers if I have to attend a game.
But I am madly in LOVE with my children and if sweating and swelling my way through a stupid game is going to make their childhood just that little bit more magical, then I’m in.