March 8, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again. ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

I'm not a big fan of baseball. I feel a little bit unpatriotic admitting that but figure I can probably get away with it being a girl and all.

We signed my oldest up for baseball this year. Real baseball, not T-ball. We did T-ball two years ago and he seemed way more interested in stripping the leaves off a small tree that was growing through the chain link fence of the field. I sat on the bench and watch a dozen baseballs roll past him and wished I could lay under the bleachers and take a nap for all the good this was doing any of us.

This year he seemed quite enthusiastic about baseball. Today we had a 2nd practice in which the entire family went, the four of us. Dad got to help "coach" on the field and I was relegated to chasing The Toddler around what with my BEING A GIRL AND ALL. I considered turning this into a snarky post about how my normally enlightened and sensitive husband turned into an inconsiderate, sexist baseball-coaching uberDad, but decided that relating one of the more surreal two hours of my life would probably be funnier and get me into a lot less trouble. The thing is... if I piss him off he'll stop making me sushi. He's a really fine sushi maker.

Things started off really well with The Toddler and I racing each other to get a tennis ball as it rolled down a grass hill. Most of the time he'd land on his face, but since he was laughing I figured it was okay. Probably the marks will clear up before he has to invite anyone to the prom.

Just about the time I was feeling 1) really optimistic about my bonding time with The Toddler, 2) confident that my mothering skills were improving, and 3) that The Toddler was maturing enough that it was safe for me to relax and enjoy myself in public was right about the time he suddenly took off running and dashed out onto the field. The pitching machine was set on maximum as was The Toddler. My husband, however, was somehow cranked down to slo-mo and when he screamed, "GET THE BABY!!!" it came out sounding more like the call from a humpback whale.

I skidded across the sand as The Toddler ran onto the field pretty much stopping the practice game. Everyone in the bleachers stared. Fortunately, this was before the incident with my ass happened, but more on that later.

I dragged The Toddler by one arm past the dugout as he was screaming, "NO MOMMY NO" while simultaneously and desperately trying to make a three-limbed sand angel.

Over the next half hour I distracted him by walking him about 12 miles around the entire park. At one point he spotted our car parked in the lot and came to the sudden realization that I was walking him a big circle. He became indignant, pointed the car out to me and scowled with displeasure. "Car!" he accused. "Huh. Is that our car?" I asked innocently. He yelled, "GO!" Back to the baseball field.

One hour down. One hour to go. I walked casually by where my husband was feigning helpfulness. I hinted, "Hey, why don't you take Tristan for a while?" (Well, I have trouble being subtle.) He responded, "I can't, honey, I'm helping." I then made the mistake of assuming we lived in the 21st century where men and women are actually equal and that sometimes moms are allowed to help with baseball practice.

"I could help," I said.

He blinked. I could hear the hard drive in his processor start grinding and the fan kick in. There might have even been some "blue screen of death" had I not turned and walked away in order to spare him the agony of trying to get out of that one. We've only been married for 8 years. I'm saving that level of cruelty for after we've hit 15 or 20.

The last hour began with a my 2-year-old and another 2-year-old starting an embarrassing Toddler Brawl. It began as a simple shoving match, pretty good-natured. My own Toddler happens to be a bully and frequently beats up on his 6-year-old brother, often winning. I expected none of this to go well, but it turns out that the toddler he happened to brawl with was a tiny redneck WWF streetfighter toddler who, given the chance, would have kicked his ass. I did the only thing a mom can do when her son is about to lose a fight... I cheated.

"Okay, no shoving, no shoving, boys," I admonished them, mostly WWF Toddler then realized his grandmother was sitting at the back of the bleachers right where I was yelling. She turned, along with everyone else in the nearest two rows, and scowled at me with one scary eye. I had the decency to look embarrassed at least.

(Oh, I skipped the part where I scared a little girl off the playground equipment and she ran and told her mother something about me. I'm not even sure what I did, but undoubtedly something unwittingly hideous because that's just my level of skill with children.)

At this point, and I'm not really sure how it happened, I began being followed by WWF Toddler's redneck family. I spent the next half hour trying to figure out how the relationship worked. There was WWF and his dad with a lot of tattoos and a farmer tan. There was an older woman that I THINK might have been an aunt or a young grandmother. Then there was a teenage boy and girl, one or both might have been related to the WWF Toddler and yet they were also sweet on each other. The whole thing was confusing. Did I mention they were following me?

As if that wasn't bad enough, they were also TALKING to me. Redneck Romeo told me about his dare-devilish personality and how he used to never care if he were doing daring stuff. He regaled me with tales of a 300 foot drop off a bluff into the water. He said, "Back then I didn't care if I lived or died. You have to feel that way to do stuff like that, stuff like I did back then. I used to say, 'If He wants me, He can take me.' Now I don't, because of her..." He pointed to Redneck Juliet.

He went on to explain to me about various car motors he has taken apart and rebuilt and how he's really realizing his mortality now because of big-bosomed Juliet, who is 16 and wants to go to the Vo-Tech and study automotive because she hates school.

I asked Romeo how old he was.

"Sixteen. But I look eighteen."

"Um. Yeah!" I nodded enthusiastically. I glanced to my left to see WWF Toddler and My Toddler sitting inside a deep trash can lid. WWF punches Tristan right in the face. I sighed.

Juliet says to Romeo, "You're so full of yourself."

Romeo points at me and said, "She said I did." Juliet eyeballed me suspiciously.

Tristan had crawled out of the trash can lid (or been knocked out by a roundhouse punch maybe) and was moving in to clothesline WWF Toddler with his big, fat forearm. He missed.

"Dammit," I muttered under my breath. All he needed was one good connect and the fight would be over. Right after thinking that I realized I probably watch way too much boxing. I promised myself to go check out a book on Ghandi during my next trip to the library.

Before it could get any more embarrassing, I distracted Tristan by pointing to an invisible squirrel and asking him if he could see it. He ran off toward the squirrel that didn't exist and we ended up in a dugout of the empty field next door. I was relieved to have 30 seconds to sit on a bench while Tristan played in the sand. It wasn't until after practice was over that I realized that was the moment I sat down in something really sticky. I didn't notice until I wiped my dusty hands on the back of my pants. My hands stuck to my ass.

I went over and told my husband. He said, "What do you mean you sat in something? What did you sit in?"

Me: I don't know. Something sticky.

Him: What was it?

Me: I told you, I don't know. Feel my butt. It's sticky.

Him: I'm not gonna feel your butt.

Me: Oh, come on. I thought you liked touching my butt.

Him: I'm not touching it.

Me: Just one time, just a little.

He touched my butt and then recoiled in agony like a thousand fires from hell had crawled up his arm and were trying to make themselves at home in his dental work. "Why did you tell me to do that???"

"How do you think I feel? It's on my butt!"

"I have to go wash my hands!" He hurried off to the washroom to cleanse himself after the traumatic ass-touching. That was a real ego-boost for me, let me say.

And to top it off he brought back a long strip of paper towel and thrust it into my hands. "You're not sitting on my seats like that." I eyeballed the narrow strip of towel.

"You think that's gonna cover my butt? Are you kidding me?"

"Just stick it to your backside before you sit down. Do you need me to do it for you?"

At this point I began to feel less amused and more annoyed. "Maybe I should just ask if I could ride in the back of Philip's pickup."

This is the time when Hubby should say, "Oh honey don't be silly." But instead, mine says, "I don't think there's room with the pitching machine in there and all the equipment. Maybe he could make two trips, though."

He might have been kidding. I hope he was kidding.

Being a good sport (for a girl and all) I stuck that crummy wad of paper towels to my backside and hopped up into the Hummer. This is what we do for love. We sacrifice our dignity for car upholstery.

I'm sure he's done something at least that bad. If not, I'm sure he will!


  1. Hi! thanks for reading my blog! :) I followed the posts to your website and I like your style! I'll be checking back.

  2. As a baseball veteran who potty trained two kids in the neighborhood baseball park port-a-potty, thanks for the reminder of how many years passed before I got to sit down and watch a game. Don't worry. It will happen - oh, and the people you'll meet in the bleachers. Bring your notebook.

  3. LOL a hundred hit it out of the park on this one...

  4. OMG Wendy, I thought Tristan was going to get hit by a ball :o I'm so glad he didn't and bummer about your ass LOL I hope he was kidding too ;)

  5. Hey Funnyrunner! Thanks for stopping by!

    MJ, I feel heartened that you've survived (and thrived?). There's hope! :D

  6. I agree with Midlife... Eventually you CAN sit down and not move for more than 2 minutes... even more! It's even possible to sit and read on the beach once the youngest is 3ish... :)

  7. Omg.. lol!
    My daughter just started soccer last season and I was afraid she was going to get knocked down and killed out there. I would have loved to be able to close my eyes while at the game with one less kid to worry about but NOT.. I have busy busy 3 year old. I loved this post!

  8. Don't let anyone ever tell you that your life is not fantastically, dramatically exciting!!!

    Hey-- my husband would have suggested I just take off the pants before I got in the car!

  9. I hate to say this, but your experience with your two year old sounded like last summer with my FIVE year old. But!! This year, he can play too. It seriously got to the point where I said 'why am I going? It exhausts me and annoys the youngest. I don't get to watch my eldest play.' I really wanted to, too!


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