April 3, 2009

Pay No Attention, Please

And now it's time for me to relate the most embarrassing moment in baseball history. My baseball history, at least.

Tonight was the first game of my son's baseball season. His first "real" game.

I came armed with my good camera and the BIG lens, because I was certain that I'd be chasing Tristan all over creation. It would be okay because I have a 300mm lens that will get shots all the way across the field if necessary. (It turned out to be necessary several times.)

Things were going really well in the beginning. He talked to his brother. He picked up a cute chick. He looked at the moon. He laid down on the steps and tried to kill some old people. He balanced on some landscape timbers.

Really the only significant problem came when we ran into The Puddle.

The Puddle stretched across the entire sidewalk. There was no getting around it. Anyone who has experience knows that little boys cannot resist a puddle. No matter how well-behaved, no matter how stern and fearsome his mother is, no matter what you threaten him with... a little boy cannot leave a puddle alone.

I was pleased to note that he actually listened and obeyed the first time he saw the puddle and I said, "No puddles, no puddle, please!"

The second time he veered toward the puddle he also listened. And the third time.

The fourth time I think I actually saw the "aw screw it" switch flip like an inadequate breaker that can't handle the final demand of that last toaster you plugged in. And I watched as he ran in slow motion through the puddle and stopped in the middle, then looked back to smile at me.

He has a charming smile. However, at that moment that was really about the only thing he had going for him.

It's not that I'm such an uptight mom. (Okay, those who know me would say I'm a really uptight mom.) I'm an uptight mom who is learning to not get so excited about certain things like my kid being up to his knees in dirty water that might actually have flesh-eating bacteria in it. And did I mention his shoes are brand new? I simply say to myself, "No biggie, it'll wash." And then I also breathe into a little brown lunch sack that I carry with me. Sometimes I bend down and put my head between my knees. Pretty good, right?

On my left was a couple in lawn chairs. They were snickering. On my right was an old lady in a lawn chair who looked up at me wondering what I was going to do. I looked at her and shrugged. I could tell she did not approve.

Tristan ran the length of the puddle several times. A hum began to form in the stadium crowds. Everyone stared at my child who was wet nearly to his thighs at this point. I pretended I didn't know him. People were looking around trying to figure out where this child's parent was. The whispering increased. The hum grew louder.

A woman walked up next to the old lady next to me and said, "Oh my... I wonder whose child THAT is." The old lady's head snapped around to look at me to see what I would do.

I glanced over and said, "That would be me. That's my child right there." She stared at me like I'd gone mad.

You know, to me it genuinely didn't seem like a big deal. This is why I think I've gone a little haywire because it probably SHOULD have bothered me. What bothered me most was the rain of disapproval I was getting. That was when I snapped. Just a little.

At the top of my voice I said, "Yessirreeee... that puddle stomper is my son. But YOU KNOW... once a kid is in the puddle he's full committed and you sure can't unring the bell can you? Wet is wet."

Then I might have actually cackled. I'm not sure about the last part, but I think I might have.

Here's a view from the sidelines:


  1. Oh, Wendy! I love your stories! I have just one daughter (8), and some of your stories make me very happy to have a daughter! But, this one, in this case, I don't think girls are much different than boys. Not many puddles around here, but when there is, it's like a magnet, pulling my little bundle of joy right into it! I've learned to just accept it, too. If you'd screamed at him to get out of the puddle, the onlookers probably would've tsk-tsked you for being so uptight!

  2. If the time has come that a boy can't enjoy splashing around in a puddle to expend energy and alleviate boredom, then the terrorists have won.

  3. Love it!! Puddles were made for little boys, they call out in invisible voices, enticing them to come play. I know from experience, two boys of my own here. I never had that problem with my daughter though..

    Good for you for just letting him be. As you say, once its done, no going back.

  4. You know, I think fuddy-duddies like that never got to play in mud puddles as a kid, that or they don't have enough fiber in their diets. They probably also have a closet full of clothes that they save for "one day when" and that one day never comes.

    My grandmother was like that. Still is. She'd get mad at mom whenever she let us wear our "good clothes." She also freaked out when my nephew was one and stuck both hands in his cake and went to town. Everyone else was like, "Let him have fun," but all she could do was scream, "He's ruining it! He's ruining it!"

    Your son had fun. The clothes will wash, and you got some great pics. I say it's a day well spent.

  5. I so breathe into the paper bag all the time, I'm learning to let my kid's jump in the puddles as well. Your sons sure are cute. Love all the mud shots. I can't wait til my guys (hopefully will want to) play baseball.

  6. I just hate that we have to even THINK about what other people think. We know our kids, we know what we're wlling to put up with. I mean give me a break...what could possibly be cuter than someone else's child playing in a puddle?

    You should have told him to go over and give those nice people a big hug! ;)

    Monkey sex.

  7. 365: Thank you for your kind words. You're a sweetie. Good for your girl for being a puddle stomper!

    Shawn: Boo to puddle terrorists.

    Nipsy: It's like death and taxes.

    Staci: Ugh, I think that could have been me. I make the effort not to turn into one of those!

    Sherri: You're in for some great fun!

    Mama Kat: I wish you had been there to give me the muddy hug idea in person. Drat. And thanks for the drive-by on the monkey sex. My blog has been monkey-sex-free for too long, really. Now I can cross that off my "things to blog about" list. Whew. :D

  8. LOL! You're right--what is it with little boys and puddles??

    I love what you said to everybody. You are a class act!

  9. Puddles are God's gift to childhood. When he get's older, he'll avoid them like we mature, sensible people do. And who do you think is having more fun, him or us?

  10. hahahaha that would be me...you crack me up :D

  11. hee hee! LOVE IT!! Puddles are like magnets for little boys (and dogs... my dog does the same thing). I struggle with uptightedness, too. You made the right call here! :) In the beginning I might have been like: "gosh... I dunno whose kid this is..." lol

  12. This was great!!!
    I think that all boys and all puddles are connected. The have a launguge all there own .... much like twins.
    They speak a silent communication.
    It just can not, and will not be stopped.

  13. Good for you! Why worry about a petty old lady's thoughts of you. Life is too short. I once had a lady come to my front door to show me that my son was at the top of a tree. She obviously was bothered by it. I looked right at her and said, "oh, I know, he actually asked permission this time!" She looked at me like I was crazy. Look, I know my son and if he wasn't in a tree, he'd be doing some other crazy boy thing somewhere else. so, don't worry about it. A little water and a lot of entertainment at a much better evening at the ball park then most people with toddlers experience while watching their other children! Great story!!!

  14. Hey there- first time visitor here, but I have to say - as a mother of 4- with twins sons who would constantly challenge us with their actions (what one didn't think up, the other did) you really have to pick your arguments. Yeah so your son got a little wet, his shoes (oh dear) but what harm came from this? Freedom to explore- that's important, too!


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