Monday, July 9, 2007

Take Me Out to the Overpriced Food Stand.

Because, basically, that's what Sam and Jack got out of our recent trip to RFK Stadium for a Nationals v. Brewers game.

Okay, that's not entirely fair or true, but the food was the part they liked the most. We started our culinary journey with chicken tenders and french fries, followed by cotton candy. (Oh! Oh! Oh! And a beer that I got carded for!) And then a hot dog, two if you count Alex's brat as well. Fifth inning ants in the pants were cured by a trip to the ice cream stand.

It was a 7:05 p.m. game that we went to, a mere 25 minutes before the little dudes' regular bedtime. But they were troopers and stayed wide awake through our whole adventure and beyond. We were smart enough to leave Quinn with a babysitter, however.

I wasn't smart enough to think ahead about how a sports arena would affect Jack, who almost immediately went into sensory overload. I'm not entirely sure that he noticed the field at all until the 2nd inning or so because of everything else that was going on. Although I didn't see him watching the game, I know he saw at least part of it because, when I asked him what his favorite part of the game was, he said, "I pitched the ball too far." When I asked the same question 24 hours later, he had the same response. So he at least heard us talking about pitching and saw a ball. And then his nifty little brain took those two things and ran with 'em.

For a minute I thought he was raising his hands in a cheer, but it turns out that he was just mimicking the guy carrying the board of cotton candy above his head. And the thing is, I totally get where he's coming from. Big events like that are so distracting that it's hard to focus on the main attraction. At least it is for me. We used to have season tickets to the Oakland Raiders, and I'd probably been to three or four games before I could pay attention to the game instead of the cheerleaders. Jack reminds me of me more often than not.

Largely he was interested in moving all of the seats around us from their upright position to a down ready-to-be-sat in position. There weren't many people around us, and most of them didn't mind his antsiness. There was one comment, from one of those gentlemen seated behind us, who said, "What's wrong with you, boy?" after Jack put down the seat IN FRONT of him. It's not like it was even adjacent to him. And it's not like we were at the opera, for Christ's sake. Even though I don't think Jack heard him, I spent a fair amount of time composing biting comebacks, none of which I spoke aloud, and most of which ended with: "What the fuck is wrong with YOU?!"

I'm not very forgiving if you mess with Jack.

I really enjoyed the game, though. I'm not a baseball fan, and so was surprised at my joy at hanging out and watching the game. I can see how you could while away a lovely evening at the ballpark on a regular basis. I won't be tuning in to televised baseball anytime soon though.

Sam seemed to enjoy himself, and was sort of interested in the game. It was totally fun to talk to him about the rules and answer his questions and see him be a little kid at his first baseball game. But he may still be too young. I think Alex was a little disappointed that Sam wasn't more into it and grateful for the opportunity to go to a game, particularly because Alex would love to have been able to go to a baseball game with his dad. But I believe, and I told Alex, that when Sam is 11 or 12 and is (dear God, hopefully) out of his current snotty 5-year-old phase, he'll love going to those games.

And Jack and I will go and watch the beer vendors.


  1. Totally. Sounds like a wonderful night out.

    And I *so* would have helped you kick that guy's *ss. Moron. Grown up moron.

    (Sorry for the language, Y.M. But that guy clearly and totally deserved it.)

  2. I still haven't taken my kids to a Nats game yet. I'm scared.

    But I figure it is probably more laid back than going to a Redskins or Ravens game.

    And I'd probably curse less.

  3. I have to say, for the most part it was very laid back. Nonetheless, I'd definitely recommend a man to man--as opposed to zone--defense for the kids.

  4. Please tell Alex that I know his dad would have loved to have taken him to many baseball games! Ken played baseball in high school, he was the catcher. Maybe Alex already knows that his dad played against Sal Bando in high school in Cleveland.

  5. What kind of silly hats are those boys wearing?

    Relative in Milwaukee.


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