Category Archives: Baseball

For Father’s Day, My Husband’s Wish is to Just Be Left Alone

Marc, Tom & Lina at the Saturday night Dodger game against the White Sox.

My husband Tom loves baseball with a passion, so for the past few Father’s Days, we’ve taken him to a Dodger game. It’s a perfect tradition – leave at noon for the 1:10 game, stuff ourselves with Dodger dogs, cotton candy and this incredibly tasty ice cream bites treat called Dibs, and take in some sun. It’s a bummer that Emily and Mary can’t make it since they spend Father’s Day with their dad (my ex-husband), who of course trumps step dad, but we take Jake, Tom’s mom Lina, and one or two of Tom’s childless buddies.

A few weeks ago Tom revealed to me he actually isn’t as fond of this tradition as I thought he was. In fact, it turns out that he not only hates day games (too much sun), but frankly he doesn’t like going anywhere on a Sunday, even if it does seem like fun. Apparently he would like to spend and entire day resting up from weekend fun, which basically nixes any holiday that falls on a Sunday – Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter. If he had his way he would hold Hallmark hostage until the card company switched all those big days to a Saturday. Better yet – Monday so he can get a holiday from work.

Emily, Mary & Jake at the Dodger game

This actually works out better for all of us since it means that Emily and Mary can join us. They don’t really follow the game, but they do like the food. The girls and Jake also like clapping with the organ, doing the wave, and trying to hit the illegal beach ball that gets bounced around in the stands. We brought our friend Marc, a huge sports fan (he attended every single home Kings game and three that were out of state), but he’s got a bah-humbug attitude about these activities. I was afraid that Marc was going to climb over the bleachers and pop the beach ball with a sharpened soda straw. Still, it’s always fun to go to any sporting event with someone who’s a fan of the game.

Tom had a bit of a damper for this year’s Father’s Day. He came home from work early Friday with a horrible upset stomach and it lingered on through the weekend. Although he trudged through the Dodger game, he didn’t really feel like eating anything, which is kind of like going on a cruise when you’re in the middle of a cleanse. Sure, you’ll have a good time, but the meals are a big part of the trip.

Tom & me at the Dodger game after I ate too many garlic fries

On the other hand, I gorged myself on a platter of garlic fries which were dripping in either oil or butter, and then it ended up reeking from my pores all night. Needless to say, Tom spent Father’s Day Eve sleeping on the sofa. There’s nothing like garlic sweat to really mess up an already upset stomach.

The next morning, the kids and I cooked Tom a special meal of extra-thick bacon and a huge omelet with extra cheese, or what should have been called The Clogged Artery Breakfast. I was still full from the night before, the girls we going to eat breakfast with their dad, and Jake was dying for a Poptart since it’s a treat he only gets on the weekends. So Tom was left to eat by himself, or at least pretended to eat while we were watching. With his wobbly stomach, he probably dumped it in the trashcan as soon as we left the room singing Happy Father’s Day to You.

The kids serve Tom breakfast on the sofa

The girls departed with their dad, which left just Jake and myself to celebrate Tom’s fifth year of fatherhood (sixth if you count Jake kicking around in my stomach). I figured it was Tom’s big day and he could spend it any way he wished.

And his wish?: to be left alone to watch westerns all day and play the MMO game Dark Age of Camelot with his virtual friends.

Just one funny card. No gift to open. Lina bought the Dodger tickets and I bought all the food there, and since Tom didn’t feel like eating, that pretty much means that I gave my husband bupkis for Father’s Day. Jake drew a picture of himself on a palm-size rock and made a paper tie for his dad.

Jake gives Tom his Father’s Day gifts

We gave Tom his wish for the most part. Jake played with Legos. I cleaned the house, which was so filthy it should have had cauthion tape stretched around it. Jake and I ran some errands and brought Tom some minestrone soup for dinner.

Pretty boring. But for my low-maintenance husband and his queasy tummy, it was a great Father’s Day.

The nice thing about today is that it will be very easy to top it next year.

If you’re a dad, I hope you got exactly what you wanted for Father’s Day.

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Filed under Baseball, Family, Friends, Holidays, Humor, Husband, Illness, Kids, Parenting

Baseball: America’s Favorite Pastime or Just a Mound of Dirt?

There are two things my husband is passionate about.

You might think I would say that they were his wife and his children.

You’d be wrong.

Although I know he loves us, he is enthusiastically, obsessively, and maniacally passionate about westerns and baseball (and of course football, as you may have read in my previous blog Why My Husband Scares the Crap Out of Our Kids).

When I got pregnant and received confirmation from the ultrasound that we were going to have a boy, I was absolutely thrilled. I’m not usually one to make sexist assumptions about gender roles, but I couldn’t wait to see our little Jake dressed up in a cowboy costume like Woody. But more importantly, and more lasting, I couldn’t wait to see him play baseball.

I got my wish a couple of weeks ago when I signed Jake up for Toluca Baseball. He was to join a group of 11 other 4 to 6-year old boys by participating in our nation’s favorite pastime.

I envisioned Tom coaching the team, helping the boys perfect their throw, giving them tips on how to hit a ball that would sail over the shortstop’s head, and Jake’s gleaming smile as he rounded the bases and stepped on home plate.

I did not get my dream come true.

We have two boys on our team who have played in a league before. The rest are novices who had to be told the definitions of mitt and 1st base. They look forward to their snack more than a chance to bat, and they’d rather play in the dirt than play ball.

Jake’s no exception.

He throws the ball as if he’s aiming for a gopher two feet in front of him.

He swings the bat slowly and gently as if he is Miss America waving in a parade.

He doesn’t run after the ball. He waits for it to roll by him, then he strolls over to where it stops and pounces on it. We have to remind him to throw the ball back to us.

He runs like he’s the Six Million Dollar Man speeding 60 mph in slow motion. I honestly don’t know how he defies the laws of gravity as he floats effortlessly through the air.

Our baseball team is all this – times 10. I’ve signed up to be the team parent, which means that I’m the good cop who gets to cheer them on when they hit the ball and the bad cop who has to wrangle them when they’re off in La La Land. As such, I have compiled a list of common commands:

Don’t play in the dirt.

Quit climbing the fence.

The bat is not a weapon.

Quit chewing your mitt.

Take your finger out of his nose.

No, it’s not snack time yet.

I told you, don’t play in the dirt.

Hey! Get out of their field! Our team is over here!

Run! Run! Run like you’re chasing after the ice cream truck!

 “Baseball stance” does not mean sitting on your butt.

Your mitt belongs on your hand – not your foot.

Your penis is supposed to stay inside your pants.

Don’t throw dirt!

Turn around and face the pitcher. The rest of you – face the batter.

Great hit!… No! Don’t chase after the ball! Run to 1st!

You’re bored? You can come to my house and clean my toilet if you want something to do.

Is that your phone? Where did you get it? Is that your purse?

Tag him! Tag him! Touch him with the ball! No – don’t throw the ball at him!

Hey! What’s that in your hand? Drop the dirt. Drop it. Drop it now!

It’s a bat. Not a golf club.

Quit picking the grass.

Get out of that tree!

Don’t push the runner off the base. He belongs there. You don’t.

You already had a turn. Yeah? Well, life’s not fair. You should learn that now when you’re 5 (no, I didn’t really say this. I thought of saying it though).

If I see you in the dirt again I’m going to move you.

Don’t cry. When we say “Run! Run!” we’re not yelling at you.

You’re playing right field. You don’t need a helmet.

Don’t fight over the ball!

Drop the bat. Don’t carry it to 1st.

You found it on the ground? Take it out of your mouth.

All of you! Stay out of the dirt!

We’ve got two more months before the closing ceremony.  I think the Toluca Baseball commissioners are going to need to order one thing for the big occasion to make these kids happy:

More dirt.

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Filed under Anxiety, Baseball, Kids, Parenting