Thursday, June 9, 2011

Play Ball!

I am forced to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" dozens of times each day.  I have found that it is an amazing cure-all in my home, just like Windex in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".  In fact, I think from now on when the cat throws up on the carpet or the power goes out in my home, I will try singing the baseball song and I truly expect that it will resolve my issues. 

Okay, maybe it’s not that powerful, although singing this song has elicited amazing results.  For Graham, who as of late has decided he doesn’t like riding in the car, this song takes him from wail-to-smile in less than 10 seconds.  For Cael, it’s been most effective as a distraction method.  You parents know all about the distractions, right?  I think it really is the only method available to mommies alone in the car traveling down roads with no shoulder and therefore no place to pull over and administer a time-out.  (Yes, that is a scenario in which I find myself more often than I’d like to admit!)  Whatever he’s doing, be it taunting Graham, saying naughty words or gagging himself (yes, really), all is resolved with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

But why that song?  I think it’s because my kids have baseball in their blood.   Joel has always loved playing and watching baseball, and our boys have embraced it whole-heartedly.  As much as I love that and look forward to watching their little league games and baseball practices, if I have to play catch one more time, I’m going to beat myself over the heat with a wooden bat.

Not what a loving Mom is supposed to say?  Whoops.  Cael is good at the throwing part--good aim, nice arc, but the catching is nonexistent.  He holds up the glove and I am expected to toss the ball in from across the room with pinpoint accuracy.  And since he can’t figure out how to squeeze the glove when the ball lands inside, I have to carefully select a ball that fits the perfect criteria of weight and softness so as not to render Graham unconscious.  But here’s the kicker; he wants me to miss.  Remember how I mentioned in a previous posting that if you do something even remotely funny, you will be forced to repeat this action ad nauseam?  I learned that lesson the hard way.  (I’m warning you now.  You can thank me later.)  When one of the infinite tosses I made bounced out of his glove, I made a goofy “UGGGHHH” sound that struck Cael as funny as anything he’s heard in his short life.  Soon thereafter, after 80,000 noisy missed catches, I was having to pretend I was hit by the ball and injured so I could develop a new and equally annoying sound.

Graham, meanwhile, with an equally strong love for baseball but a very different way of expressing excitement, spent the entire game on the “sidelines”, watching and waiting for one of these faux “injuries” to take place so he could come running to kiss the ouchy spot and make it better.  Could they be any more different?  While one is tending to my wounds, the other is belly-laughing and continuing to assault me with the perfect baseball. 

Of course I loved every minute of it.  In all honesty, one of the best parts of these goofy games is that the focus and interaction with me means that Cael is less likely to clobber Graham.  The only downside to these moments of fun family silliness is the descent to anger that will inevitably occur when my eldest hears those four most dreaded words… “Baseball time is over.”  You’d never know he was nearing four.  He’s on the floor howling, arms flailing and his little face is all scrunched up in protest.  And I know there’s only one thing I can do to make it stop…

Ugh.  “Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd…”


  1. Have you tried the velcro ball/paddle things? It doesn't solve Cael's love of your sound effects, but it could help him with his hand-eye coordination.

  2. Graham has a really soft glove like that, with velcro in the palm to catch balls, but Cael refuses to use it because it is a "baby glove". Wouldn't dare stoop so low, you know. :)

    Haven't tried one of those round paddles.. might have to give it a shot!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.