Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hold the Peanuts and Crackerjacks, please...

J. is in St. Louis this week, and will be attending a Cardinals game with customers today. He asked me this morning whether or not he should wear his Reds hat to the game, and I was all "Oh, St. Louis people are really nice. Even though they're competing for first place, I don't think you'll get any abuse."

Then he reminded me of that big bench clearing fight at the Cardinals/Reds game last week, and I said "Oh yeah, maybe you should just not."

Anyway, here in Cincinnati, the Redlegs are doing well, and that's a good thing for the city. We love our baseball around here anyway (Opening Day is practically a holiday, parade and all), but it's always more fun to have a winning team. We didn't make it to a game at all last year, so it was on our list of things to do for this summer for sure.

We took the kids to a game in July. I uploaded these pictures back then, but never got around to writing anything to go with them, so here we are!

When I was a elementary aged kid, there was a program called "Straight-A tickets" and for good grades (I don't think it actually required all A's), you got a voucher from the Reds organization for four free tickets to a game. I was always good for a set of these each year. The family story is that we'd all go to the Reds game "my treat" and I'd sit in the red seats reading a book throughout the whole game.

I don't take a book to the game anymore, though I admit I still think it is not a bad idea. Baseball is not exactly the fastest paced event in the world.

Taking two small children to a sold out baseball game on bobble head night pretty much precludes fitting in any chapters, though, and there were a few times I wished we had planned this outing as a date, rather than a family.

Things I don't enjoy about baseball games?
  • Teenagers camped out in your seats because they waited too long to buy tickets together, and really want you to sit in someone else's seats so they can sit together.
  • Having to stand up and suck your unsuck-in-able pregnant belly every time someone wants to get up and go visit the hot dog line
  • Having to hoist your children up over the row of people who think they can just move their knees to let you by when both kids need to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW, just when Daddy has left on a snack run.
  • Cute ponytailed 20 somethings who sneak into the family bathroom right in front of you when you have both children that need to go to the bathroom at once RIGHT NOW.
  • The fact that the ladies room runs out of toilet paper in the SECOND INNING and the grandma types are pointing you to the paper towels before you enter the stall.
  • Forgetting to find a spot for your purse that is not on the ground, and spending the rest of the game wondering what exactly the liquid is that it is now soaking your lap.
  • Trying to juggle bobble head boxes for each member of the family before someone finally offers to buy one of them off of you.

  • Kids that are a little bit sad that they don't have something sugary right in front of them the ENTIRE game.
  • Yup, my brother was right when he once called it "Boring Ball."
  • The people sitting behind you eating peanuts in the shell right on top of your allergic daughter, and who then OFFER her one after she's been eyeing them warily. Thankfully, I'd already pointed them out all over the ground and told her to stay away, so she politely declined.
But it was certainly not all bad. There are many things I DO love about being taken out to the ballgame.
  • Singing said ballgame song, one of O's favorites at bedtime until pretty recently.
  • Teaching the kids to yell "CHARGE!" after the organ intro.
  • Following all the cheesy games and gimmicks on the JumboTron. (J. and I were once featured on the Kiss Cam while we were dating. We got recognized while waiting out a rain delay under a canopy later in the game. "Hey, weren't you on the Kiss Cam?" Blush.)
  • Fireworks and cheering after THREE home runs!
  • People watching, especially trying to figure out the dynamics of new Hall of Fame inductee Chris Sabo's family mingling in our section and the people who swarmed over for autographs.

  • Watching my kids delight in snacks. Blue and red snowcones, big salty soft pretzels (though I was sad they weren't warm), and cotton candy!

  • Sibling love inspired by a sugar-spun high.
  • One last twilight treat overlooking the Ohio River before walking to our car halfway through the sixth inning.
How about you? What do you love (and not love) about going to the ballpark?


Anonymous said...

For the record, I wore the hat. Go Reds!

Anonymous said...

What I love about this trip to the ballpark are the pictures of two cute kids! What I didn't love about a trip to ballpark when O.was little; was going when it was 103 degrees! Gma

mep said...

Great post! I loved all the photos and observations.

Some thoughts:
Cardinals fans can be totally obnoxious. I know because I live with one. Good thing the Reds have been kicking butt since the brawl with the Cards.

Had not thought of the allergy dangers at the ballpark, but that totally sucks.

Straight "A" tickets. Good memories!

I also enjoyed a good book at the ball game, though I made an effort to watch the game while the Reds were batting and of course was willing to stop reading when it was time for snacks.

I love the vibe at the ballpark and never pay a bit of attention to the game itself. I love people watching and hot pretzel eating.