Monday, June 12, 2006


Last year, I brought the kids I babysit to a Paw Sox game for their birthday. It's cheaper than Fenway, and I figured if they hated it, I'd be out about $20 for trying and we'd leave. Luckily, they loved watching the game and started getting into baseball. So, since they all recently had birthdays, I brought them to McCoy yesterday for a day of baseball enjoyment.

"We've been counting down the hours since we got up!" Eldest chirped as we got into the car and headed down. I chugged my Vitamin water and prayed my stomach lining held during the game, cursing myself for that last Guinness the night before.

As I drove, happy to not be soaked by rain, my mood improved. Baby slept in the backseat, and the older two chatted away as I drove into McCoy. We unpacked the van, with me forgetting my cell phone, which had fallen under the front seat, so I don't have any pictures of kids being adorable at a baseball game.

We walked into McCoy and found some seats along the third base line. Boy donned his batting helmet I'd bought him, along with his orange-metallic '90s sunglasses that his parents and I told him made him look like a real baseball player. The older two and I put on our gloves. Baby sat in my lap and looked around.

The Boy Scout troop came out with the flag, and a school band got ready to play the National Anthem.

"Come on guys, stand up and take off your hats."


"It's a sign of respect."

"Why are they playing this song?"

"Because that's what you do at a baseball game. Stand up."

The Anthem ended, and we sat back down and the game began. The kids cheered, and Boy was much better this year at being able to recognize which team was which on the field. We got up and got hot dogs and fries. Baby covered herself and me with ketchup. The Paw Sox were ahead by one, then tied, then losing. Figuring the game had gone to shit, we got up to get dessert.

Of course, as we entered the main concourse, the cheers erupted, letting us know that the game had turned in our favor. The kids were mad they didn't see what happened, and the baby looked confused. We ordered our treats, and we had to wait while Eldest's doughboy was cooked. As we waited, Paws, the Paw Sox mascot, walked by. The older two laughed and waved, which brought the mascots closer. Baby turned her head, saw the six feet tall walking stuffed animals, grabbed me like a baby monkey holding his mother, and screamed in terror.

"MOMMA! MOMMA! NOOOOO! MOMMA!" She shimmied nearly over my shoulders to hide behind me. She trembled, and I've never felt a two-year-old hold onto me that tightly. I traumatized the baby. She wouldn't relax for about five minutes after the bears were well out of her sight. The older two laughed at her, but I can see where she's coming from. She's little, they're big, emotionless, walking stuffed animals.

We went back to our seats, and between innings the announcer came on. "Now playing on the right field screen is a live video feed from Boston, where the Sox trail by two, and David Oritz is at the plate with two men on."

McCoy went wild. "PA-PI. PA-PI. PA-PI."

Eldest asked between bites of her doughboy, "What's going on? The Paw Sox aren't playing now."

"Look at the screen," I said. "The Boston Sox could win the game if David Ortiz hits a home run."

"Who's Papi?"

"That's David Oritz's nickname. It means he's the big guy who takes care of everything."

Strike one.

"Pa-pi. Pa-pi."

Strike two.

The pitcher on the screen stops. Ortiz steps out of the box. The crowd waits.

The video feed stops, and the stats for the player about to hit come up.

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?" The whole stadium booed vigorously.

"What happened?" Eldest asked.

"Well, we don't know. That's why people are booing. I wish I had a radio."

After about a minute, a guy a couple sections over stood up, waving a radio, and yelling, "PAAAAAAAAAAAAAPI!" It was an awesome moment.

The Paw Sox won the game, and the announcer updated the Yankees score, saying they were losing in the eighth.

"You know, I don't know who the team that's playing the Yankees is, but I don't like the Yankees very much, so I hope that other team wins," Eldest said. I am raising these kids right.

The eldest kids ran the bases at the end of the game, while I stood with the baby at home plate, praying she didn't see Paws from a distance and commence crying again. I dragged the kids back to the car, and we headed for home. Another fun time at the baseball park.

I am going to have to get a new job, however.

"Amy, when are you going to take us to a game at Fenway?"

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