By: Jessica Aldred
Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd…bring me a screaming 1 year old and bored preschooler and my days at the ball field are anything but enjoyable. This year is especially difficult as the baby is on the verge of walking- yet insists on crawling laps around the fields- and my preschooler is more interested in the snack bar than the game.
To be honest, it’s mostly the baby. I could totally bribe my middle man with some sort of candy or treat and buy myself a decent chunk of time. I’ve tried baby carriers, strollers and even just letting him crawl but it always ends in an early departure for us. Add to this the sun, the bugs and the 5 night a week commitment and I’m defeated. It’s only two weeks into the season and I’m ready for that final game and the token ‘everyone’s a winner’ trophy.
I feel pretty guilty actually. Due to my husbands’ position as Assistant Coach this year, he has to be at every game so he can’t even help me out or stay home with the little ones while I get to watch my eldest take a few swings. I guess you sign up for this stuff when you start having additional kids but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. This isn’t the first time we’ve run into this issue, but it is the first time that one of us has had to be on the field. As a result, we can’t take turns attending games or play ‘pass the baby’ while we both try to enjoy a few minutes of the game.
I watch other little kids skip and play with the butterflies (or mosquitos), and sit calmly on beach blankets spread out beyond the outfield. I often find myself thinking “what the heck is wrong with my kids?” I don’t need to be reminded that they’re “active” little boys, but it just seems like we never have those calm moments where we can actually enjoy an activity. Someone is almost always in need of something, having a meltdown or is screaming that they’re bored. While I doubt I’ll get to see my son play too many times this season, I do intend to suck it up and drag the whole lot of them down to the field and grin and bear it for a game or two.
If you see, or hear us coming, just put your head down and move along. I’m interested to hear how other parents deal with this juggling act and actually getting to watch your older kids play.