Parenting vs Baseball

It’s America’s pastime.

Even though I live in Canada, I’m not really a hockey fan. I don’t have a favorite team. Kids in schools ask me, “Who do you go for?” (translation: Who’s your favorite hockey team?) I always give the same response just to see the shock on their face. “I don’t watch hockey.” I usually have to pick their jaw up off the floor. After a few minutes they regain the use of their voice.

My favorite sport to play is soccer. Those hockey kids in school know this from all my days subbing in their gym class. Otherwise, baseball is where my loyalty lies. Particularly with a certain black and orange bird.

We’re now 11 days from pitchers and catchers reporting to the warm climate of Sarasota Springs, Florida. We’re also 25 days from their first spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Argh…

This means we’re also not far from our friendly, family rivalry as DW and Bang are Blue Jays fans.

All this talk of baseball makes me want to compare the game of baseball with raising a family…

1. Training

It’s all about creating and moulding the best team possible. Mind you, I won’t get fired for having too many losing seasons, but I’m still responsible to do the best with what I’m given. Just as the players are responsible for improving their game, we’re responsible for being better than we were yesterday. Perhaps it’s teaching the kids a new skill they need for school or sport or life. Perhaps it’s improving ourselves to be better at whatever it is we’re trying to improve upon. We’re always striving for the next homerun…

2. Patience

There are roughly 150 pitches thrown by each team. Some crazy level of patience is needed to get through the 3+ hours it takes to deliver all 300 of them. Multiply that by 162 games per season and you’ve got 48,600 pitches to watch. When kids are throwing temper tantrums, you’re spouse isn’t paying attention, and you’re afraid your house is so messy it’ll appear on the next episode of Hoarders, you need patience. Though, unlike baseball, parenting isn’t a summer game. It’s all day, every day with no hope of winning a world series and the pay sucks.

3. Coaches

A baseball team needs lots of specialities. There are managers who oversee the whole shebang. There are also pitching coaches, hitting coaches, bench coaches, bullpen coaches, first base coaches and third base coaches. A household works much the same way. I’m the cooking coach. Not because DW can’t, but because I enjoy it more. DW is the paying bills coach. Nobody likes that position. I’m the cleaning coach because I’m home more often. DW is the snuggle coach because she’s so snugly.  

4. Bases

Speaking of bases… 1st base is kissing. 2nd base has something to do with boobs. I’m fairly confident that you can figure out 3rd base and a homerun. Without the homerun, without “scoring”, we wouldn’t have the families we have. No kids, anyway. May you all hit homeruns tonight without gaining extra players on your team…

 

M is for … Go Ask Your Father: Chemo, Vaccines, Stupidity and Gambling

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There’s this little creature, a cartoon character to be precise. He is the most curious creature on the planet. He’s so friggin’ cute, too. He often finds himself in trouble because of his curiosity. He always finds a way to fix his mistakes, though. If you still haven’t guessed who this creature is yet…

 

georgeM is for Monkey.

We have two. They are curious Georges for sure. The trouble they cause isn’t intentional. It’s curiosity. Is there pancake mix in this box? Shake it and find out. Oops, the lid was open and now there’s pancake mix all over the floor.

Even more important than they messes they make and the frustrations they stir up, are the questions they ask. Let me tell you, they know how to ask questions. We do our best to encourage their questions. They haven’t asked the difficult ones yet. So we’ll continue encouraging them. However, eventually, there will come a question when I hear, “Go Ask Your Father.”

1. What is chemo?

Bang asked this question at bedtime, but first, a little backstory…

Bang and I go to playgroup once a week. There is a little girl, Ione, who’s been going since she was born. We’ve known her mom for many years now. Ione is two now, with three awesome siblings. She has an awe-factor that’s off the charts. That’s how adorable she is. Anyway, they just found out Ione has Leukaemia. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, to be precise. She starts Chemo today. Please visit this darling little girl’s Go Fund Me page. It’s the only link I’m asking you click today.

So Bang  asked, “What’s chemo?” at bedtime while he and DW were saying their night time prayers because they made sure to include Ione tonight.

Chemotherapy, or chemical therapy, introduces chemicals, medicines,  into the body to destroy cancer cells. Since there are so many different kinds of cancer there also many kinds of chemotherapy. Ione will possibly have two and half years of this.

2. What are vaccines?

We didn’t get our flu shot this winter like we normally do. We weren’t vaccinated. The needle-clipart-hypodermic-needleboys ended up getting sick for week. I’ll spare you the details, though. Would a vaccine, a.k.a. flu shot, have prevented it? Possibly. It wouldn’t have hurt. Well, except for the whole needle thing. Just like a flu shot is a vaccine to prevent the flu, there are vaccines for mumps, measles, polio, and number other diseases that can be deadly. I know some out there are anti-vaxxers, and I just don’t understand them. Simply because they don’t know what’s in it, they don’t know the real effects of the medicine, because they still believe they cause autism.

Rant done. Vaccines prevent people from getting sick. Sorry, there’s just no humor here.

3. Why was that stupid?

orioles2Okay. This is better. Stupid is funny. Down right hilarious, sometimes. This question could be asked numerous times a day about any of a variety of things by any of the four of us. This instance, however, occurred during a baseball game. My beloved O’s were undefeated at the time and the game was tied at 6. The Red Sox had a runner on first with 1 out when our pitcher threw a wild pitch. More wild than frat party. “That was stupid,” I said. Why? Because now the Sox have a runner on second, which is scoring position.

They didn’t score, though. That batter struck out. Couldn’t handle the heat. Swung like he was swattin’ flies. Wiffed. The next guy grounded out and the inning was over. It was still a stupid pitch.

4. What is gambling?

Simply put, gambling is when you pay money or items on chance happenings. The example I used with Crash when something as follows…

You are an Orioles fan. Your little brother is a Blue Jays fan (I know. I’m not proud of it, but we are in Blue Jay country. I won’t call child protective services until he says he’s a Yankee’s fan). If you were to say that the O’s would be the Jays and Bang were to say, like hell, then you could bet $10 or $100 or your share of the Lego pile. Whoever’s team won would get the money or the Legos. Gambling is taking a chance. To do it smartly you need to know your chances of winning. Know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.

Me personally? I’m betting Ione kicks cancer’s ass.

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But it’s still light! (And other arguments that don’t work)

Anyone with kids has heard it a few million times around this time of year (or in October? if you live in the southern hemisphere). When trying to get your creatures to bed at a decent hour they realize it’s not dark, yet. They don’t have to be taught this argument, they don’t pick it by overhearing it. They just know. “Time to get ready for bed,” I say. “But it’s still light outside!” comes the reply. Then they dawdle and dilly dally and do everything short of running away to try to stay up until it’s dark. Combine that with the warm weather that is finally here and they think they’re on summer vacation! Every night it’s, “Can we have a bonfire?” or “Can I stay up late?” No and no, you have school tomorrow. Then it’s “I’m hungry.” and Crash will try to eat us of house and home in order to stay up. He’s not hungry, he just doesn’t want to go to bed!

“But the neighbors are still outside,” is another one that doesn’t work. I’m not the neighbor’s parent, so if they’re still outside that’s fine by me. But it’s time for you to come in to get ready for bed so you can get up at 6 am for no apparent reason. “But I’ll hear them outside and I won’t be able to get to sleep.” Good one bud. But your window will be closed, your air purifier will be on as will be your fan. You won’t hear them.

“But everyone else has one.” Nice try. We haven’t given in to the Minecraft craze, yet. Crash has almost broken us a few times, though. Once, we told if he cleaned up the toys in the basement he could get it. He went to the basement for a couple hours, but nothing got picked up. So we didn’t have to get it then. He received money for his first communion and asked if he could get Minecraft. We told him okay, but there would be limitations to it It’s a never ending game that he would, no doubt, waste hours and hours upon. However, he ended up forgetting about it and asked to go to Wal-Mart and got Legos instead. It doesn’t matter to me what everyone else has or does, it’s what’s best for him.

So many arguments, so little time. It’s Friday which means he’ll be asking to stay up late, just as he has every day this week. Chances are good I’ll let him tonight. The Orioles play the Rays tonight so I’ll let him stay up to watch some of it while we put his new Lego set together again. (I put it together a couple nights ago but Bang destroyed it in one of his fits of frustration)

Are there any arguments you have repeatedly? How do you respond?

The View From Up Here

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The view from the top

The O’s won! (Sorry Toronto) Above is a panoramic shot from the very top row out in left field. You can see the iconic warehouse behind rigt field. These weren’t our seats, I just wanted the picture. It was worth the 9,000 stairs (slight exaggeration) to get up there to take it. Our actual seats were 15 rows behind third base dugout. Awesome seats to watch the game.

*To the family behind us
Have fun, safe trip back home and I hope you enjoyed the three games you saw at our stadium. So funny that you live only two hours from me in Canada. Small world, eh?

*To the couple a few rows in front of us
Thanks for being such great sports about my brother and I face bombing your cute selfie together. That was fun and I should have asked you to it to me. So if you read this, send it to me! May 14, 2015. Camden Yards. Section 52. Row 12.

*To the Orioles
Thanks for the 6-1 win!

O is for…

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OMG!
This one is as versatile as the “F” word. Your kid dumped the bag of flour on the carpet? Oh. MY. GOD. Your kid put a rock through your car window? Oh. My. God. Your kid tracked muddy boots across your freshly mopped floors? Oh. My. God. Your fussy eater won’t eat again? Oh. My. God.

This phrase easily has negative connotations. Used in frustration, it relieves stress and expresses great disappointment.  Those who are within earshot of the utterer know immediately that someone’s not happy and their best option is running away.

However,  OMG can also express disbelief. David Copperfield just pulled a very large elephant out of a very small hat? Oh my God. Your toddler just put 3 double rolls of 2 ply in the toilet? Oh my God. Your kid just ate the whole box of cookies when you thought they were in their room for a time out? Oh my God. When someone hears it said in this fashion,  laughter usually follows suit.

It can express amazement and excitement, as well. Your baseball team just hit a homer to win the game? OMG! Your kid cleaned up his toys without being asked? OMG! Your toddler learned to escape from their crib? OMG! This form will bring nosey people running to you to find out what’s so amazing.

‘Round here we aim for oh my goodness. We sometimes miss the mark. But, I suppose, it could be far eff’n worse.

*Note: O is also for Orioles, the baseball team. #IbackTheOrioles They play the Red Sox, tonight. I’m allowing Crash to stay up a bit later than usual to watch some it. He likes to watch, but he likes to stay up late even more. Tomorrow is an afternoon game so Bang can watch with us. Though, he’ll want Disney Jr. instead.

It’s Bird Season!

bal_1200x630How could I not post this today? It’s officially bird season. My birds, the Baltimore Orioles, are currently winning 5-1 going into the 9th inning. There have been a few changes from last season, but I’m still excited to them back on the field. I’m also elated to watch a few long ball homers! If you follow me via twitter, now is when my tweets will start picking up in frequency. Granted it be mostly about the O’s, but still… Now if we could just get rid of this dang snow it’d feel more like spring!

#BirdLandinCanada
#OsBirdNest
#OpeningDay