We took Will to a Pawtucket Red Sox game (they’re the Boston Red Sox AAA farm team) on Sunday and it was really great. Well, it was great. It was kinda great. Really.
Honestly, asking a 14-month-old kid to sit still for a 3-hour baseball game is a lot. That’s why I fully expected him to last about 4 innings before he went to DEFCON 1 and had an Earth-shattering meltdown that caused us to leave. But with the help of Grandma Donna and Papa Tom, we managed to get all the way to the 9th inning.
This was especially tricky because you’re in a really confined space. Will likes to walk and he hates to be on our laps for extended amounts of time. But with precious little room between our knees and the back of the guy in front of us, it’s a delicate and constant struggle to keep him happy and entertained while keeping the gameday experience fun for the people around you.
You might think you could use toys, but we quickly learned toys end up as projectiles. He throws them or drops them on the people in front of us. So then you give him a bottle, but that’s the same result as the toy. So, you’re stuck trying to bribe him with ballgame food. And that works for a while until he gets bored and instead of eating the food he starts throwing french fries as well.
Now keep in mind you’re totally screwing with his nap schedule. So you try to put him on your lap, curl him up with a bottle and get him to catch a few Zs. Only problem, every time he starts to fall asleep something happens on the field and the crowd goes wild, waking him up.
Eventually, we found the solution.
Just go with it. Pass the kid around and let him get a lay of the land. Butter up the people around you with free french fries and hot dogs, and apologize in advance for any screams, objects thrown at them and general debauchery and chaos your child will ultimately cause. If you’re up front with them and nice about it, you’d be surprised what people will put up with when there’s a ridiculously cute kid involved. And be sure to let your kid wave to people, look around and explore as much as possible without being a total pest.
Will ended up waving at everyone and warming their hearts to the point they didn’t care how loud he was being. He also demanded to kiss most of the women in the immediate area, and at that point they were all putty in his hands and he could do no wrong. He even managed to nap for a couple of innings (it helped that the Paw Sox really sucked and there wasn’t much to cheer about).
In the end, we had a really good time and I’m glad we took him to the game. I was worried about the crowd, about Will’s activity level and pissing everyone around us off. But it’s much better to at least try and get out of the house, than not attempt it at all.
Just wish the Sox had won!