Friends of ours have season tickets to the Giants every year, and every year, I wait with mouse at the ready for the ticket share website to activate in early March. I usually try for Nationals and Pirates (our growing-up home teams), which are easy to score because, well, Nationals and Pirates. But I grab a few late-season games, as well, and everyone wants a precious Dodgers ticket.
I landed two this year, and I remember thinking, eh, the baby’ll be only two months old, but Dodgers! Afternoon! July! We’ll figure it out. As it happened, he decided to go with a friend, but then the friend forgot about it, so we were left with an extra ticket. He’s philosophically against taking small children to baseball games, as it pretty much prevents you from actually watching any of the game. But for me, half of baseball is the experience of being at the park, and I don’t like a summer to go by without at least one visit to the stadium, and even if they won’t remember it, taking the kids is part of that experience. In the end, we decided to gear up and head out with the whole family.
Last year’s outing with eleven-month-old Eliza went very well. She was strapped to me in the Ergo for half the time, sleeping, and wandering around the Build-A-Bear shop for the other half of the time. This time around, I figured David could have Gillian in the Ergo, and I’d be on Eliza duty; I thought with the monkey backpack, we could walk around the kid’s area of AT&T Park for an inning or two, sit down for three or so innings, and then head out.
We arrived at AT&T Park during the second inning. By the time we’d checked in the double stroller, walked around the park to the bleachers, perched on a condiment stand to share a sandwich and feed the insatiable infant, and found our bleacher seats, it was the fourth inning. By the sixth inning, Eliza was in full-on nap mode, and instead of screaming and fussing, she just tried desperately to nap in the most comfortable way she could: slumped forward in a C-shape, head planted between my boobs. I managed to cover her with a light blanket for a whole inning, to keep the sun away, but by seventh inning stretch, Gillian had reawakened and started crying, and David and I decided we’d better quit while we were ahead: that is, before the big one started screaming.
So we packed up our stuff, made our way back to the stroller parking, and by 3:30 PM, had walked back home, with three or so stops to feed Gillian enough to keep her from crying for the next six blocks. Eliza, to our surprise, was wide awake the whole way home (and at the moment is playing “Bye-Bye” with her daddy and the closet). Our only casualty was the loss of Monkey Primo, who is easily replaceable, and who we’d planned on taking away from her, anyway.
True, we only watched 2 1/2 innings of a Giants-Dodgers game. True, it was hot and tiring. But when we got home and asked Eliza, “Did you have fun at the baseball game?” her answer was, “Go go Giants!” I call that a success.
What say you? Do you take kids to the ballpark or leave them at home?