Sunday, June 17, 2012
Nick Plays Baseball by Rachel Isadora
Rating: 4 hey-battah-battah-hey-battah-battah stars
Some say there's a song for everything; I say there's a children's book for everything. There must be some people who think I'm nutso for having books on hand for any and every activity we do. Today I did not...and I was a bit disappointed in myself. I wished that I had prepped my kids a bit for the experience. I give myself a demerit.
We went to our first baseball game today as a family. The Nationals have a brand-spankin' new stadium that has all the bells and whistles I guess a fan could want. I don't even eat hot dogs, but I like to go to baseball games (though I have to admit that I like minor league games better...I went to one in Watertown, NY, that sticks out in my memory...) for more reasons than the crappy food and cold beer. Time to kick back and relax, enjoy a nice day with friends and/or family, and clap when I'm supposed to clap. And look cute in my own baseball hat!
Given that I have two sons, I think the odds are that I'll be attending one or two more baseball games in the next decade or two.
Lorelei and Ben and even Kiefer were pretty excited, and when we arrived at the stadium, they got quiet. Their eyes grew as big as dinner plates when we stepped out of our car; from the top of the parking garage we could look over and into the stadium. "Woooooooow!" they said under their breaths, trying to take in all the sights, sounds, and smells. There really is a lot to take in, especially if you're half the size of most people there, and you've never heard a roar of a crowd before. We sat down in our seats, which were in a make-Mom-worry pop-fly zone, and they just started asking questions.
My husband and I did our best to explain everything to them--pitching, batting, keeping score, pop flies, home runs, the umpire's job, and a ton of other little things. It was then that I wish I had checked out this book a week or two ago to let them get used to all these concepts before they saw them in action.
The book is a good one for 3- and 4-year-olds, and even a little older. Nick plays baseball (guess you figured that) for a small, local team, and Isadora writes a story that includes how he practices with his team in order to prepare for a championship game. In addition, she adds information next to some of her sketch-like illustrations so that if your kiddo wants more information, it's right there, with a good picture to boot. But the basic story is just that--a story. It's the best of both worlds, really.
We had a good time at our game (though I don't even know who won!), but we didn't last the whole time. The sun was hot and everyone was a little squirmy, not just Kiefer. Everyone had a treat--Jonathan and Lorelei chose hot dogs, Kiefer and I had treats we smuggled in, and Ben ate almost all of a popcorn dish that was the size of his head. It was a good introduction to "going to a ball game," and a nice way to spend the better part Father's Day.
Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there.