Friday, April 3, 2009

Baseball Madness

I was the only single mom at the baseball game tonight. (My apologies to the true single moms out there because, honestly, I don't know how you do it. My watered down version of single motherhood is bad enough.) My husband warned me he would be working late, but it wasn't until late afternoon that I checked my email and discovered there was a baseball game scheduled for my 8 year old son at 5:15. (Dinner time. Perfect.) By that time I realized it was definitely too late to get ultra prepared and be there for the warm up at 4:45. Not with four kids and a friend in tow. And so it was that I swerved into the parking lot at 5:00 with a bag of rice cakes, some cheese sticks, bottled water and five kids. My son ran ahead with his stuff and I asked my 11 year old daughter and friend to take my 4 year old daughter to the park while I got the baby and lawn chair out. "Um, Allyson, (whatever happened to "Mrs."?) do we really have to babysit because I'm going to D.C for spring break in two days so we'd like to play alone." Blink. Stare. My daughter (bless her little heart), sensing impending doom, stepped in. "It's okay mom, we'll watch her." I put on the backpack/lawn chair and start to get the baby out of her car seat. I noticed for the first time she is shoe-less. This will not do. I got her out anyway, not caring at this point if she looked neglected because I am already heavy laden with my backpack/lawn chair and the game is about to begin. I grab my purse with the cell phone so I can track my husband's ETA and start heading for the ball park. My daughter comes running over to tell me her brother's mitt isn't in his bag. Sweet. Knowing none of the other responsible and prepared mothers would do this, I command my oldest to stay right with her sister and I head back to the car to go home and get the mitt. (Baby back in the car seat, backpack/lawnchair back in the trunk . . .) Back home I search our unbelievably cluttered garage and to my dismay, though not to my surprise, no mitt. I call my husband. "It's gotta be in his bag. He just didn't search around in it enough." I grab the baby's shoes and head back to the park. (Baby back out of the car seat, put back on the backpack/lawnchair.)Sure enough, the mitt is in the bag. I settle in to watch the game with all the other good parents. I notice there are either solo dads, moms and dads, or - my favorite - moms and dads with grandparents or even nannies. I'm pretty sure none of them have five kids with them because they are all just sitting there watching the game and cheering on their boys. The baby sits on my lap and "watches" the game for about three and half minutes before she starts crawling all over me and grabbing other people's water bottles. I get up and head out to the boonies beyond right field to check on the girls. (Did I mention my hefty 18 month old no longer likes walking in public?) My daughter's friend is still annoyed by their third wheel so I try to redirect her back to the game with me. The game stretches on and on and on as little league games do. My son strikes out twice and gets hit in the face and cries at one point. I'm sure it's because I didn't feed him a proper dinner before we left and I'm not as attentive as the other mothers. Isn't everything my fault? Once the game is over and my children (and friend) dine on Hawaiin sweet rolls and Big League chewing gum provided by the snack mom, I load up my crew and the backpack/lawnchair I sat in for three and a half minutes and call my husband again. He is chatting casually with someone about blasting one more clump of kidney stones with a laser. I'd like to blast something with a laser. "I'm going to be another hour." We head to Panda. The friend has special requests and wants to come into the restaurant with me. No can do. Everyone stay in the car. By the time I get home with the food at 8pm I am as fried as the orange chicken my kids are chowing down on.

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