Monday, May 19, 2008

For Love of the Game

I finally realized how to get my kids to love baseball as much as their father does: feed them crap.

Last week the Murphy clan journeyed to Baltimore to watch the Red Sox play the Orioles. Both the boys had been to a couple of games before, though they had been so young they remembered little. We went last summer, when Declan was almost 3 and Ronan 1 1/2. So when we told the boys we were going to a game, Declan got very excited.

"We're going to see the Red Sox, Ronan!" I was thrilled Declan was so thrilled. Maybe we could actually stay for the whole game this time.

"Yay!?" Any time Ronan sees any sport on TV, he points and says, "bay-ball?" So clearly his "yay" was merely a function of Declan's enthusiasm.

"We're going to get cotton candy!" Ah, of course. To keep Declan quiet and sitting last summer at the game, I told him he could get cotton candy. He had no idea what it was, but anything with the word "candy" in it had to be a winner. I had seen the vendor halfway across the stadium and figured it would only be a matter of time before he neared our seats. Time, I may add, that Matty and I could use to watch the game.

Declan was obsessive about the cotton candy, and after 45 minutes of pointing out the approaching vendor and discussing the merits of said candy, the vendor disappeared. Finally, I sent Matty to buy it.

I'm sure it will come as a big surprise to learn that Declan did not like the cotton candy. (I ate it.) But he sure fell in love with the idea of it, because it was all he could talk about in the days leading up to the trip to Baltimore.

Of course, I bought the boys cotton candy as soon as we got there, paper cones of purple sugar that were bigger than their heads. Ronan dove right in (literally), and Declan managed a few bites before passing it to me. "I don't like it."

Without the cotton candy to distract him as it had the last game, Declan was a bit fidgety. And Ronan, well, Ronan was difficult. He had zero interest in the game. But he did have an interest in the food. So, we kept feeding them. After the cotton candy came Edy's ice cream bits. Then, pretzels, followed by Cracker Jack, and finally, chocolate milk.

From the game we went to take Jonah out to dinner for his favorite food: ketchup and French fries. So, to top off their nutritious lunch, Declan and Ronan had hamburgers, French fries, and sugary fruit punch for dinner.

Not 5 minutes after strapping Ronan into his stroller, the vomiting began. He threw up three times in quick succession, and was fine immediately afterwards. Never have I seen such incontrovertible proof that eating too much crap can literally make you sick.

Declan waited until that night to throw up in the comfort of his bed, and was also fine immediately afterward. By morning, the sickness was forgotten and only the fond candy-coated memories remained.

They can't wait to go to their next baseball game.

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