Friday, April 27, 2012

Rainy Sunday Save

Sunday was a bit dreary last weekend. Little League was cancelled, and the little Goofs looked ahead at a long day in front of the TV. If I were a good parent, I would have taken them somewhere. But sometimes my energy lags, and I have my own things to do. But Carpool Buddy's dad called and suggested we take the sluggers to the battings cages. We got there early enough that there wasn't a crowd and we rented a cage for just our two. The switched off for about forty minutes before some friends arrived and we shared with them. The adults did not take turns, unfortunately, but I did find out that a pitching machine only costs $2700 - which strikes me as very reasonable. I mentioned this to Mama Goof, but she shut down that discussion quickly. I was going to explain how I was going to build a hanger-like structure to contain the pitching machine in the backyard. She doesn't trust me to build things - she's right. Other dads gave very precise and detailed instructions about stance and swing. Unfortunately, we had a lot less knowledge to share CarPool Clan's dad is Canadian so he has an excuse to not know anything about baseball. I know a great deal about baseball, but none of it applies to the actual events on the field. I know anecdotes about Moe Berg (a pre-World War II catcher-spy) and a huge number of baseball statistics. Also, my baseball knowledge stops with the 1989 Orioles. So we encouraged our sons by stating the obvious: "Hit it!" "Swing hard!" "Keep your eye on the ball!" I urged GoofBoy to channel Johnny Mize - a Giants first-baseman who was known as the "Big Cat" and who retired before I was born and died almost a decade before GoofBoy was born. Still, a long Sunday yawned before us. GoofBoy planned to watch the Washington Capitals in the NHL playoffs. Mama Goof had the brilliant idea of calling one of his buddies, who he doesn't see to often. Worked perfectly. When the little Goofs have friends over, they are not permitted to just watch TV. Sometimes, a movie is part of the plan but not just sitting around watching TV. But sports are different, somehow that seems ok - almost social. It counts for GoofGirl too - although she isn't that interested in sports, but if she were it would. Am I wrong about this? For GoofBoy and his buddy, watching sports on TV is very much an activity. Besides all the yelling at the TV, they play ga-ga as they watch. Gaga is basically an Israeli dodgeball game in which the ball is rolled. From a parent's perspective this has the huge advantage that it can be played indoors and is less likely to damage the house. As a kid I considered it a huge improvement over regular dodgeball. I got out just as quickly, but a rolled ball was less likely to hit me in the head and break my glasses. It isn't impossible, but at least it didn't happen every single game. And what of GoofGirl? She had had gymnastics in the morning and had been up late the night before so she dozed and read. Then we got a surprise call from friends with younger children who wanted to go bowling (apparently they had begun to get cabin fever as well.) These two little boys love GoofBoy who is a natural camp counselor - and is just great with both of them. But GoofBoy was booked. Fortunately, they also love GoofGirl - who is always looking to polish her baby-sitting skills. So she went along, had fun bowling and playing grown-up mom. For a day with little promise of adventure, it turned out as a neat day for the little Goofs. Glad they have so many good friends to make this kind of surprise possible (without me having to do much of anything.)

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