Last Wednesday night, I fell asleep about 3 minutes after I went to bed. This is pretty standard. But for at least two of those minutes, I thought about what my son said to me when I put him to bed, and it made me smile. He had three questions and a statement.
“Daddy? After we go to sleep and we wake up, then we go to the Cinciatti (thats not a typo) Reds game tomorrow?”
That’s right buddy.
“And daddy? Do they have stairs there?”
They sure do.
“And, and they have lollipops?”
We’ll have to see, buddy, I don’t know.
“Yeah, they do. I want a pink one.”
This is how my night ended and how my Thursday began. Coop was up bright and early, pushing 6:30 to inform us that we were going to the Cinciatti Reds game, but not Hudson (our almost two year old). Hudson had to go to school but not Cooper; he was lucky, he told us.
Today was the day that Cooper got to see his first Reds game. Jaimee and I decided to take him as a special treat to the business man’s special to see the Reds wage battle against the Buccos. The weather was permitting and spirits were high. To get us in the right frame of mind, we listened to Tangled play in the back of the car as Cooper sat there enthralled. As he told us for the 20th time that he doesn’t like the highway, we arrived.
Cooper clutched his ticket until we were able to get down by the dugout for pictures. Snapping a few pictures on the dugout, courtesy of the usher, we decided to go get Cooper’s “First Reds Game” certificate. If you haven’t done this, it doesn’t cost anything and they print it out with the child’s name, the team they are playing against, etc. Pretty neat and a nice keepsake.
We found some seats away from the general public so we could relax, which was nice. Cooper kept looking for “the guys” which collectively meant all three of the mascots. At one point he saw Gapper, but not Mr. Redlegs or Rosie. He thought about it for a moment and concluded that the others were in the potty. A fair conclusion, I think., which was capped by teaching him how to eat peanuts at the ballpark with a few “Go Reds, Go!” cheers intermingled.
The second inning started with a bang as Jay Bruce hit a home run. The smoke stacks shot off a few Roman candle type fireworks which Cooper loved. Then came the big guns; the real fireworks, and those, he did not care for. He was scared out of his mind. For the next few days, whenever he was asked by someone about the game, he was sure to inform them that Jay Bruce got fireworks and that he liked the little ones, but not the big ones.
A hot dog, fruit snacks, and some ice cream later….it was the fifth inning. Coop was winding down and ready to go. We stretched him out to the top of the sixth but by then decided it was best to go. We walked all the way down the ramps, which our little buddy thought was outstanding, and around to the first base side when the seventh inning stretch began.
Before going to the game, Coop had been practicing singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and aside from missing everything between the first line and the “1, 2, 3 strikes your out” part, he was doing pretty well. He got a case of stage fright, but by the end of the song he was letting her fly.
That was the end of our day. We walked out after dropping 60 bucks on two plush Mr. Redlegs dolls for Coop and Hudson and called the day a success. Cooper was excited to get home and be able to tell everyone about the fun he had. We called my mom and dad so he could tell them about the fireworks. At one point he told my mom that Jonny Gomes hit a home run (he didn’t) and even though we aren’t sure he had more than a strikeout in his lone plate appearance. He finished by telling grandma that, unlike Hudson, who had to go to school, he was lucky.
No buddy, your mom and dad were the lucky ones.