Tag: parenting; humour; hutch’s; hamont; pier 4 park; splash pads; hamilton; toronto blue jays; sportsnet; flock of seagulls; drake; meek mill; back to back to back freestyle

Feelin’ Blue

 

 

Like a lot of people in Canada, my family has gotten sick this year. We have a bad case of…..

Toronto Blue Jays fever!

For the first time in forever (word to Elsa and Anna), the Jays are a playoff team, And, for the first time ever, my kids (B especially)  are actually into the games.  For longtime fans like K and myself, it’s been real cool getting caught up in the excitement this year.

With all the excitement comes a lot of reminiscing. Not gonna lie,  it’s got me feelin’ a bit nostalgic, too, right now. Some of my favorite memories with my family have occurred at Jays games………

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Me, B and my pimpin’ G-Unit shirt, at B’s first game.

At the very first game that we took B, too, when he was a baby, I caught my first and only foul ball!

Photographic evidence of said ball.

Photographic evidence of said ball.

Well……

Caught is a bit of an exaggeration. Aaron Hill ripped a ball towards our section. It looked like it was coming straight for our heads, but it ended up  ricocheting off the seats in the empty row behind us. I immediately hopped out of my seat, to run after it. I snatched the ball up right before an older lady with a cane could get to it. Yes, that moment looked as lame as you’re probably picturing it. BUT, before the other fans could boo me, I gave it to B.

Yay me?!

Nevermind, let’s move on.

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One lazy weekend, when B was three years old, I scored a couple of primo seats to a game. They were like 10 rows up from first base. It was quite the adrenaline rush, walking down and down the steps, snacks in hand, to our seats. I imagined people in the rows farther back staring at us jealously, as we sauntered by.

The first two innings were great. We crammed our faces with food, while cheering on Toronto. By the third inning, we had run out of food/money, and B was super whiny about wanting to leave.

So, we left.

I imagined the jealous people before were now snickering, as I carried B with my head down up and up the never-ending steps. It was my first and only walk of shame. On the plus side, we did spend the remainder of the game exploring the Rogers Centre and the stuff around it so it wasn’t a total waste of a trip.

 

I decided a sequel was in order, about a year later.

Once again, I got a couple of seats last minute to a game, for B and I. Luckily for us, it was Fan Appreciation Day as well. Merchandise was heavily discounted, so I was able to get B his first real Jays jersey! I also got something for myself.

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Rickey Romero? Josh Johnson? If you’re such a big fan, why did you only hit up the clearance rack, eh, Mike?

 

 

 

 

Oh, shut up!

Anyway, during the game, they had a bunch of giveaways. You know the deal. Some random 90s dance music starts blaring, and the cheerleaders or whatever come out, with swag. Hats or shirts, typically. They tease tossing it for a bit, while you jump up and down, hoping that they’ll give it to you, before they finally end up throwing it to someone not named you. Usually a little kid. During the sixth inning,  B had been pretty good to that point, but he wanted to leave. Before we were going to go, though, it was giveaway time. One of the cheerleaders actually came down right beside us. She did the whole teasing thing for a bit while the crowd went bonkers…..and then tossed a hat to B! Our first and only swag snag! Unfortunately, it was an adult sized hat, so he couldn’t wear it. Don’t worry, I’ve put it somewhere safe.

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What? My head is safe.

 

 

 

One more for you – during our road trip to Philadelphia, it turned out that Blue Jays happened to be playing the Phillies while we were there. So, of course we got some cheap seats and went to a game!

Our view from the cheap seats

Our view from the cheap seats

For real, I was a bit nervous before going. The fam was all rocking Jays paraphernalia, you see, and I had heard some horror stories about disrespectful Philadelphia fans. Fortunately, everyone there was cool. We didn’t get pelted with beer or anything like that.

About halfway through,  B and J started to get restless. I was worried that they might start making the people around us upset, if they kept acting up. Since we would probably never go to Citizen’s Bank Park again, we decided to walk around. Randomly, K ran into one of her friends, while waiting in line for food. Her friend had also made the trip down from Hamilton, to Philly. While they chatted, I noticed a bunch of big dudes were posing for pictures on the concourse. They were all decked out in Temple University gear. I asked one of the attendants what was up. She told me they were Temple’s football team, and they had a section reserved for them. Neat!

The line for food/K’s convo were both pretty long. As B and J ran around creating general chaos we waited, I noticed all of the big dudes were gone.  The attendant came over to me again, to chit chat. I casually mentioned how we were up in the bleachers before, but the kids were stir crazy there. She then told me that Temple’s team had left, and asked if I wanted to sit in their section. No one else would be there. Uh, our own private section? Heck yeah! So off we went, which is where we watched the rest of the game!

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A view from our better seats

 

There’s more examples, but I’ve gone on about this for long enough. I think you get my point though. It just seems like, whenever we go to a Toronto Blue Jays game, there’s always something memorable about them (besides the fact that they always seem to lose when I’m in attendance. Sorry, T-Dot).

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Oh, hey there, NHL superstar Steven Stamkos.

It’s funny how some things can really bring a family together. In our case, it’s cheering on the Jays. Man, even their playoff run this season has been must-watch TV in our house!

 

Unless it's a late game, and you can't stay awake, so you curl up in a pillow case to sleep, instead. What do you mean no one else does that?

Unless it’s a late game, and you can’t stay awake, so you curl up in a pillow case to sleep, instead. What do you mean no one else does that?

 

It’s all good.

 

Go Jays go!

The Best Day EVER!

 

Small children are prone to hyperbole.  The tiniest things become the biggest deals in their minds.  Sometimes, though, it’s hard not to take their exaggerations seriously.

A couple of weeks ago, for example, I got my Ferris Bueller on, and took a day off, to chill with J.  My basic gameplan was to just go with the flow. So that’s what we did. On  the way home from our hanging out, she told me the following:

“This is the best day ever, Daddy!”

I can’t front. I smiled huge at that comment.  But what did we do, you ask? What was so special about that day, which caused such a bold proclamation to come out of her three year old mouth? Lemme give you da rundown:

♦ First, my car needed an oil change, but before hitting the shop up, we stopped at a Tim Horton’s, to grab drinks.  We sat outside and drank them, while we waited for my car to be ready.  J spilled hers. Instead of being upset, she was pumped, because she made puddles. She spent the rest of the time singing and jumping over the puddles.

♦Back home, to grab J’s bathing suit, and to pack a lunch. J wanted to go to a splash pad and have a picnic. Easy peasy.  Splash pads are all around Hamilton. Later, while driving to the nearest one, J changed her mind and said that she wanted to go to a pad “by water”. Well, that narrowed my options, but it wasn’t a huge deal. Off to Pier 4 Park we go!

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Unnecessarily panoramic picture of Pier 4 Park.

♦Once we got to the park, we set up shop at a picnic table. J wanted to eat first, before playing, so we dug into our lunches. She spotted the sour cream and onion chips that I had brought for myself.  Normally, I’m not a big fan of letting her eat chips, but I figured today was a bit of a ‘cheat day’, so I said that she could have some. She happily took the bag and crunched away. Slowly.

♦A flock of seagulls began to circle our table. No, they didn’t start singing I Ran (So Far Away).  Time to move!  I suggested that J go play in the splash pad.  While I packed the picnic bag up, she ran to the splash pad, ran under a sprinkler, ran back over to me and said that she was still hungry.  The six seconds she went in the splash pad were the only time which she spent in it all day.

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♦Instead of eating, the park had a big tugboat playhouse thing, so I suggested that we go explore it. The boat had a picnic table inside of it.

J : I have a good idea, daddy! Let’s eat in the boat!

♦We ate in the boat.

♦ We explored the boat some more, by walking all around and through it. Afterwards:

J: I know! Let’s eat in the boat!

♦We ate in the boat again.

♦ Realizing that her stomach was apparently a bottomless pit, I suggested that we had ate enough food, and she should go play in the park. She climbed and slid for a while, then wanted to go on the swings. You know how some kids are cool swinging for a few minutes, and then they want off? Yeah, J’s not one of those kids.

♦ After what felt like 3 hours of of me pushing her, she had enough, and wanted off.

♦ Being near the waterfront meant that we were able to play one of our favorite games – Throw Rocks in Water. It is just as it sounds. We walk around, pick up stones, and throw them in water.  B and J love doing this, for some reason. I don’t mind it, either, because it’s an easy way to kill time. If you’re ever in Hamilton, and you see a homey and two small kids chucking pebbles in a pond, feel free to say hi to me.

♦We walked up and down the pier, to throw rocks off different points of it. While I was searching for some stones, J plopped down and started playing in dirt.

Me: What are you doing?

J: Building sandcastles!

Me: Uh, do you want to go to an actual beach with sand to do that?

J: Yeah!

Off to the Hamilton Beach we go!

♦ J fell asleep in her car seat, on the drive over.  That gave me time to park at the beach, and take care of an important piece of business that I had been slacking on – get caught up on Drake and Meek Mill’s beef. #BACKTOBACK

♦About an hour later, J woke up. It being a warm day, and us being near the best ice cream place in my opinion in the city, Hutch’s, I asked if she wanted some ice cream. Of course she said yes! We went in, and ordered a couple of cones. Cotton Candy for her, Strawberry for me.  J took one lick. Then:

J: Daddy, I’m thirsty. Can I have some milk, please? I don’t want ice cream.

You know what’s a hopeless situation? Trying to make a kid eat an ice cream cone who doesn’t want to. As you explain the importance of not being wasteful, the ice cream melts away, creating a gooey, unedible mess. If they don’t eat it, they can’t eat it, anyway. Awesome.

♦J understood what I was saying. She eventually said sorry. Not wanting to press the issue anymore, I tossed her melted cone in the garbage, went back to Hutch’s, and got her a cup of milk. They had milk on tap. Neat!

♦ From there, we strolled over to the beach.  After a quick game of Throw Rocks In Water, J happily played in the sand, on her own.

♦ As she played,  geese floated by, in the lake.

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Awwwww! Cute!

♦ Some dude and a couple of boys started throwing pieces of Wonder Bread around. This caused a flock of seagulls to scare away the geese, to try to get to the bread chunks. Still no I Ran (So Far Away), however.

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AHHHHHHH! Scary!

♦The seagulls were looking mighty hungry, so I figured that was the perfect time for us to bounce. Homeward bound we went.

And that was that.

Looking back, there really wasn’t much to it. Shoot, it wasn’t even the best day which I spent with her that week. The fam went to a Toronto Blue Jays game on the Saturday, and B and J got to run the bases when it was over. Way cool, right?

But in J’s mind?

Going on a picnic and hanging out by some water with her pops was the best day EVER! She still tells people about it, randomly.

It’s funny how kids can take the simplest things and make them a big deal, yet then also treat big deals like the simplest things.

It’s all good, though.

For real, sometimes the best and simplest thing to do with children…..is just keep it simple.

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