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Liam and the Big Foam Finger

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not long ago, Bill of the Birds got a wild hair, and he called me in the afternoon and asked me if I wanted to take the kids to PNC Park in Pittsburgh (a mere three hours away) for a Pirates game. That same night. Well, uh, sure! Sure, we can do that. I could hear in his voice how much he wanted to go. I examined my inner soul and realized that, to my surprise, I did, too. (I am not your biggest sports fan. I know that will come as a shock.) However...As summer wanes away and school grinds into gear, Bill and I jump at the chance to do special things with Phoebe and Liam. Nothing makes them happier than when all four of us are together, even if it's just on the couch with popcorn or sitting outside for dinner in the slanting light of evening. That's when their world is right.

When I told Liam what Daddy had suggested, he did one of his trademark boneless swoons, collapsing to the floor like a happy limberjack. Phoebe did her bouncy eep dance. I raced around like a shrew, madly getting outfits and snacks and drinks and coats and hats and sunscreen and throwing everything into tote bags. I apologized to Chet Baker and left a sliding glass door just a little bit open and taught him how to squeeze through it and when I was sure he had it down I told him that he'd need to use it when he needed to go pee and he said, "Mether, thank you. I can go without for 12 hours, but I would prefer not to." That dog understands. And sure enough when we got home he pranced and bounced around us and took just the tiniest of wees, because he had availed himself of his makeshift doggeh door. And we were all happy, and he was very proud of himself.

It was so exciting, approaching the ballpark. It really is just the best ballpark you could ever imagine, spotlessly clean and graphically appealing and full of pretty good if hugely overpriced food. Plus, the Pirates are there, and they are Bill's favorite ever team, even though they break his heart pretty much every day, they win just enough to keep him hooked.

We got there really really early, a half hour before they even start letting people in, because Bill wanted to watch warmups. It was so cute the way he wore his Pirates jersey and hung over the wall watching.

Speaking of cute, Liam saw some big foam fingers for sale and said in this dreamy voice, "I have always wanted a big foam finger. May I go look at them?"
At this point I got my 300 mm. telephoto going, because I didn't want him to feel self-conscious. He approached the foam finger girl.

and asked to see the foam finger.
Look! It's a giant foam finger!

At this point, Bill and I were ready to pay anything for the foam finger. I think it was the slightly knock knees. The slightest thing about my kids can make me weep.

But being Liam and being a sweet boy, he gave it back to her and came back to us, ready not to have it for his own. I love her body language here.

And Daddy sent him right back to buy it.

He is his father's son.


He had me at "May I...?" But the slightly turned in toes and knock knees sealed the deal.

What sweet memories you are making with your family! This one had me teary eyed!

There's something about this kid that just kills me and Bill, and I don't think it's just because we're his doting parents. It's good to see that he affects others that way, too. Kind of an affirmation. I have to keep an eye on Katdoc when she's around Liam 'cuz she might smuggle him away under her white lab coat. :-0

Yes, he is a cutie. Soak it up, they grow up and the cuteness is still there, but it's different somehow when you are looking up to them!

What a boy, what a boy. I love that heart! And, of course, the Giant Finger Booger Picking is priceless.

These are the moments you want to freeze in time. So, so sweet, that boy of yours. :c)

Trix, what else you gonna do with a giant foam finger? Oh, there's always bashing your sister in the face with it, until Mommy tells you to put it under the seat and not get it out again.

Me, too--tearing up.
And if perchance one day KatDoc succeeded, next to you & BOTB, Liam couldn't do better for another parent.

Yeah, right back in the grip of a Science Chimp.

Hey, we were at PNC Park for last Saturday's game. There were Common Nighthawks catching the bugs over the field after dark.

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You know, Heather, I thought that was pretty cool, too, that Chet could grasp the idea that he had free ingress and egress to the house in just a minute. Of course, it helps that the patio door is the one he most often uses--but we did drape a curtain over it to keep the wasps out so there was just a little clear space for him to use. And he seems to appreciate it so much when we do leave him a doggeh door. Obviously, it's not going to a tenable plan when it's freezing outside, but for now it's great. People who live where you and I do can't install real doggie doors--the raccoons help themselves! And so they will if we make this a habit.

Oh my, what a sweet, sweet story. There are some extremely wonderful souls in those two children of yours. Your descriptions of Liam here are just the best - from the boneless swoon to the dreamy voice, that boy must have been in heaven that evening. BOTB had a good idea there!

Oh, and the little bit about Chet Baker cannot go without comment, either. That's one amazing dog you got there - he should be proud of himself! Next time someone says "Them dogs is HYPER!", you should retort with "Well, this dog is SPAY-SHUL!"

(Sorry, I had to edit the original version of this comment, and didn't see a way of doing it without deleting and submitting it again, edited.)

Ah, there really is something about a ballpark in the summertime. Makes all of us excited little kids. We went to our first Red Sox game in years with the boys this July. It just so happened that it was at "Fenway South" in Baltimore. And the Sox beat the Orioles in extra innings! This was the highlight of the boys' 5 day trip to Washington, DC and back. I really enjoyed Camden Yards (I refuse to call it Oriole Park at Camden Yards); I'd describe it very much how you describe PNC park and the locals were very friendly and good-natured about the obscene number of visitor fans that descend on their lovely city each game day.

My family and I especially love the Cincinnati Reds ballpark. There are so many sights, and it too is clean and beautiful. The Reds generally break our hearts, too but what are you going to do. Some of the greatest memories I have are of watching a little girl ask the "big" ballplayers for autographs. She can always put a smile on their faces!! You watch out Julie. Some little girl is going to realize that your son is a fine catch!!!

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