The season typically begins in April. If you live in the Midwest like me, then you probably have no clue from day to day what the weather gods are going to grant you until about mid-July. You could have anywhere from the 40’s to the 80’s – and that could be just one game! So, it’s best to plan ahead.
Prepare to have the following clothing options ready:
- Winter jacket
- Gloves/hat/scarf/muffler/one of those robber masks that covers everything except your eyes
- Long underwear
- Wool socks
- Long pants
- Tank top
- Sun hat
- Flip flops
At any given game, you may need one or all of the items on the list. Depending on the time of day, sometimes in reverse order.
Don’t forget your chair, because as the youngest team in the league, you are relegated to the shittiest fields that usually don’t have bleachers, let alone much else than some dirt and grass. Expect a long walk from your car. And also expect lots and lots of bugs and spiders, because the grass you’re seated in probably hasn’t been cut in a couple weeks. At my son’s game last night, spiders were DROPPING OUT OF THE SKY and onto my exposed flesh. It was horrifying.
I recommend bringing food and beverage for yourself, as well as your child. I’ll get to the child part in a few. However, you might not want to drink a whole hell of a lot, for one good reason. The toilet facilities. Assess the bathroom situation. If you have an aversion to port-a-potties, then it’s going to be tough for you to make it though the season (at least if you’re a woman. Guys always have the option of “nature’s toilet.” Unfair.) If you’re ok with the portable johns, then you’ll have a lot easier go of it. Because,
You’re going to be there
a long …
The kids play by the 3 outs/5 runs rule. Do you know how long it takes a group of 5 and 6 year olds to get three outs? See above. You will feel like you are in purgatory but you won’t know what you did that to deserve it. There is a two-hour time limit, or five innings, whichever comes first. Just plan to be there two hours. It will feel like a lot longer, but at least there will come a point where you can pack up your folding chair and be done with it.
Sure, there will be highlights, like when your precious child hits a double, or manages to catch a fly ball. However, those moments are few and far between. If your kid is decent at baseball, it’s more fun. But if you’re one of those parents whose kid could not give two shits about the game, you have your work cut out for you. My kid falls into category one (not to brag), but I actually LOVE the kids in category two. They provide free entertainment aside from the great American pasttime taking place on the field. You’ve got your typical dirt kickers and flower pickers, but my personal favorites are the ones who leave the field for various reasons. Some decide they’re dunzito with the game and either go sit down on the bench, or go to where their parents are sitting, freezing/sweating/soaking wet depending on the weather. Others have a burning need to know the answers to such questions as “what’s for dinner?” or “what time is it?” and are COMPELLED to leave the field in search of information. God bless their little hearts – and their even littler attention spans.
Once you’ve FINALLY gotten through the game that is usually 25-24 in favor of one team, although kids from both sides will claim their team has won, THEN you have to wait through the handshake, the distribution of the snack, and perhaps even a post-game pep talk from the coach. Come on, already. I’ve been here for what I’m assuming is actually four hours because someone has played a cruel joke on me.
Then sometimes, you have a long walk to the car. Last night I’m pretty sure I was about a mile away. So not only am I lugging my chair and my purse, but then I’m also carrying my son’s helmet, glove and also attempting to stab open a fucking Capri Sun. So, and this is a tangent, but as my friend and fellow blogger Shaver says, tangents are good. We had finished a brutally long game last night. We walked a mile to the car. It had gotten cold, and all I had on was shorts and a tank top because it was 85 and sunny when I left the house, but huge dark clouds had settled over the field during the course of the game. Thankfully, the sky didn’t open up until we were home, but that’s beside the point. The point is, this weird-ass dude who looked EXACTLY like Santa Claus, but like Santa Claus on summer vacation because he was rocking a Hawaiian shirt, was parked next to me. He looked so much like the jolly old elf, that I really wanted to try to snap a clandestine photo of him because he was hashtag worthy. Anyway, I couldn’t pull it off because of our proximity. He was all up in my car’s business, because he was putzing around on his passenger side with the door open, and I would have probably beheaded him with my side mirror if I had tried to get around him. So I gave him The Look – the over-the-shoulder, “move it or lose it” glance to let him know my intentions were to back the hell out. He looked me in the eye and continued to tinker. You don’t rush Santa. He proceeds to TAKE A BIKE OUT OF HIS CAR AND LEAN IT AGAINST THE BACK OF MY VEHICLE. I’m not making this up. He propped this bike up and then went to his trunk. Meanwhile, I throw a second Look at him and he still appears to not give two shits that I want to back out. If he hadn’t looked like Santa, I may have just backed over his bike. But I was worried about the possibility that he did have some connection to the North Pole. He finally moved the bike out of the way, but I got out.
To bring it full circle, little league baseball isn’t fun until the kids are older. Watching the kindergarten crowd attempt to play is an exercise in extreme patience. The weather is anybody’s guess, the toilets are sub-par, and sometimes Santa Claus pisses you off.