Of course … a Happy Father’s Day to any dads reading today … or anyone who knows a dad, has a dad, wants to be a dad or has read a book about a dad. Here’s hoping that it was a great day for everyone!
And I forgot to mention part of the game from Friday night. We had a runner. Stupid people. Like I said, the game must have been a bit disappointing for Brewers fans. And some of them overimbibed. One of those who indulged a bit too much (or God, I hope he indulged too much) decided it would be a good idea to run onto the field late in the game. Needless to say, he was tackled hard by one guy and then piled on with several other security workers. As he was dragged off the field in handcuffs, he was still kicking and hopping and generally acting like a moron. Seriously, what part of your brain has to not work for you to think that’s a good idea?
Do you remember last week when I was talking about how we should all do something nice for people every day? Apparently, I’m not alone in my quest. Of course Angela is cooler than I am in that she’s making a contest of it. I just made it a personal quest!
Anyway, back to today…
My husband had a baseball game this afternoon, so we all packed up a picnic and went to watch the game. It’s always fun to do but between some of the nasty heat we’ve had lately and the wee ones’ nap schedules, we haven’t made it to many games the past couple years. The nice thing is that there are several other guys on the team with children near the wee ones’ ages, so they have kids to play with.
Today, they actually ran off to play (within sight and safely, mind you) and didn’t need constant entertaining by any of us. Such a lovely development. There wasn’t even any fighting. And the only crying came when Mister Man wasn’t watching where he was going and bumped his head on the side of the bleachers. Fortunately, the odd shaped ice pack I had for the cooler made him laugh, and he was fine and ready to play again.
One of the children there offered Mister Man some gum at one point. He’s never had gum before. Yes, I know he’s 4 ½, and I know there are people who start giving their kids gum and pop and everything else before the children are 2, but I’ve held off. I actually have been interested in trying gum with Mister Man, as I’ve read a bit about how chewing gum really helps children with sensory issues and also children who have a hard time attending. For some reason, the chewing seems to center them, which could definitely help Mister Man.
So I said he could have a piece. And then I proceeded to have “the talk.”
Me: Mister Man, when you get gum, you just chew it and chew it. You don’t ever swallow it. And you don’t spit it out right away. You just keep chewing until you’re done with it and it doesn’t taste like anything anymore. And it’s veeeeery sticky, so make sure you put it into a garbage when you’re finished. Do you understand all that?
Mister Man: Uh-huh.
Chris: Yeah, and if you swallow it, you’ll get a really bad tummy ache (apparently his older brother snuck a pack and had some nasty tummy aches many years ago now).
He popped it in his mouth and started chewing. About 10 chews in, he pulled it out and tried to hand it to me. (Note, I say tried. Apparently I’m not a real mom yet, as I don’t simply take anything handed to me but first insist on verifying what it is and sometimes refuse to take it.)
Mister Man: I’m done.
Me: No, you aren’t. You keep chewing it and chewing it for a really long time.
Mister Man: Ok.
Chris: Yep, you just keep going until it’s dinner time. When it’s dinner time, you have to spit it out in the garbage. But only in the garbage.
At that point, he seemed to get it a bit more, and he was very proud of his gum. He ran off to show Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie Margie. And when I say show, I mean take it out of his mouth and shove it in their faces and insist they smell it. I believe he also showed it to several of the other random spectators.
And when my husband walked up to bat?
Mister Man: DAD! Dad! Dad! Look, I have chewing gum in my mouth! And I’m chewing it. Dad! DAAAD! Look, I have gum! And I’m not swallowing it! Dad! Do you want to smell my gum?
My poor husband fortunately hit a sharp RBI single, so all was well, but he came by after the inning was over and expressed his relief that he wasn’t chattered to like that for his entire at bat. I will say, it was pretty cute.
So here’s my scorecard for the afternoon, which probably isn’t complete:
1 – number of times the gum landed in the grass and was put back into his mouth
14,356,732 – people he told he had gum
17 – minutes he chewed the gum before throwing it away
42,326 – times he took the gum out of his mouth to look at it, show it to someone or otherwise examine it
0 – sticky bleachers at the conclusion of the gum chewing
1 – happy children who want to chew gum again
I’ll have to look into it, since I don’t chew gum myself, but the mom assured me (after he was finished with it and spit it out) that the gum was sugar free. But it was little and square and didn’t have wrappers that he would have to dispose of. Oh, and it was strawberry-kiwi flavored!
Now that I know I can at least mildly trust him to chew the gum without spitting it out, I want to see if it helps him self-regulate at all. I will say that he played beautifully with the boys today, but no idea if it was the gum or the fact that he’s really maturing hugely the last few months. I’m writing a note for his summer school teacher for tomorrow to get her (ok, it’s the teacher I don’t like – I’m really asking her to ask someone who knows something) opinion on the gum. Has anyone else heard the theories on the effectiveness of gum as a quasi-treatment?
I suppose regardless, it’s a right of passage for a kid, and Mister Man passed beautifully and was so proud of his gum. If only I’d remembered to bring my camera to the game to capture some of that oh-so-innocent joy. My bad!