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Toddlers and diamonds—softball style

“Batter up!”

“Watch for the steal!”

The pitcher winds up, the ball leaves her glove, and just like in physics, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The softball flies for the bat and the toddler beside me bolts for the field. Her pony tail of curls bounces behind her like a crazed unicorn’s tail.

A few years ago, watching a provincial softball tournament meant total focus on the game, angst over a dropped ball, or eye rolls at an umpire’s bad call. This tournament game is the first ball I’ve watched all year. The days of scholarships, try outs and play offs are behind us. It’s for fun now.

Our daughter is up to bat and we’re on deck, managing the baby-sitting . . . or fielding the toddler. You forget how fast they move. I watch my husband chase her across the grass and tag her out before she makes it onto the outfield. He’s actually running . . . and she’s . . . out! Cornered and caught, she’s returned to her place on the blanket where she’s distracted by the lure of a bag of chips.

From the field I see my daughter’s head swing, watching both the play and the action off the diamond at the same time. The “mommy eyes” in the back of her head are fully open, making sure we’re alert.

This is the first time I’ve watched a ball game and entertained a toddler. It’s an interesting challenge, definitely worthy of getting up and getting out 52 Over 50-style. I abandon softball for a side trip to the playground. For our toddler, filling a pipe with sand is more entertaining than watching grown ups run around a ball diamond.

Today calling time means my husband and I sub each other out on kid detail. For an almost three-year-old, life really is an adventure. That’s okay. For me the laws of physics mean I pile the steps onto my Fitbit. It’s a win-win situation.

At the end of the game, it’s an almost mercy for our team. I figure we’re batting a thousand—sun, ball, and a day with our favourite toddler. Go team!

52 Over 50—What’s your weekend adventure?


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