Saturday night, Sweetie and I took Kiddo and his best friend Peanut (like "Kiddo", not his real name) to a baseball game in Omaha. Beautiful stadium (it's where the College World Series is played each year), beautiful weather (low 80's with a tiny breeze), sparse crowd (which meant great seats for us)...great night. The home team got taken behind the woodshed 11-3, but when you're watching baseball with a 3 and a 4 year-old, final scores don't mean as much as...say, the location of the cotton candy guy or the competition of how loudly you can yell "we want a hit!"
Or staying away from Spike.
The Royals have two mascots that roam the stands during the game--Casey and Spike. I think they're both supposed to be lions, though Kiddo insisted that Spike was a bear. Peanut thought the mascots were cool. Kiddo? Not so much. Terrified of them, in fact. Whenever they were around, he'd get out of his chair and crouch behind the seatback in front of him, whimpering and asking if they had left yet.
Early in the game, Spike was just a few rows in front of us, next to the visitor's dugout. I asked the kids if they wanted to go give Spike a high-five. Kiddo, predictably, wasn't all that interested in approaching the terrible beast. Peanut was, though, so I took him down near the front. Here's a picture of what happened for the next five minutes:
You'll notice a young child in a striped shirt with his hand held out toward a mascot who is taking much more interest in whispering sweet nothings into a young lady's ear than paying attention to a four year-old kid who just wants to give him a high-five.
Five minutes we waited. Five.
Finally, just as the young woman told the hormonally-charged mascot that there were kids who wanted to see him (a small crowd had gathered behind us), an usher came and said we all had to go back to our seats.
No high-five for you, young man.
A little later, I took both of the boys to the restroom between innings. There was a minor rush of fans to get to the concessions, and for a few seconds we were caught in a small traffic jam at the mouth of the tunnel leading to the concourse area.
It was then that Kiddo turned around and saw his nemesis--Spike. He. Was. Standing. Right. Behind. Us.
"Daddy, daddy, come on daddy! Come on!!!" He screamed, wide-eyed with terror. I think he was just as concerned for my life as he was for his own with what was obviously a flesh-eating monster of a baseball mascot not even two feet away.
But there was nowhere for us to go. We were in the middle of a crowd, and the crowd wasn't going anywhere.
Spike noticed my frightened son. Did he ignore him? No. Did he reach out his hand, ask for a high-five or pat him reassuringly on the shoulder? No.
Instead, Spike decided the appropriate thing to do would be to curl his fingers like they were claws and lunge at Kiddo.
Ever seen that scene in the movie 9 Months where Tom Arnold attacks a dinosaur mascot in a store, and they're rolling around and Tom is whaling away at lumpy pieces of dinosaur felt?
I so wish I could have done that.
Instead, I got my son away, and we went to the bathroom.
Trust me, letters will be written. I'm not one to raise a fuss, but that was downright ridiculous. And nowhere even close to funny. Ignoring kids is unfortunate. Scaring kids is unacceptable.
Luckily, Kiddo recovered--here's a picture of him imitating what Spike did:
And once the cotton candy kicked in, somewhere around the fifth inning--well, good times were had by all (I swear, I have no idea where Kiddo gets that cheesy smile and flair for the goofily dramatic...um...no idea at all...*ahem*):