While it wasn't his first Sox game, it was his first visit to Fenway South for spring training. You know we couldn't let a trip to Florida pass by without a Red Sox game!
The whole week was full of new experiences, big crowds, and schedule changes for E. It was a lot to take in, and sensory overload for sure. We did our best to make sure he still had some sort of a schedule, and got enough sleep, but he was still overwhelmed at points.
For the most part, E does what he normally does in these situations. We call it "shutting down." He stops talking, has a complete blank expression, grabs on to one of us, and just.. watches. His head will whip back and forth looking at everything, and his eyes will get incredibly big. He'll look straight through you, focused on something else, just taking it all in. So for the most part we carried him around and just looked at things.
He was introduced to the 2004 World Series trophy, got his first baseball cap, and took a walk through the park. Once we got to our seats he became a little more animated. He's loving clapping at this point, so he loved that the whole stadium clapped a lot. He danced a bit, he happily ate some of my hot dog bun and other snacks, but mostly he just watched. He made a few friends, and giggled at a few people, and horrified some people sitting behind us by chewing on the arm rests. I'm pretty relaxed about what he puts in his mouth, and despite their alarmed cries, I'm certain this ballpark that's only 6 years old was not painted with lead paint. (Nor was the paint chipping at all). Oh well - different parenting styles.
At one point in the game we saw Tessie (Wally's little sister) only a few rows from us. I was curious how E would do with people in costumes. I know Tom didn't love them when he was little, and I definitely remember my cousin freaking out when she was younger, so I decided this was a low risk way to find out. We walked over and asked for a picture. E was memorized and would not take his eyes off of her. He wouldn't touch her, but I think that had more to do with him being in his shut down/observing mode and forgetting he has hands than being afraid. I'm sure with enough time he would have been grabbing for her face. So good news in case anyone wants to volunteer to send us to Disney in the near future! Joking aside, it does mean one less thing to worry about - knowing he isn't freaked out by large fuzzy creatures.
Eventually E started to get tired, which meant he started to melt. I refer to him "melting" a lot, which is how I classify his periods of unhappiness. He'll usually start to whine, will get more clingy but also push away from us at the same time, normal distractions won't calm him down or catch his attention, he'll seem indecisive of what he wants (be put down, picked up, held, etc), and eventually he'll start crying. It usually only happens when he's tired or hungry, and the slow onset that ramps up, accompanied with the whining has earned it the nickname. We expected we'd have to deal with it at some point during the game, though, since we were there for so long. The park was loud, and he couldn't get comfortable in our seats, so we decided to walk around the park near the shops concessions to see if he'd settle.
He started off in my arms, but boy is he getting heavy! So I passed him off to Tom, where he eventually calmed down and napped. At that point I declared that a sleeping baby meant it was time for us to eat ice cream! It was actually a relaxing and perfect day - warm sun, sleeping baby, ice cream. Maybe a little too warm, since E woke crying because he was overheating (and the huge sweat stain across Tom's shirt where E was sleeping confirmed that), but it was nothing a bottle of cold water dumped over the two of them couldn't fix. It's also another reason that I love that E will drink cold bottles - it's a super fast way to cool him off.
Overall it was such a fun and special day. My dad got to enjoy his first Sox game with his grandson (I'm sure there will be many more in the future) and we had a fun day in the sun with our favorite baseball team. I will say that watching a baseball game with a baby is very different than without. I can't tell you who scored, how many pitchers we saw, or any of the big plays. Instead I can tell you what E ate, what songs he danced to, and how much it costs to join the kid's fan club. Not worse, just different.