8 Tips to Survive Little League Season
It's spring and that means it's baseball season. I happen to have a love/hate relationship with the game of baseball.
Which is kind of tricky because every spring and summer for the past 12 years my life has been consumed with this sport. My husband started my son out in t-ball when he was about four-years-old, and we have spent approximately 50 milllion hours at various baseball fields since then. And, my husband has been his team coach for most of that time.
So, for any of the moms reading this with kids who are starting out in Little League, here are some of my musings on life as the mom of a baseball player and wife of a Little League baseball coach, gleaned from my gazillion hours of experience.
1. Most important thing: Bring a very, very comfy chair. You'll be sitting. For a long time.
If the field DOES have bleachers, they'll probably be metal, rusty, crooked, and hard, so bring a soft cushioned stadium seat with a back; you can get one at Walmart for about $10 bucks. If they don't have bleachers, bring one of those chairs you can sling over your shoulder with a place to hold a water bottle or coffee, 'cause you're going to be sitting for a LONG time.
2. Bring lots of snacks.
There's rarely anything good to eat at a Little League baseball field, and having been one of the mom's manning the snack shack, I can tell you: You don't want to eat the food they make in there. It's pretty scary. One of the snack shacks we used to man in the early years didn't even have hot water. And don't get me started on the hot dogs that are sitting in that boiling water on the stove for the ENTIRE GAME which lasts, as I mentioned, on average three hours—and that's not counting the fact that there are double hitters so those hot dogs could potentially be boiling in that pot for over five hours on any given game day!
3. Now here's an important point and it's very tricky to manage so pay attention.
You're going to want to bring lots of water and coffee, because you'll be there a long time and you'll need to stay hydrated. Plus you'll need the coffee to keep you awake during the especially long games that start at 8:00 a.m. on a freezing cold April morning when they're about five-years-old and the game is for sure going to last about three hours ('cause they're only five, so the games take FOREVER since none of them really know what they're doing and every single inning takes at least 30 minutes).
But the tricky part is that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you ever want to use the bathroom at a baseball game.
Because there's NEVER a decent bathroom on a baseball field. Most of them have port-a-john's and believe me, those things are nasty. And they never have toilet paper.
And they usually sit waaaaaay across the field about a 15 minutes trek away from the stands over in the darkest, dankest corner of the parking lot among a puddle of suspiciously muddy water.
So you don't want to drink so much water and coffee that you have to, God forbid, actually use the bathroom. Of course this can get awfully tricky what with all the water you're going to need to stay hydrated and all the coffee you're going to drink to stay awake.
But you're a mom, so you'll figure it out.
4. Bring Tylenol or Motrin.
There's nothin' worse than getting a headache during a three hour long baseball game, and until the kids are about 12-years-old the games drag on for hours with all the fouls and walks since none of them can pitch or catch or hit very well yet (as I believe I've mentioned several times already). And then with all the crappy food, and holding in your pee for 3+ hours, you just may find yourself with a hell of a headache. So bring your drug of choice for that.