Monday, June 05, 2006

Weekend Roundup

So, it appears that I am not the only one who views child care as something quite distinct from leisure time. Give me a book, a comfy couch, and solitude and then we can talk about leisure. Thanks for all the terrific comments and insights!

And now, I bring you the always scintillating weekend recap. On Friday I took the kids to a newish indoor play place -- I'm always on the lookout for things to do when the weather precludes the failsafe of the park. One of the play stations consisted of dress-up clothes, completely sex-segregated, I am sad to report. (And am I overly squeamish that the thought of communal dress-up clothes makes me uncomfortable?) Sean gravitated immediately toward the Spiderman outfit. Allie took one look at the princess dresses (that was the sum total of clothing for girls) and decided she wanted to be Spiderman, too. That's my girl! A little boy Sean had befriended protested that girls can't be Spiderman; after I explained that girls and boys could pick whatever costumes they wanted, he insisted that she had to be Spidergirl. Whatever, kid.

We had the place to ourselves for a while, until the multitude of Skinny, Well-Dressed Moms and Their Adorable Offspring descended. All of whom knew each other. There's nothing like a group of women who have fashion sense and slender physiques to make me feel like a dowdy outcast blob. And it doesn't speak well of me that I immediately ascribed haughty attitudes to all of them. Why is it that I wouldn't label any other group according to stereotypes but that I readily did so here? Insecurity rears its ugly head once again.

On Sunday we took the kids to their first baseball game. We chose the local minor league stadium since it provides a much more intimate experience. And it's so much less expensive than going to see our perpetual-loser local Major League Franchise. Sean doesn't quite understand baseball yet, but he was still captivated by the proximity to the field and all the excitement that surrounded him in the stands. Jeff seemed thrilled to be able to share his love and knowledge of the game with Sean in person. Allie, on the other, hand, could easily have had more fun sitting in the parking lot. It all required too much SITTING and WATCHING for her taste. As a result I spent much of the game traversing the concourse with her.

I'm not a sports fan and don't watch athletic events in person or on TV much. I was struck by how commercialized the whole endeavor is. I expected the outfield fence to be strewn with billboard ads, but I was aghast at the pervasive product placements and endorsements throughout the game: an autoglass company sponsored several foul balls, a waste management company sponsored a guy running through the stands with a trashbag, a supermarket sponsored a between-inning shopping cart game on the field. Must every single event be so sullied? Or am I just naïve? (Jeff would probably say the latter.)

Hmmm. It seems I always manage to squeeze out the-world-is-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket screeds from otherwise innocuous outings. Let us, then, depart with a cute anecdote: Sean loves his program from the game so much that he wanted to read it as a bedtime story. But wait, it's filled with ads… Shoot, there I go again.