As my kids grow up, there are three teams I want them to root for. Go Blazers. Go Chiefs. Go Royals. It should be pretty easy, assuming we don't move to a city that has a competing team in any of the sports. I guess a KC NBA franchise would throw a wrench into that plan as well, but I'm not optimistic that will happen.
A big part of the rooting experience is taking in the live game. I fell in love with the Blazers live and in person from my dad's seats in Memorial Coliseum. They were grand nights.
One thing Stacy and I have looked forward to as parents is taking Elli to her first Royals game. But we weren't going to rush anything. You have to be smart about this type of thing. Elli needed to be old enough to enjoy herself. She needed to be brave enough to not be scared. We needed seats in the shade so that she wouldn't be miserable. We needed a 6:10 start, because the 1:10 and the 7:10 get in the way of our sleeping schedule.
Everything worked out this past Saturday, and we got to go watch the Royals and Cards with some close friends. We had hyped it up for about a week, so by the time we got to Saturday afternoon Elli was pumped to go to the baseball game with Jeff and Kristi. Granted, she has taken on the dialect of our Hispanic neighborhood and calls it "basebol", but that's cool. We also have a little work to do with "Go Royals" since she struggles with the "r" sound right now and it sounds a little more like "Go Orioles". But we know what she means.
When we got to the pregame tailgate, Elli became somewhat of a celebrity. She looked very cute in her Royals outfit. She also happened to be the only child at the proceedings. Since this particular family hasn't had a lot of grand kids yet, every one's repressed spoiling instincts came out and Elli was showered with gifts. I believe over the course of our meal she was handed two cookies and a can of Root Beer. We're not a big sweets family, but you hate to be an ungrateful guest. We were able to sneak the can of root beer away, but I think she still pounded a cookie and a half.
The game itself was fun. The Royals lost, but Elli clapped, colored and cheered. She made it through the whole game, though it could have been a result of the sugar high she was on. As a chaser to her pregame snacks, one of our hosts purchased her a bag of cotton candy. It was as big as her torso. Fortunately, we were able to help her pound it so that she didn't OD on sugar.
The only drawback of the experience was that my arm was tired following the evening. I guess the Royals don't expect too many 22 pound fans to warrant their own seat, because she didn't weigh enough to keep it down. In an effort to keep the seat from eating her whole, I ended up holding it down most of the game. But I'm sure if she keeps pounding sweets we wont have that issue next time we make it out to the park.