Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This is all my fault.  My forced 24/7 labor hasn’t just resulted in grey hair, dark circles and an unsightly paunch, it’s affected my poor, poor son Elijah.  He now officially has that vile condition called “Stone Hands.”

Eli can’t catch a ball.  Not even remotely. 

This is awful.  When I signed up for being a dad, there at the top of the dad sign up form, in big letters it said, “YOU MUST TEACH HIM HOW TO CATCH.”  I have failed in this endeavor so epically that I’m fairly sure he can sue me for emancipation.  But not in the adorable Drew Barrymore way (“Irreconcilable Differences” – 1984). 

Last Sunday, I took Elijah and his two best girl buddies, Callie and Liddy, play with Steve and his brood.

After about three minutes of playing, Liddy came over and said, “Um.  I didn’t know it was going to be this boring when I agreed to come over.”

I suggested we all play catch.  The children formed a circle around me and I tossed a Whiffle ball to each of them, keeping score of who caught the most balls.  The winner got to have me sing a song about how great they are at catching.  Having me sing a song about you is still considered a reward if you are 5.

Here’s how the scores went down:

Callie:  10
Finn: 8
Liddy: 3
Rory: 1
Elijah: 0

Zero.  Goose egg.  Not even close.  Not even an almost catch/bobble.  The ball ricocheted off his hands dramatically.  It was as if the call was trying to escape from our atmosphere.

And I was cheating.  I was giving him the easiest throws in the world.  I was taking a step towards him, laying it out there like a can of corn.  And bam, bonk, biff.  Right off his hands.  Every.  Time.

Luckily, he didn’t care a bit.  He laughed every time the plastic Whiffle hit him in the face.  He also did some nice Pratt falls into the grass.

But this enjoyment will not last.  There will come a time when he will need to be picked for baseball.  And he will be picked last.  At which point he will go all Drew Barrymore on my ass.

I must change this now.  I just texted Diana’s brother, who is babysitting the boys tonight (see paragraph 1).  Let’s hope he can get Eli to raise his catching average to 1.

1 comment:

Bonzer T said...

You best teach him soon. My friend Marc and I went to a Beach Boys concert at the minor league baseball field down in Tulsa a decade ago. Marc worked for one of the sponsors of the event so we were given tickets for free beer all night. As such, we were more than a little tanked. Pre-show, two kids ran out to the outfield with a football to play catch. They were only about 10 years old but you could still tell the types: One was an uber-athletic kid that you just knew would eventually star in baseball, basketball, football and sex. The other kid was frail and skinny and wore glasses. I turned and said to Marc, "Ok, drink whenever the little kid drops the ball."

Rick, I'm not lying when I tell you now that we watched them for over a half hour and the skinny kid never once caught a pass. Not a single ball was thrown--and these were good passes--that didn't hit the ground. Marc and I laughed uncontrollably and the game didn't help our sobriety.

The kicker? A Dad came out to play with them; he too was smallish and wore a button down oxford shirt and glasses to a Beach Boys concert at a minor league baseball field. He only stayed for a few passes but he too did not catch a single ball.

Don't be these guys. You might unknowingly contribute to a hilarious drinking game.