Half-Birthday, T-Ball, Tooth Fairy


I could barely catch my breath the day our infant turned a half-year old, Betty had her first T-Ball game and lost her first tooth.


Half Birthdays are a big deal around here, especially for siblings.

Lucky Olive, with a chorus of endless sister wishes and full candle view for Mama’s 34th birthday celebration. Lucky me, with such overlapping milestones and cause for celebration.

Weeks earlier and before six month’s date, little Olive was on the mark for table food with her sudden grabbing interest and open mouth mimics at table’s side. She was sitting, assisted, and putting everything at reach into her mouth. Rice cereal and Cheerios became an unexpected texture; her worried look lasted long after candle’s wishful breath. And so came her first textured meal.

She was a bit suspicious.


I made way too much rice cereal with nearly a cup of breast milk. She had, maybe, five bites. I looked at bowl’s golden contents and couldn’t bring myself to toss it.
Are you going to just waste that, Mommy? Betty asked with cold’s sniffle.
Well, I can’t keep it, I told her with a frown.
Um, that used to be my favorite food, Mommy’s Milk Pudding. May I try again? It’s been a while.
If someone had told me ten years ago that one day I’d pass around a breast milk dessert that everyone in my family would try and one might beg for again and again I’d of, well, I think I’d of been grossed out.

I like Daddy’s oatmeal more, said Lucy, as she slid it to Betty.

And, with that, Betty nearly licked the bowl clean. She wanted it each night, declared with a huge, huge grin. The next day, of course, she asked for Breast Cereal instead of her usual morning bowlful. While that is not, not going to happen anytime soon, I was interested to see Betty’s sniffles were gone. Powerful stuff…

:::
For days a first tooth hung on by a thread and wiggled with each word. Clockwise and counter, the twists didn’t do the trick. So, Daddy tied a bowline knot and lassoed the wiggly one free. I cried, of course, and silently vowed to save each one in my jewelry box. So cute, so tiny with first sprout’s memory.

Two days later, the second fell out as she climbed out of our car.

Good thing I didn’t swallow it – how would the fairy get into my tummy?

Around here, the tooth fairy brings silver coins, wrapped in cloth and ribbon tied. Days and days passed with Betty stacking those quarters, dimes.


:::
In Florida we watched bits and pieces of the Reds vs. Mets historic twenty inning game. Our friend Pete, or Peter Rotten-tail according to my ladies, is quite a Mets fan.
Which team do you want to win? Which team is the good team? Betty kept asking during the long, long game.

The Mets are the good guys – white is who we want to win, Pete would say.
And, I wouldn’t have remembered this conversation if Betty hadn’t of totally flipped out when we picked up her uniform.

Red is the bad team! The Reds are the bad guys! Everybody wants the other team! I want to be a Met! Betty said , with tears and stomps.

It took a long time to explain, but we finally got her into the color red and into The Reds.

:::
Around here, the T-Ball season is short with sometimes rain, sometimes full summer’s sun. Betty loved sharing the experience with her first island buddy, Fela, and honorary assistant coach, Daddy.


Around here, weekends on the field are a family affair.

Islander cheering sections mosaic the grass.

Around here, little siblings learn to be the biggest fans, whether practice or game.



:::

An Unfamiliar Take: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

(2010 version)



Betty Rose loved baseball games,

Knew the players, knew all their names,

You could see her there ev’ry day,

Shout “Hurray” when she’d play.



Her biggest fan by the name of Lucy May
Said, “To San Juan Isle, dear, let’s play,”
Then Betty started to fret and pout,
And to the wind I heard her shout.


“Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and Pirate’s Booty,

I don’t care if I never get back,

Let me root, root, root for my team,
If we don’t win it’s not a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
Always fun at the old ball game.”


Betty Rose was sure some fan,

She would root just like any man,

Told the umpire he was wrong,

All along, good and strong.


When the score was just two to two,

Betty Rose knew what to do,

Just to cheer up the boys & girls she knew,

She made the game sing this song.


“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and Pirate’s Booty,
I don’t care if I never get back,

Let me root, root, root for my team,

If we don’t win it’s not a shame.


For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,

Always fun at the old ball game.”


Around here, T-Ball doesn’t keep score. Always fun, always a tie.

Betty ended the season as a 3rd base player, magic sweatbands and all.

She spent a bit of time throughout the season drawing in the dirt with her shoe as most 5-year-old super stars and a whole lot of time cheering on her teammates and opponent pals.

At the final game she was so excited to get a grounder and tap the base before the player.


I made an out! I made an out! She exclaimed to her telephoned grandparents hours later. She ended the season as a Cincinatti Reds #6, pink glove.

Finally, proud to be Red.

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