Overnight with Nonnie and Papa

August 31, 2010

This past Saturday, Eric and I went to a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game and stayed overnight in Manchester, leaving Lorelei in the capable hands of Nonnie and Papa.

By all accounts, a good time was had by all – Lorelei ate like a champ, had a nice walk around the backyard in her stroller, and slept well. On Sunday morning, she accompanied my folks to church, where she woke up just as the sermon was starting (and, judging by her next diaper change, used that contemplative time to issue forth an enormous poop that had been brewing for the better part of the previous 24 hours).

As for Eric and me, we had a great time at the game. The entertainment value was enhanced by the fan to my immediate left, a very odd, hairy woman with a Hello Kitty watch and impressively large Croc-clad feet.

She plopped down in her seat at the start of the game with an overflowing basket of french fries and battered clam strips. Now, I’m not a delicate eater by any stretch, but this woman dove in with both hands – literally – and I was somewhat concerned that she was going to accidentally inhale one or more of her own fingers in the frenzy. It wasn’t pretty.

The clams were a distant (though disturbing) memory by the first pitch. By the second inning, she’d moved on to plucking various hairs out of her neck, using the nails of her right index finger and thumb as tweezers. She guzzled down a free sample of Stonyfield Farm yogurt drink in the third inning, proclaiming it “not bad” (and souring me on drinkable yogurt for the forseeable future).

During the fourth inning, she made two excursions into the vendor area, returning both times with – I kid you not – new pairs of what appeared to be hiking socks. I have no idea where she got them, or why someone was distributing heavy socks at a minor-league ballpark in late August. She was delighted with her find.

In the fifth inning, Eric brought me a fried dough. She peered over and commented that it looked good, but that she couldn’t “eat food like that because it makes me sick.” Clearly, the four pounds of fried food I’d personally watched her snarf down had led me to underestimate her delicate constitition.

The middle of the sixth inning brought us the race around the bases between the team’s beloved mascot, Fungo the Fisher Cat, and a small child plucked from the stands. As anyone with a pulse knows, the “race” is fixed – the small child always wins. Yet Clam Roll Neck Picker (as I’d begun to think of her) was visibly baffled, wondering aloud why Fungo “wasn’t running.” Maybe she had put money on Fungo, or wagered one or both of her new pairs of socks.

Near the end of the game, one of the batters accidentally clocked the catcher in the face with his bat. “I was once hit in the face with a bat,” my new friend exclaimed to no one in particular. “It hurts.”

This explains a lot, I thought.

As we were leaving the ballpark with the rest of the crowd (Clam Roll Neck Picker had thankfully departed by then, leaving a trail of grease and neck hairs in her wake), Eric and I found ourselves helplessly drawn to a woman holding a baby who looked very much like Lorelei. She kept giving us funny looks and trying to edge away – I think she was worried we were part of a baby-snatching ring – until we explained that we had a similarly cute baby of our own who was staying over with her grandparents that night.

We missed our peanut, no question about it. But the evening out, followed by an uninterrupted night of sleep, was bliss. Nonnie and Papa are the best.

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