Just before his bedtime Braden usually snuggles up with Mommy and Daddy on the couch and watches TV. He watches some TV, and the rest of the time he uses us as his own personal jungle gym. For the most part though it is a good way for Braden to wind down a bit before he goes to bed.
Last night Braden was on the couch with me. I couldn't find anything that I thought he would watch so I put it on my old standby, ESPN. They were playing an NBA game at the time. Braden likes watching basketball most of the time. Last night he kept saying ball, ball, ball.
While I was still searching the menu for something to watch I noticed a spring training game was on Fox Sports. It was the Texas Rangers who I care nothing about. I wouldn't normally bother to watch such an uninteresting game, but I wanted to see what Braden's reaction would be. This summer will be Braden's first baseball season since he began understanding what is on TV when he watches.
I changed the channel to the baseball game. I nearly lost Braden right off the bat because the game hadn't started yet. He was fidgeting around a lot. I could tell he was thinking about making his escape. Finally the game started and I said, "Look Braden. They're playing baseball. See him throw the ball."
It definitely caught his eye. Braden kept watching as the pitcher threw a few more pitches. Finally the batter hit the ball to the outfield for a single.
After the hit Braden got up and left the couch. He left the room. I figured that the great baseball experiment had failed. I would have to chase him down now and play something else until bedtime.
Then Braden came back around the corner. He had his "bat". It was actually a golf club, but he doesn't use it in a golfing way. He swings it like a baseball bat at everything in his path. He brought it over to the couch. Then he hit the couch. Then he hit the chair. Then he hit me.
After a few moments of wild swings Braden turned his attention back to the game. He carried his "bat" right up to the TV and stood staring at the next hitter as he took his cuts.
It seems like such a little thing, but as a parent this is really the good stuff. It is great to see your child recognize something and take part. Watching their mind work is always amazing.
It is even better for me personally to see my son respond positively to a baseball game. It was great to see Braden retrieve his bat and march back onto the playing field. It makes me dream of that day in the future when Braden will emerge from his room with a glove and ask his Dad to play catch.