Matty couldn’t get out of work in time for our 6:15 game last night. That means I had to play shortstop. There are a number of reasons why this only happens in emergency situations, the first of which being my lack of range, the second of which is my poor throwing arm. Both of these shortcomings were on display during a single play last night where I had to A) backhand a grounder only a few feet to my left, and B) make the Jeter “jump throw” to first across my body as I was drifting towards the left field line. The result was a 5-bouncer that got to the first baseman far too late for an out. But I didn’t make any errors and started a double play on a hot shot back up the middle. I also had two hits. This would have been a good night had it not been for the fact that A) we lost, and B) I made the final out of the game with the bases loaded taking a called third strike. Truth: the ball was not close to the strike zone.
I did get home in time to give Madison a bath and share with her what has become a Monday night tradition: WWE Raw. “Mom, I love wrestling because Daddy wrestles with me in bed!” Madison said. It’s exactly what it sounds like, once a week Madison and I have wrestling matches. She enters the bedroom to the song that cow in the shower sings in the milk commercial. I enter the ring to whatever rock song I feel like that day. I do all the ring introductions. Madison is “Princess Madison,” and she wears a matching Cinderlla PJ set. My moniker is “Daddy Higa” and I wear whatever boxers I have on. We use one of Lynnette’s gold belts as our championship strap. The physics of the human body prevent Lynnette’s eyes from spinning around in their sockets like the images on a slot machine at the thought of Madison’s interest in wrestling.
Since Mad’s bedtime is 8:30, she is only allowed to watch the first half-hour of Raw with me. During that time, she watched a match between R Truth and Caesaro, opining “I hope the brown guy wins, he’s a better singer.” She also seems to have found a favorite wrestler, Damien Sandow. “Whose the guy with the pink leg bands?” “That’s Damien Sandow,” I said. “I hope he wins. I like pink.” She sounds fully prepared to make uninformed decisions and win a March Madness bracket. Her interest seemed to wane a little as replays flooded the screen and the show cut to commercial.
She turned on the iPad and found my Facebook wall on the screen. There was a large block of text sitting in the middle of the page. “What does this say?” she asked. “I think it’s a story,” I said. “Can I read it?” she asked. “Sure,” I said. Since she can’t really read, she did her best to improvise. She regaled me with a wonderful tale about a boy named Johnny who was late for school and didn’t do his homework so he got in trouble. I hope that Johnny is not a proxy for herself. That would make me upset. “Your turn, dad,” she said. I made up a little story as well, about a guy who beat up other guys to win a championship belt. “That’s not a story, that’s wrestling, dad!” Madison objected. Well, you write what you know, and all that.
Far too quickly, the clock read eight-three-oh, and I made Madison aware of this face. Lynnette is very stern about Madison’s bed time, but I respect that because she’s the one who has to deal with Madison in the morning. Madison didn’t complain. Instead, she leaned her head back and puckered her lips. I kissed her good night. I thought that seemed a little too easy. Mad slid herself off of the bed and landed on her feet. “Wrestle time?” she asked. There we go. “No, Mad, we showered already. Maybe later this week.” “Yeah, yeah,” she said and disappeared into the darkness of the hallway.
As a rule, I hate Mondays. If this holds up, though, I’ll have softball and Mad and Dad wrestling time on Mondays. It really is hard to pick that apart.