As a family travel guru, I spend lots of nights with my family away from home. During the Major League Baseball playoffs, however, especially when the New York Yankees are playing, traveling with the wife and kiddos can make it challenging to be a committed dad and a committed fan at the same time.
Such was the case Thursday night, when bedtime came smack in the middle of a 1-1 tie.
Ultimately, everyone got to sleep and I managed to hear (most of) my game. That said, the build-up was anything but easy. Some highlights:
7:30 p.m.: Powerwoman (my wife) says it’s time to feed R (the 1-year-old). I grab a copy of “The Little Engine that Could” and convince L (the 3-year-old) to “read it” with me down in the lobby. We choose a nice and comfy couch that just so happens to be within view of the giant flat-screen showing the game. We read the book. Verrrry sloooowly.
7:50 p.m.: L and I return to the room to find my wife struggling to get a cranky R to sleep. Powerwoman and I switch kids; she takes L into the bathroom for face-washing and tooth-brushing; I grab R and begin shushing her rhythmically.
7:52 p.m.: I furiously fumble for my cell phone, fire up the MLB AtBat 12 app, and stick one of the earbuds in my left ear. R, still fussing, finds the other earbud and clutches it. Tightly.
7:58 p.m.: R falls asleep, still holding my earphones. I release her grip, place her in the crib, and slink over to the back corner of the room, near the kitchenette. Here, I squat down behind the counter, a vantage point that enables me to continue listening to the game but puts me in position to manage the situation if the baby wakes up.
8:00 p.m.: Powerwoman emerges from the bathroom with L and initiates the kid’s pre-bed ritual. I continue to crouch out-of-sight behind the counter.
8:06 p.m.: The Yanks botch a rally. I curse silently, and give middle fingers to the air. (Thankfully, neither daughter sees.)
8:15 p.m.: Powerwoman pokes her head around the corner to inform me that L is asleep. My wife green-lights me to return to the lobby and watch the rest of the game on television. I bee-line for the door.
I watched from that wretched lobby until the Yanks lost in the 13th. (Thankfully, the night manager didn’t scold me when I threw my cap at the TV in disgust.) Would I have preferred a different outcome in the game? Absolutely. But considering I was able to listen to or watch most of this playoff contest’s critical moments in the middle of a family trip, I’d say the night yielded a small victory nevertheless.