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Card Sharks & Bats

Bill and I were a bit worried that the twins wouldn’t enjoy Cooperstown as much as Finn would. The main purpose of the trip was for Finn to play baseball, after all, and Porter and Drew were required to watch a couple of games a day. We hadn’t been there an hour before I realized I’d underestimated their ability to enjoy themselves regardless of the circumstances, although they did so in very different ways.

Drew idolized the big kids and wanted nothing more than to be part of their card games, particularly one called “Presidents.” The winner of each hand was the President for the next round, while the lowest two were designated “Dirt” and “Scum.” Drew achieved his goal and played joyously with the high-schoolers, and even got to be President a time or two.


He hung out with the high-schoolers in the stands, cheering, one smooth-faced midget sandwiched between the six foot tall whiskered teens. (Here, of course, I’m referring to the males; the females were also smooth-faced and delicate.) By the end of the week he was convinced that he was as hip as any fifteen-year-old.

Porter, of course, followed his own muse. He was frustrated by not being able to see the entire field from the stands, so he created a perch that solved that problem to everyone’s satisfaction, unless you were the person left without a chair.


He also played cards, but preferred to play poker with the dads. There were no chips to be found, but we were flush with pretzels and Ritz crackers, and Porter collected a sizable stash.

During breaks between games, the boys found all manner of bugs and critters to play with. Their greatest coup was the discovery of a small bat, which was either hurt or asleep.


This finding was made on day three, when I was suffering from exhaustion and baseball overload. I’d also had so much quality time with the twins that the quality of our time together was rapidly diminishing. That could explain my thought process, to the extent there was one, when I told them they could play with the bat BUT NOT TOUCH IT, while I headed to the nearest bed and fell asleep. I didn’t dream of rabies or bat bites, either.

I awoke to find that they’d obeyed my instructions, although they had broadly interpreted my command. After they observed the bat, they concluded that if he was not dead, his demise was imminent. Porter slid a playing card under him which acted as a stretcher, and they deposited him into an empty cardboard box which they then filled with dirt and grass to imitate his natural habitat. Alternatively, it could serve as a coffin if he died.

Other parents were aghast that I had let them anywhere in the vicinity of the bat, but they didn’t need 76 minutes of sleep as desperately as I did. No one has foamed at the mouth yet, so I may be in the clear despite my less than hands-on mothering.

Porter also used my new camera a lot, and as usual, saw things his own way, just as he did when we were in Lisbon. He produced photos of our fans in action,

the Baseball Hall of Fame,

Sally the Moth, (another beloved, less menacing pet)


Finn pitching,


and Drew playing cards.


Truly, if he doesn’t decide to be a mama’s boy when he grows up, I think he should pursue photography. Although given the success of his amazingly high Baseball Chair, he may be an “inventor guy” after all.


One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Finn Chases A Dream


  • Bhamdining

    It’s fascinating to see what some kids do with a camera. I sometimes loan my cheapie camera I keep in my purse to my almost-6-year-old. Some of the pictures are really quite good, composition wise, like one she took of a handful of leaves on cracked asphalt last fall, or one of a single magnolia blossom at Aldridge Gardens. She loves to take pictures of her surroundings, things we take for granted, like furniture, and rows of lettuce bags at the grocery store.

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  • CourtneyRyan369

    He has some great raw talent with that camera. Nice shots man! But the bat? BLECH!

    I had to giggle because “President” is the game we all played in highschool and college. With lots of beer. The first time I played was in Cooperstown.

    Ah Cooperstown. It just keeps on keepin’ on…Did they figure out the laundry?

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  • Meredith

    Glad to see you guys had a good time in Cooperstown! Side note– one of my friends and her husband actually got married in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now she works for an MLB team!

  • Sandie

    Ha! I used to play Presidents in college and it was a big fat drinking game. Also, the lowest person was called something I had better not repeat- starts with an A, ends with an le! Glad to know that the seeds for a good drinking game are planted early!

    On another note, your boys are adorable.. great pics Porter!

  • Madelyn

    The bat doesn’t even look real. It looks like one of those stuffed bats you get in toy stores.

  • Elizabeth Channel

    With bat-obsessed children, I can tell you that bat is REAL…we own all the stuffed/rubber bats and none of them look that life-like. Look at the bone structure! I showed the picture to my boys and they are insane with jealousy. Sure, we’ve got three abnormally large tadpoles and some odd water bug living in a trifle bowl on our kitchen counter, but nothing compares to this!

  • Jeni

    Good call with the bat! I took zoonotic diseases and i can say that, as long as they wash their hands and didn’t get bit, very little harm could have come to them. And, after all, my first “wannabe vet” moment was trying to reconstruct the broken wing of a dead bird.

    Jeni’s last blog post..Back to Back


    I really enjoyed reading about your Cooperstown experience, our neighbors did that trip a few years back with their baseball player and still talk about it and all their adventures (like you..the parents, the injuries, etc) at that park. I will have to ask her again about crotch rot. They are currently in NYC for the All Star game and Homerun Derby; my family is insanely jealous. Take care and keep the stories coming.’s last blog post..GAS PRICES…..gasp!