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The Burghificaton* of the Toddler: Part 2

* Burghification: Exposing a child to all of the things that make Pittsburgh great.

I know, I know, I know. We're usually all "Steelers, Steelers, Steelers," but really, we are some Pens loving fools around this house and have been for many moons. It's just that hockey season is so LONG. If I talked about it all the time, I wouldn't have time for anything else.

Anyhoo, we ventured to a Pens game last night. Many a person would think we were crazy to take a 2-year old to an event that involved sitting still for a really long time. To that I say: It wasn't her first game (she went to one last year, too) and we knew she could handle it. Think about it, there's lots of lights, cute boys moving around really fast on the ice, clapping, popcorn, and M&M's. That sounds like a recipe for a good time. And it was.

One of the people who thought we were crazy was the very sweet woman seated next to us. When she first saw that we really were going to sit in those two seats next to hers, she gave Alexis her best, "You're really cute, but I'm going to want to hurt you in about an hour, aren't I?" face. Sorry to disappoint, fellow Burgher. Yes, my daughter rocks and actually watched the game. Well, she watched the first period anyway.

She spent a good portion of the second period trying to figure out what happened to the blimp they fly around the place that drops free stuff on people's heads. It had long been put away, but it didn't dawn on her until a few minutes into the period that it was gone. So she kept asking me. And asking me. And asking me. And that is how I missed a goal that was scored no more than 20 feet in front of me.

Near the end of the second period, I had a glaring reminder of why the Penguins are far classier than the Pirates. Not only are the players good peeps who make the best commercials ever, but the organization as a whole has its head screwed on right, all the way down to the mascot. While the nasty ass Pirate is single-handily responsible for the Toddler's phobia of large costumed people, Iceburgh (the Penguin) was very sweet to her. He snuck up behind her and planted a big ol' smooch on her noggin. Initially, I have to admit I thought it was Mr. Husband planting his lips in dramatic fashion, but then I realized he's not quite that fuzzy. Iceburgh was kind enough to back away a few feet when he realized Alexis wasn't as charmed by his lips as I was, and even tried to play peek-a-boo with her. She didn't buy what he was selling, but he still gets some kudos for not being a jerk and getting a kick out of scaring her (like the jerkface Pirate did). (Anybody else ever notice that the Pirate reeks of cheap beer? Do you think it's because he's drunk or because a ton of girls have thrown beer at him after he groped them? Both?)

After her run in with Iceburgh, Alexis was pretty clear on how she was going to spend the rest of the game: keeping an eye on him. He stationed himself one section over from us the entire third period, making it pretty easy for her to make sure she knew where he was at all times. She talked to him (from afar, of course), showed him her little Iceburgh baby, and kept making me look at him. That would be how I missed all but one of the third period goals (For those of you keeping track, I missed five of the Pen's goals because Alexis kept making me look somewhere else. If you would like to get some of our good luck karma around for the playoffs, feel free to buy us some tickets.) Even when the Toddler's little body started to alert her it was time to just go to sleep, she managed to keep one eye open, just to make sure no mascots tried to accost her.

After the game, we celebrated Alexis' re-birthday. (Note to the people who decide who has to have a ticket for these kind of events: If the kid isn't heavy enough to sit in the seat without getting folded up, I ain't buying her a ticket. Screw your "Two and up" rules.) We vowed to return sooner, rather than later. It will be a few years before we can go through the Steelers game portion of the Burghification with Alexis, so she'll just have to enjoy lots of Pens games until then.

Random Notes:

- There is ALWAYS some jagoff wearing a Steelers jersey at a Pens game. This games' jagoff had good enough seats that I have to think he can afford to drop a few bucks on a Pens jersey. Get with the program, Mr. Jagoff.

- Most amusing conversation I overheard:
Kid: Dad, what do the players do after the game?
Man: The take showers then go out drinking.
Kid: Do they get dressed before they go drinking?

(Useless trivia: There are three prominent Pens players who aren't old enough to legally go out drinking--Crosby, Stall, and Letang. As such, I won't be touching the fact that clothing might or might not be optional for that there drinking.)

- Second most amusing conversation:
Guy: Starting that one out early, huh?
Me: Pshaw, she went to a game before she was one.
Guy: That's how you do it. Hey, maybe she'll get to see the Bucs win in her lifetime.
Me: I don't think anyone is going to see the Bucs win in their lifetime.
Guy: Probably not.


I hope everyone had a happy Easter!

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Reader Comments (26)

First? Is something crazy going on today? Cause I'm never first.

Still don't know any hockey players. The Puppy is under the impression that there are only three sports in this country and to qualify as sport it must 1. involve a ball 2. be invented in the US 3. be a team sport. There are lots more rules, but this really means football, baseball, and sorta kinda not really basketball.

Wow. I didn't think I could like you any more. But now, YOU WIN. As a former hockey player, a former Colorado Avalanche freak-a-fan, I'm LOVINg seeing Alexis at a game. NIce!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjust jamie

Ok. First of all, Jamie? How can you be a FORMER Avs fan? Honey, once a fan, always a fan! :)

(Can you tell that I consider the Avs my boys? LOVE THEM!!!)

And really, if I had my 'druthers (BTW... what the heck are druthers, anyway?) hockey would outrank football in my house. Of course, along with that would be the fairy godparent that would pay for all that entails for my boys, cuz really? That stuff's expensive!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Sports Mama

I don't blame her for keeping an eye on that Iceburgh. Penguins are shifty.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTootsie Farklepants

I haven't heard the term "jagoff" since I left the burgh many years ago. Pittsburgh terminology just cracks me up!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

Great post and pictures (as always!). I love the story of Alexis and Iceburgh.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Doesn't she get cold? I don't mind hockey but my piggy toes get too chilly.

Maybe you should bring the bullydog to drape over her toes.

Just a thought.

Hallie :)

Sounds like a good time was had by all. I love hockey games and there's no doubt that my kids would enjoy them as well. The action keeps kids entertained. Blimp action, penguin action...

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

How sweet of Iceburgh to not scare the poor kid!! As for the pirate, kick him in his treasure chest the next time!!

Sounds like you guys had a great time :)

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKellie

I used to be a big fan in my teenage years, but since then it's lost its excitement for me for some reason. Those cheerleaders or whatever they call them make me sick - they definately didn't need to add that. Once, at a game, I bent down to tie my shoes, and felt a gust of air above me. When I sat up the people behind me had their mouths hanging open saying that if I hadn't been bent over, the puck would've hit me in the face.
Hope you enjoyed your Easter.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Boo Penguins!!! (just kidding--not really. Ovie is the best there is!)
Hope you had a good Easter and I can only hope Sasha is as good at his first game as Alexis was! Only we will be obviously in Caps jerseys and he'll be playing with baby Slapshot.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecoming Mommy

Is it wrong that we continue the Burghification of our toddler despite the fact we now live 500 miles from the Burgh? She has a Steelers jersey and a Pens t-shirt (my husband is a hockey nut and hates that the pens are having a year like this after he moves away). The girl has also been to her first hockey game but out of necessity it was a Titans game and because I'm not as brave as you are it was in a luxury box belonging to hubby's company so she could run around.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Smiles

I don't know if I would be so brave to do this, but it sounds like you had a blast! She is so cute too. Jonathan hates anything that is stuffed and 6 feet tall so he would have had a break down if the Iceburgh had kissed his head. I just love the look she is giving in that one photo!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterboondockramblings

We always took our kids to games at young ages, too. It's the law here. And the since the girl plans on marrying Sidney Crosby, she'll even watch them on TV.

As for Pirate games, she loves the Parrot and the playground, but the lack of excitement around us over the game is definitely catchy.

She hasn't been to a Steelers game yet, though - the boy has since we've had seven extra years with him to beg, plaed and mortgage our house for the tickets.

Oh - and th jagoff? I'd take the wrong short wearing jagoff any day over the beer-spilling jagoff or especially, the "educator" jagoff who feels the need to share (at length) his vast (not) knowledge and expertise with everyone in hearing distance.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGina

That is awesome! What a good girl she is!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

My kids would never have made it through a whole game at that age.

You have a gem!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

I totally imagine that the Pirate is all drunk in his mascot uniform like Will Farrel was in Blades of Glory . . . barfing up cheap beer and scaring little children. I hope a dog tries to dry hump his leg.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaw Student Hot Mama

I totally imagine that the Pirate is all drunk in his mascot uniform like Will Farrel was in Blades of Glory . . . barfing up cheap beer and scaring little children. I hope a dog tries to dry hump his leg.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaw Student Hot Mama

Little Man is totally jealous.

We went to a Senator's game in December without him, because it would have ended way past his bed time.

He feels his Canadian heritage is now at risk.

And of course, you do know that all of the greatness of the Pens can be attributed to one awesome cancer-fighting Canadian, right?

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCatwoman

Love that skeptical look on her face!!

You know, I once had to pay full price for a ticket for my six month old daughter. WHO HAD TO SIT IN MY LAP ANYWAY!! And the stadium was half empty.

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMadame Queen

I spend half the game looking for that darn blimp too!!

I think I need to see a hockey game with you. Then I might get it. Clearly the Toddler is a leg up on me already. What do you expect? It took years of watching football with Jon before I could even find the stinkin' ball on the screen!!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCecily R

Yeah for the Burghification! I'm so glad she was good at the game (other than making you miss the goals). It sounds like a lot of fun. And I love both the conversations. Too funny!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercaramama

I cracked up at seeing the word "Jagoff". I assume you know http://www.pittsburghese.com/" REL="nofollow">this website?

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah O.

She is beautiful. Loved all the pics below as well.

That's the first time I've ever seen Jagoff in print! Funny.

My toddler (turns two next week...) wouldn't have sat down through the first five minutes! You're lucky and very very blessed!

Kick the pirate!

March 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDay Dreamer

LOVE this!! All of my girls attended their first sporting events before they were six months of age, mostly because they wouldn't take bottles! But the 4th had her first tailgating and Texans experience at 5 weeks old! Gotta start those girls young. Their husbands will thank us for it later!

March 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Before you left did you stick your tongue out at the lady and say, See there, Ms. Knowitall!!

Sounds like a good time was had by all. It is so great that you just tag her along with you. She will grow up to be one well-rounded young lady.

March 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDamama T

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