Don’t. Just don’t. Especially if it’s in a dome. Especially if it’s past her bedtime. Okay, fine. If you insist. But here are some handy tips based on our recent experience:
DO use ear protection for both yourself and your child. Stadiums are loud, especially when the vast majority of the crowd is rooting for one team.
DON’T expect your child to actually tolerate said ear protection. I wasn’t smart enough to bring anything to cover poor Missy’s ears, but I saw a three- or four-month-old infant with giant earmuffs on, and even she didn’t tolerate them for long. Soon she was screaming and writhing to get them off, and she spent the rest of the match without them.
DO cover your child’s ears with your hands, no matter how much she fights you. If all else fails (as it probably will) leave the stadium to find a vantage point from which you can see the game on a giant screen.
DON’T expect your child to sleep, bedtime or not. There’s far too much noise and excitement for that.
DO take the baby carrier of your choice, just in case, as even a 45-minute nap during the first half of the game (spent near the concession stand, watching the aforementioned big screen) is better than nothing.
DON’T plan to be comfortable using the carrier with a case of possible-mastitis-but-at-the-very-least-a-plugged-milk-duct (it turned out to be the latter and cleared up on its own the next day) and a squrimy toddler repeatedly elbowing your left boob both during the game and on the metro ride there and back.
DO take pictures of your child with her very excited Aba. Send them to your sister, who will respond, “She’s already had a more exciting life than I have.” DO post the photos on Facebook, where many of your friends have updated their statuses with chants of “USA!” and will be so impressed you and your baby girl were there.
DON’T say you’ll never do it again. Because, let’s face it, you married a sports nut, and he’s doing his darnedest to make sure your daughter becomes one, too.