Tag Archives: after-school activities

The unsociable adult

My sons have been going to cricket on Friday evenings for several years now, and I still feel like the newbie.

At first I used to stay while they played, buying the younger offspring a bag of penny sweets from the tuckshop/bar and sitting on the club house step to watch the player-offspring miss catches or be swamped as they walked out to bat by the enormous pads, gloves and helmets.
It occurred to me this evening, sat freezing in the wind as the eight- year-old and 13- year-old trained, that I didn’t know a single other parent there. Not anyone’s name, or even their kids’ names.
Yes, I know a few of the coaches, but there’s a huge bunch of parents who sit together and drink and chat for over two hours every week. They all seem to know each other, probably from school or living close to the ground, whereas we live in the town centre where the neighbours are either teenagers in bedsits, students, or pensioners.
I’m not after pity, despite sounding like a complete saddo.

Mostly now I go and sit in the car and catch up on emails on my phone, or nip to the shops for whatever essential food items I forget to buy earlier.
Daughter, 4, meanwhile, manages to find new friends every where we go. She simply saunters up to the child most similar in age and asks if they want to play. Sometimes they say no. So she tries again and usually within five minutes she’s kicking a ball about or swinging upside down from railings. The boys have to do little more than produce a football to have a posse of new pals in seconds.
While they’re socialising, I’m in the car, feeling like Hilly No-Mates.

I didn’t used to be like this. When and why do we stop wanting to make friends?

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Bonnie’s ballet already keeping us on our toes

BONNIE, aged four, has started ballet, and she LOVES it. It’s come as a shock, as I’m more used to delivering boys to various sports fields.

With rugby, football, cricket and hockey, you just have to make sure the kit is vaguely clean and get them to the pitch on time. They have no use for you other than as clothes washer and taxi driver.

Standing in the ‘ballet shop’, the lady behind the counter could see I was struggling. After a couple of weeks ‘trying out’ her half-hour ballet class (ie, checking she wasn’t going to have the screaming ab-dabs or get bored), we were instructed to buy her official ‘uniform.’ Would a pair of tights and a pink dress-up ballet tutu do? No chance.

“Some teachers are stricter than others,” explained the ballet-shop-lady. Is it Miss [So and So] or Miss [So and So]? Ah yes, a leotard and skirt will be fine for a four-year old, you’ve probably got your own tights you can use.”

To say she’s delighted in her ballet clothes is an understatement. She’d sleep in them if we let her. The added bonus is it all cost more than a tenner less than one junior club rugby shirt.

Of course, she’s already showing prima ballerina behavior: “Where are the shoes? I must have shoes! Why haven’t I got ballet slippers?”

I was back in the shop a few days later buying tiny ballet slippers. I’m a pushover.

How long do they keep this up, all you wiser parents of girls?

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