A New Era: The Saturday Sport Soccer Mum

A new era has begun. Yesterday J Boy had his first official Saturday club soccer game.

Isn’t he cute running around in his dress oversized shirt? It took a lot of convincing to tuck it in. By half time I had persuaded him that it looked like a dress untucked, so I was given permission to interfere in the name of enhancing masculinity.

For a few weeks now I have been taking J Boy to soccer training. The kids are incredibly cute, but my goodness, the teacher in me sits on the sidelines and grits my teeth. I am so tempted to interrupt and start getting kids to put their hands on heads, giving instructions talking very slowly, start issuing phrases such as, “1-2-3- Eyes on me” and blowing a whistle ad nauseum.

However, if I gave into temptations, J Boy probably wouldn’t have a smile like this while he practised his moves.

So I sit on the sidelines, giving the occassional frustrated encouraging yell. (Isn’t that what soccer Mum’s are supposed to do on the sidelines?) “J Boy, are you listening?” “Good kick!” “J Boy. Stop! Listen to what you need to do.” “Good on Ya!” “J Boy! Listen to your coach!” I like to think I’m helping improve his game.

J Boy is fortunate to have an incredibly nice coach. Poor fellow. It’s his first time coaching. I bet he never knew what he got himself into before his first training session. There are some of us who go to university for four years before we are confident enough to engage with 5 and 6 year olds. You can tell he’s learning on the job, and he really is doing well. Just like any trained teacher he is learning that sometimes you have to scrap all your planned activities and make it 5 times simpler and keep as much variety and action as possible to maintain the kids interest. Consequently the boys think he’s wonderful.

We arrived fashionably late on Saturday but just in time for the big game. The game wasn’t really too early in the morning, but my goodness, it’s always a huge effort whenever it involves getting five children into the car and on the road, especially at the beginning of the day. I fed the babies, showered and dressed myself, packed snacks, bottles and drink bottles, (all for the kids, next time I’ll have remember to cater for the parents also), packed the nappy bag, searched for hats, (Thankfully T-Star avoided sunburn despite his missing headgear. How is it that I can’t find any one of the six hats that will fit on his head when I’m in a hurry?) Thank God for sun cream lotion. Then we bundled the babies in the car and rushed to the ovals. In two cars. For big events these days we need two cars. It’s a simple matter that the triplet stroller just cannot fit in the back of our 4WD, which has the storage capacity of an ant’s suitcase.

When The Accountant got to the oval, he rushed J Boy to his designated area, left him under the care of a proud grandmother, ran back, loaded the trio and we all rushed to our rightful spot on the sidelines.

When I got there I took a moment to stand and watch and cheer for my boy and the team. I was every bit the proud soccer Mum. Then I turned around to search for the smelly baby that The Accountant caught a whiff of as he had put a seatbelt on. I located the offending party. Nappy was changed, and then bub was undressed out of long sleeve overnight jumpsuit and into a lovely summery outfit to match the wondefully warm autumun day we were having.

Glance up. Shout out a few more soccer cliches. Make a mental note to discuss with J Boy the advantage of scoring in one’s designated goal rather than the opposing parties. Fish next bub out of stroller to change into more appropriate clothing. Discover another poo. Change. Glance up. Note with pride that our team scored a goal before all the little tackers fell over their own feet and ended in a pile. Move onto third baby. Oh joy bliss. Third poo. And it’s messy. Change nappy. Change clothes. Finished! Look up eager to watch the game.

This is what I see.

A proud Grandad congratulating his little grandson’s efforts. Game over. Sigh.

Maybe next time I’ll get to see more of my son’s sporting prowess.

Two of J Boy’s little mates were playing in one of the next games. We stayed on to watch that game. Bravely trying to conceal our dissapointment that our request to keep the three boys together had not been granted.

During the 2nd game I breastfed three babies. This game ended to the sound of three babies starting to grizzle. Packed them back into the stroller since the sport of mat rolling was no longer giving the trio satisfaction. Wheeled three now crying babies back to the car. Bundled three now screaming babies into the car. Unbuckled Joey who was in complete meltdown. Fed him again. Buckled him back in and got car in motion asap to try and regain some peace.

All babies fall asleep. Arrive home. Get babies out of the car and into cots asap. All babies are awake. Time to start feeding again. Ah. Such is life.

It’s quite possible the whole family may not be on the sidelines every week.

But at least one of us will. We will be there proud to be supporting our child and giving him the opportunity to develop a healthy life style and develop co-ordination, skills, team spirit, team participation and give him the chance to develop true Aussie sportsmanship.

How did you spend your Saturday? Does you have a child participating in team sport? How do you feel as you watch them on the sidelines during the games and training?

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