Snapped by my 10 year old as we drove home from the Unversity pool after swim club – not bad!!
A day at home doing stuff & catching up with myself now that our renovations are finished & I begin painting – again. This sounds great doesn’t it? Just me, Tessy & the cats on our own schedule, but then…
An email from the distributor about the graduation hoodies we are organizing had the graphics of all the kids signatures so I looked for my elder son’s. It was my other class parent who kindly went into school & organized this part of the process so I hadn’t seen it. I looked over it about 10 times to find his name but I was sure it wasn’t there. I only counted 42 names & there should have been 44. I sent a panic email to my other half so she could check. She found 43 names & was also sure my son’s was missing. So, while I was making dinner in the slow cooker, running up & down to the laundry, folding laundry, wiring that bloody elf on a shelf so he can be bendy when he returns next week, packing up the swimming bags & making smoothies because it’s club night, I must have returned a million emails about these wretched hoodies.
In the end my other class parent half went into school early so she could identify each signature & establish who was missing. In the end my son was there he had just decided to sign his name ‘fancy’ so it looked nothing like his name at all. Why? I have yet to discover, but whatever.
I finally placed the order while at the pool during a bit of drama regarding a mentally ill lady who was causing a bit of bother in the lobby because she thought someone was trying to kill her. The cops arrived & everything but the kids still swam up & down the pool non the wiser, I continued my conversation with the hoody lady on the phone, & the world kept turning…
Hubby is on call & stuck at work 😦
I’m not drinking wine 😦
I’m not eating chocolate 😦
I have to be up early to take elder child to swimming 😦
So it’s curling up on the sofa with the dog & Eddie the Eagle for me!
I wish for a lot of things but tonight I wish I could get excited again about swimming. I don’t understand why I don’t enjoy it anymore. I used to be a complete water babe, swimming for a club until I was about 16, then only really stopped my 2-3 miles a week when I had my eldest child. It’s supposed to be really good for me, both mentally & physically so why does it make me grumpy & emotional? Physically I feel like I’ve done 20 rounds in a boxing ring not 20 lengths of the pool. If it wasn’t for the fact I would just be sitting for 3 hours watching the boys swim for their club & ‘pinning’ stuff I probably wouldn’t have got back in the water. The only thing that makes me feel good about it is that I can get into the ‘fast lane’ & pass the same person twice in the time it takes them to do one length!
I remember when I used to swim at the Aquatic centre when we first moved to Canada. I was pretty fit then, but, I would often have to move from the fast lane into the medium lane to use my kick board. I think if I swam there now I would just about survive in the slow lane. It is a 50 metre pool, which I used to love because you didn’t have to tumble turn as much. Maybe it was psychological, but I always thought I swam further because the lengths didn’t seem much longer really. Not sure how I’d manage 20 lengths of a 50m pool now.
Like I say, it can only be good for me, & maybe I’m expecting too much of myself. In my head my body can still do everything it did before, but in reality it needs to find a new level for the way it is now. It makes me feel old & crippled, even though I’m not really. It’s good that the boys club night makes me do it, & I think it sets a good example to them for the future.
I’ll keep going…
It is only in the last year or so that I am discovering the different types of ‘sports’ parent that are out there. I think the first time I began to observe parent behavior towards their budding young athlete was actually at a Track & Field meet last year. My elder son was in grade 3 at the time & had never done any track & field prior to entering that grade. As you can imagine it was competitive but in a fun way for that age group. In fact, my son came 5th in shot put that year, which was fantastic, & we expressed how proud we were, thinking it were the luck on the day… then he came 2nd at the same meet this year!
So what is my point, & what did I observe? Well…
- The ‘OTT serious I am living my own dreams through my child parent’ – They eat, sleep & breathe their child’s sport. Can irritatingly fuss over their child before they compete. Talks to them as if they are in the Olympics & appears more nervous & uptight than the child themself. Discusses equipment & training with other parents like they are stupid, & ensures the child NEVER misses a training session – even if they on a ventilator in the ICU!
- The ‘Interested, supportive & encouraging parent’ – Allows the child some space & promotes independence. No mollycoddling here, the parent will be there but the child must learn to take charge of their training with the parent watching from a safe distance, & always ready to step in when help or guidance is needed. Usually very friendly, chatty people who will enjoy & make the most of the adult social side to the sport.
- The ‘I like to be seen to be supporting my child’ – Will always be there appearing to supporting their child but really they spend the entire time their phone or tablet, or talking to the supportive chatty parents nearby. They can usually hold a conversation about the sport but are rarely able to be more specific about their child as an individual. They often have trouble identifying which one is theirs.
- The ‘passive’ parent – drops their child off at training or event, leaves, returns when training or event is over.
I would like to think that I am number 2. I have definitely not ever & never will be number 1. I have possibly been guilty of number 3 once, maybe twice, & I hope I am never number 4 (my parents were number 4 so I know how that feels). Tonight at swim club there were 3 number 3’s in front of me on the bleachers. I have them to thank for tonight’s post. At first it was amusing to watch/listen to, but after a while I found it quite sad that they couldn’t identify their children in the water, or, knew that they have 30 minutes of stretching after their swim session. They all appeared to have been on the club scene for a lot longer than me, & that wouldn’t be difficult as this is our first season, so they really had no excuse.
Despite sitting & writing quotes in my little quote book I was glancing up frequently so observe my boys progress & behavior. I knew that younger child had gone to the washroom & not returned for 10 minutes. Slightly worried I almost sent big brother in to see if he was ok, then I saw his head pop around the door when he thought his group was finished. When he realized they had 2 more lengths to do he retreated back into the changing room. The monkey later admitted he didn’t want to did the exercise his group were doing so he hid till it was over – which is what I suspected. This, among other observations I made throughout the session were discussed with both boys on the way home. They now know just how much ‘watching’ mum does even though she appears not to be looking.
Of course I am being very tongue in cheek about all of this, but have a look around, I bet you too find some of these parents at your child’s sporting practices & events.