Sunday, 16 June 2013

My theory of the anxious heart tug + birthday party frenzy.

At netball on Saturday, we spectators became unusually philosophical.  Most of us were mothers, watching our girls play.  There was one dad who arrived halfway through the game, having brought his son from rugby.

I put forward an idea that has been niggling me recently.  While I can watch Josh play rugby for hours with no anxiety at all, I struggle watching Sarah play netball, always feeling a little tug on my heartstrings when she misses the ball or steps, or takes too long to throw.

She's happy.  So I should just get over myself, yes? 
They all nodded sagely.  And after a little more discussion, we agreed that there was a sort of connection between you and your eldest child which made you in general, more anxious about their performance in team sports.  This was exacerbated if the child was the same gender as you.

The rugby boy dad agreed, saying he could watch his daughter with pleasure, but became anxious watching his son on the rugby paddock.

I meant to do a poll of more than the five other parents I spoke to at netball, because five isn't exactly a definitive sample of the population.  I tried asking Mike, but he said he liked watching all the kids.  He likes netball and soccer but rugby is in his heart so that's what he likes best, but watching Josh doesn't make him particularly anxious.


I never got to ask anyone else except Josh's mate's dad who came to collect his son from a sleepover at ours (Yes I know I have no room for sleepovers but we had one anyway).  We made pleasant small talk for a while before I plucked up the courage (I don't know him very well), and asked his view on my theory.  He looked puzzled, and started talking about how cross he would get if the soccer team (of 7-8 year olds) he coached started having a chat in the middle of a game instead of playing.

Indeed, that would make anyone a bit stabby.

So my theory is still just a theory.  I'm sure not everyone suffers this anxious heart tug.  My fellow netball mums certainly felt it, and at least one dad.  It could also be dance related, or aligned to academic results.

I tentatively also suggest the anxious heart tug is more likely when your kid is either very good at a sport, so they're playing at a level where every move they make can have an impact on the game, or not so good, so you're always feeling for them with every mistake.

I think this deserves further investigation, maybe I can apply for a grant to study it.  Or do a PhD?

Sarah is having a cracker season in her first year of graded netball.  If by cracker you mean she is enjoying herself (and I do).  She is loving it.  And she is not in first grade, or the second, third, fourth or fifth...I'll stop there but you get the idea.  Bless her.

And the reason I lost focus with the investigation of my theory?  Two major events ate my weekend after sport was over.  One was band related, and the other was Issy's birthday party.

The band festival on Saturday afternoon was just dandy.  'nuff said.  

But then it was time for the party.  My last childrens party of 2013.  Requiring a 6 shaped 'under the sea' cake and much bakery, chocolate crackelery, and way, way too much icing.

Da Daaaaah!!
It went off beautifully, and because it was a joint party, I had a fabulous partner in crime who also spent a large chunk of Sunday baking and preparing.  We halved each others pain, and shared champagne at the venue.  When you share a party with someone it's just easier.  Issy and her mate D are great friends.  They are also holy terrors when in a full birthday party frenzy.

Not one, but two birthday girls. 
It wasn't just them. All twenty-five little girls jumped and climbed and swung and screamed and ate their heads off.  It was a wild and fun filled two hours.  Which went very quickly.

Thank heavens.

Lots of this. 
And finally, after much present opening, there was this.

The present opening raised another important philosophical question entitled: "Is there such a thing as too much Smiggle?".  Not in my view.  Stationery is my idea of heaven.  I think Issy feels the same.