Sports day sportsmanship
18th July 2016
Another parenting milestone / chapter for me over the last couple of weeks. … sports day. It is the milestones I am not prepared for that literally come and smack me in the face. As a parent I really wasn’t prepared for first day at school (I sobbed), the sibling squabbling (surely my brother and I didn’t fight over every little thing) or the total need for a little person to only eat and drink from a certain colour bowl or cup. These are the occurrences or episodes that get me with my mouth left wide open – they are vast, share no common thread and I am left in a spin!
We had a sports day last year with our bigger pirate so we knew what to expect from the morning but it still hits me – eek my child is doing a race, something competitive, it is to be cheered and celebrated all this after you have spent the first few years of their lives telling them to share (sharing is caring after all). However, despite what you tell your friends, you really do want them to have a small chance of winning…. You want to remain relaxed (on the outside) and promote good sportsmanship but also, you want them to have a chance at being in the running race final! Now as our eldest was a premmie baby we are always conscious that she is likely to be on the weaker end of the scales but her determination is infectious. She loves just getting involved with it all and always has a smile on her face. Although it doesn’t stop me from wanting to wrap her in my arms when she comes towards the end of the pack (particularly in the sack race!) or to grab her and say “I will run with you”. Now she is totally oblivious to this, because the mini pirate is simply enjoying the whole thing with her friends and running around a massive field. What I have come to realise is she does feel proud wherever she ends up and she enjoys the learning of new sports. Yes, you can get the overly competitive kids but the rest of them don’t pick up on this. Not like us hard-nosed parents that have dealt with an uber competitive colleague in the workplace and it has left us scarred!
Then we had our mini pirates sports day – this was a completely different type of emotion. She is not the most enthusiastic and is not so keen to get involved. However, she zoomed it and then turned around waiting for the others to finish. This left me with a completely different set of emotions – please, please, please show good manners, I mumbled to myself! As soon as I congratulated her she simply said “is it time for the picnic mummy”. I was exhausted from watching her and she just doesn’t mind whether she is there or not! Another time I am left exhausted with emotions and they just continue oblivious…