I’m popping back into the NappyDaze because I feel the need to mark a recent magical, momentous occasion in my world. No it’s not Harrison’s (so far) seamless transition from cot to “big boy bed”, which happened simultaneously with said massive event, but more the fact I have experienced live Rugby League Grand Final Glory, watching my beloved Saints, with my beloved Dad and husband win the 2010 NRL Premiership. Sing it with me, OH WHEN THE SAINTS, GO MARCHING IN, OH WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN…!!!
Ok, so I realise I have probably lost a lot of mummy readers at this point and made you prone to yawning in protest at the mere thought of reading on. But its got me to thinking, that while I’d have loved to also share this special moment in time with my son (and eventual Dragons fan, sorry husband) there are many reasons why I wouldn’t yet expose my toddler to this fanfare.
1. AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM – MUCH! I suppose the obvious question here is why would any sane parent subject their just turned two year old to an event on such a grand scale as this. With almost 84,000 fanatical fans in attendance, it’s not quite a calm environment for your child to spend a total of 8 hours of his day. Sure, there were some brave adults bearing children dotted about us in the crowd. One was an easily contained 6 week old, wrapped snugly in the lap of her Mummy, while others appeared to be of the 6 year old plus variety. What was most evident however, was there non-stop mission to eat as much junk food as they could readily consume in one sitting. Its as if the parents were only too happy to comply, as it no doubt bought them some peace. But that sugar hit has got to take flight at some time and they’ll either fall in a heap and want to sleep (on your lap, which kinda precludes you from standing and cheering your team on), or acts as a catalyst for a crazy energy rush. No thanks, lets just all agree to leave out the littlies from large events such as these!
2. THERE’S ONE IN EVERY CROWD: And in my case, he was sitting right next to me. You know the type, right? The obnoxious know-it-all fan who proceeds to spew forth with sarcasm, hurl abusive comments, and proclaim to be the leading expert on all things Rugby League related. There wasn’t a minute of the game go by that wasn’t critiqued with snide derision – and all at the top of his lungs (just in case the people in the cheap seats couldn’t quite hear him). Funny thing was, for such a “die hard” Roosters fan, he wasn’t decked out in a single form of fan paraphernalia. There has to be some sort of rule against that – you wanna voice your obtuse opinions? Well go right ahead and be my guest. Just be sure to back it up by being decked out in your teams colours – and then I might cut you some slack.
3. MUMMY MONSTER: As a direct response to Number two, the Mummy Monster, (aka die hard sports fan) rears her ugly head. And I truly think no two year old should see its adored Mummy morph into a screeching banshee, even if was just an attempt to show Obnoxious Neighbour how truly annoying it is to enjoy your day out at the footy with a lunatic seated at your side.
4. LANGUAGE LESSONS: And to now neatly segue into reason number four to leave toddler in the care of babysitters (thanks Shez & G!), whether it be as a result of the Obnoxious Neighbour, or the Mummy Monster, there is no escaping the fact the atmosphere is literally teeming with expletives and offensive phrases. Sure, your child might come home with a newly minted colourful vocabulary, but it would be the variety that could well see us kicked out of our lovely day-care – or at the very least, issued with a stern “please explain” . There’s plenty of time ahead in the school playground for these forbidden phrases to be bandied about illegally by the big kids, I’m sure…
5. EVERY WHERE YOU GO, YOU ALWAYS TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU: Its one thing for me to be out in the inclement elements, risking pneumonia for the sheer possibility of seeing my team take home the coveted NRL Premiership, but quite another for me to subject my young son to it. Trust me, when your team, after 31 long years, is starting to look like a sure thing to win, suddenly you could care less about be caught out in the drenching rain. You are more than happy to sing and dance and cheer uncovered, but I am aware the novelty might wear off a little quicker for Harrison.
6. THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Now at days end, when you are overwhelmed with glee and hoarse from excitement, you wish for only one more thing – to have some Ruby Red shoes that you could click together, Dorothy-style, and magic you back home, minus the horrendously long queue for the train. When you and approximately 60,000 others are looking to leave the same time, and via the same mode of transport, a spade load of patience is required. Try telling a toddler this, who’d no doubt by this time be cold, wet, overtired, buzzed out on all things junk food that there was now about 90 minutes time til you arrived at the comfort of your own home. No thank you. Not even all the fabulous Dragons camaraderie in the world, (complete with the continual chanting of When the Saints Go Marching In) can placate a toddler through the transition from the stadium to home. Best they be all tucked up in bed at Aunty Shez’s for when you all eventually stumble excitedly in!
So while my boy has been lucky enough to take in a good share of NRL games, I think its safe to assume we’ll leave the massive, off the Richter scale matches to a time when, say, he is old enough to purchase his own ticket – or at least able to promise not to eat out the entire contents of the canteen close by. Still, I’ll be sure to relay to him for many years to come, the absolute exhilaration of the day, and how his Poppy and I cheered and danced and clapped til we were raw with delight.
My only final hope is that it does not take him 31 long years to enjoy a similar sporting success!