Friday night saw us having a home game with Felix’s U12 rugby union team. There’s only three Friday night matches in the entire season so they’re like the birthday, Christmas and wedding anniversary parties with the ultimate present being a team win.
The Newport clubhouse is set up on a hill with a wide veranda so you can pull up a stool, chug down a cheap Coopers Pale Ale (or a vino OR even a champagne) while your kids mainline Passiona and tuck into your sausage sanger/hamburger/hotdog or fancy schmazy chicken tandoori ON.A.ROLL. I mean, what a sensation. We ALL had one! With yoghurt! AND there was salad and tomato on offer as well. What on earth will they think of next to outdo that culinary MASTERPIECE I ask you.
Being at home also means you can really hone your negligent parenting skills. Seriously, I didn’t see several of my million children all night, except for the occasional ‘oh there you are’ and ‘just go and do a wee behind that tree’. Winning.
At some stage I realised the game was almost underway and hot-footed it down to the sideline to get my yell on. The yelling I witnessed in the early trial games were all I needed to know we were home. You see, parents and coaches yell at rugby.
Like REALLY YELL.
Even better is that you only need a couple of core phrases to really get into it.
DOWN LOW DOWN LOW DOWN LOW is to remind the boys NOT to tackle other players above the waist. It’s a polite way of saying to the boys mid-flight FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NOT AROUND THE NECK.
This is also a fine lesson in just how lazy many of our professional sportsmen are in their repeated offenses at head-high tackles. JUST BEND OVER YOU LAZY FUCK AND TACKLE HIM AROUND THE LEGS.
Anyway. The other core phrase is GO OVER GO OVER GO OVER.
This comes hot on the heels of DOWN LOW which has seen one or twenty boys all collapse on top of each other on the ground.
From what I can tell, at this point if you had the ball under NO CIRCUMSTANCES LET GO OF THE BLOODY BALL. Instead, wait until several of team mates run and stomp over the top of you, thereby pushing the other team back so you can push the ball ‘out the back’ to one of your team mates.
What can I say, it’s not MENSA.
I am totally addicted and I’m not sure just how my nerves are going to survive the whole season.
See, here’s the thing. Felix has the build and brain for rugby union and I can not tell you just how awesome it is seeing your kid find.their.passion. He loves all the plays and strategies (because apparently it IS more complex that get the ball, run, pass the ball, score a try. I know. I’m learning All.The.Time.) and in what has been one of the biggest revelations in my parenting of him – he can actually run.
Because this is still so new and shiny to me (Felix! Running! Not playing Minecraft! Muscles not atrophying on the lounge from all the Xbox inaction!) I tend to get quite carried away when he gets the ball. And by carried away I mean screamy.
Combine that with the fact he is a full forward and therefore gets the ball quite a bit AND that I have the MOST excellent, loud, holy shit we can hear you four suburbs away parenting voice it’s like I’m a pig in shit.
Which brings us back to last night’s game.
It had only just got underway when Felix ‘got a touch’, found a gap and was going for his life. Naturally I assumed full voice and bellowed a ‘RUUUUUUUUUUUN FELIX RUUUUUUUUUUUN’.
When I realised the entire ground was remarkably quiet.
And looking at me.
Blessedly there was some mirth in it. I explained it was so rare to see Felix run that when he does I get a little carried away. And then I hear, ‘I’d know that voice anywhere.’
And there was my uber chic old boss from the days I worked in a PR firm that rhymes with Hill & Knowlton. She was with her sons and husband from the basket weaving capital of Australia, Balmain.
Suddenly I felt less like Foghorn Leghorn and more like the Fisherwoman from The Magic Far-Away Tree.
Needless to say we had a potted history catch up – her family all fine, mine like a cart missing a wheel – before they headed off to cross three bridges and return to their hamlet while I totally missed Felix scoring a try. I know. I jog it in every single.
We went on to absolutely cane the opposition – meaning we’ve only lost one game this season.
So yeah, now I’m one of “those” sideline parents – loud, screamy AND smug.