Sports Day

After missing last years’ nursery sports day to attend a wedding, Dh and I made a point of attending this years’. The girls were only eighteen months old at their first sports day two years ago and didn’t really understand what was going on. R was going down with tonsillitis but, bad parents that we are, didn’t realise and wondered why she spent the whole afternoon sobbing and chewing her fists off.

This year the girls were ridiculously excited. The running track (about 10 metres long) was set out a week beforehand so they had been practising. R’s pretty athletic and is a fairly speedy runner. G runs…like a girl. All flappy arms and excited squealing.

The children are organised into teams beforehand and a week before we received a note saying that R was in the orange team and G was in the blue team and had to wear t-shirts of that colour. Two years ago they had been in the same team (grr) and R’s t-shirt had matched her red angry face perfectly. So we had two teams to cheer for this year.

The baby room had their (walker-assisted) race first (they’re so SMALL!) and then it was the orange team’s turn. R was in the same team as one of her friends (C) and they lined up alongside each other. Marks were called and R looked down the track. Dh and I stood at the finish, he had the camera and I had the video camera. Someone shouted GO and R and C sprinted down the track. They had left the others for dead. They were neck and neck with two-thirds of the race gone. Dh and I were cheering and we realised that the people standing next to us were C’s grandparents. R and C started jostling for position. I didn’t know whether to be terribly proud or slightly embarrassed when R, with one well-timed elbow managed to edge in front and win the race.

Well, after her first victory there was no stopping her. She decided to take part in her own races and everybody else’s. She even had a race against herself on an empty track between races. Unsurprisingly, she also won that one. I suspect that she’ll be giving Lordsiralan Sugar hell on the Junior Apprentice next year. There’s no ‘I’ in team, remember? Can’t think where she gets her competitive nature from…

G was surprisingly speedy but simply not as bothered about the competitive element of sports day. She was quite happy to take part in the running race, hopping race and potato and spoon race, but didn’t care a jot whether she came first, last or somewhere in the middle. For the record, she was first or second in most of the races she took part in. Ask her if she remembers now and she’d give you a blank look.

Of course there was no competition really…apart from the parents’ race. It was a warm day so I was wearing flip-flops and had to compete barefoot. I dragged one of my mum-friends over to run with me and dh set the video camera rolling. Some of the Dads strolled nonchalantly over to the start line. There was some banter. Someone called us to our marks.

Suddenly the men on the start line crouched down in starting-blocks poses. I was so surprised that I didn’t hear the GO command and started running about five seconds after everyone else. I wasn’t first…but I wasn’t last either. Maybe second-to-last. There’s a video of it but I haven’t watched it yet and Dh is banned from posting it on any form of social media on pain of DEATH.

I got a certificate for my efforts. Each child that took part got a medal. We have a wonderful photo of G messing about with her girlie friends while R looks on, furious that they’ve all been given the same prize as her for NOT WINNING, NOT TRYING and NOT CARING.

We emphasised that it was just a bit of fun. Secretly, R and I know that life isn’t really like that.

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