Soccer mom

I had a lovely weekend. I spent a large proportion of it pretending I was a soccer mom. (No, honestly. I went to an under 9s football game clutching a thermos of tea and holding hands with a little girl. I was picture perfect).

Although I looked the part (impeccably, some might say. No one did, but that’s really beside the point entirely), I’m not sure I’ve got the soccer mom temperament completely sorted. It seems that screeching ‘mark your man!’ and ‘give him options! What are you doing you little wretch, clear the goal!’ is not as prevalent as one might imagine. (I don’t know why. It seems real parents are not as helpful as I am). ‘Take it like a man! Do you need a toughen-up pill?’ I asked as one of the children fell to the ground.

I could tell from the alarmed glances of other watching parents that perhaps childhood first-aid has advanced somewhat since the 1980s. (I could never quite understand why it took so many years to become a doctor, seeing as the only things they ever needed to say were ‘walk it off’ and ‘stop crying’). I know that there’s more to being a good soccer mom than hurling abuse at small children, so I turned my attention to the little girl I was with.

‘Now,’ I said carefully. ‘It’s very good your brother is a football player. It means you’ll have lots of nice sportsmen to choose from.’ The little girl’s Mother looked over at me. ‘Obviously,’ I continued quickly. ‘You should be discerning. No-one’s going to buy the cow if you’re giving away the milk for free.’ The little girl looked up at me uncomprehendingly. ‘Can you pick me up and spin me round upside-down?’ she asked. I was delighted.

I haven’t played dizzy dinosaurs for months. (I got a bit over-excited and became so dizzy I dropped the little girl in the mud. Luckily her Mother wasn’t looking, so I think I got away with it. Anyway, who’s going to believe a child? I’ve got a much more persuasive vocabulary). After the match we went for lunch, and the kids let me finish their chips. I can’t wait to be a parent. Children are brilliant.

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