As each year of motherhood passes I find myself more grateful than ever that my non-denominational god has blessed me with a daughter (a girly girl, no less) who doesn’t like sport. I’d even go so far as to say she hates it.
And right now, as Victoria (where I live) is being deluged, my gratitude is verging on fervour. Wet is an understatement. Soaking is probably more appropriate a term for the kind of rain we are experiencing at the moment. And as I drive by miserable parents crowding under umbrellas, bracing the cold and knee deep in mud at local football fields, I can’t help but feel smug. I send up a non-denominational prayer to my non-denominational god for delivering to me a child who prefers more genteel activities that are generally conducted indoors.
At the beginning of her second year at school I asked my daughter what activities she’d like to do outside of school. ‘Nothing with balls, Mummy,’ was her response. To my great relief.
Balls and I have had a stand-offish relationship all my life. We have never really gotten along. After a series of awkward mishandlings, and by mutual agreement, we decided it best to leave each other alone when I reached puberty. So I was hardly torn apart by the news that Little Miss didn’t want to run about chasing them for fun.
There are a multitude of benefits to this arrangement. Aside from the obvious aid to my personal comfort, my washing machine doesn’t get clogged with mud, I don’t have to spend money on expensive uniforms and boots, and I get to relax on a chair indoors while Little Miss does drama or whatever and indulge in my favourite pastime.
Yes, shamefully I must admit, I am one of those despicable ‘device’ mum’s. You know the ones. Disinterested, self-absorbed. Occasionally glancing up to give Little Miss an encouraging nod and mouth ‘Yes, I’m watching’ before returning to my inane and pointless tweeting, facebooking and writing smug blog posts about how damned first world lucky I am.
In fact, now when selecting activities I unconsciously steer Little Miss toward activities that lend themselves to an indulgent hour of social media intercourse. Classes where talking between parents is prohibited as it distracts from the little ones concentration. Or even better (and here’s a discovery for you) classes that start after 5pm, because they are the ones dads are roped into and dads simply can’t be bothered wasting their time on friendly idle chit chat with strangers. They prefer to sit and stare at their shoes. Or walk around examining the walls for imperfections. (I’ve learned a lot about anti-social behaviour by watching dads).
All round, it’s a most suitable situation for a couple of ball-hating, sport averse females. The only down side is Little Miss’s somewhat tense relationship with her PE teacher. She can’t meet this sport fanatics expectations, no matter how hard she tries. At first it upset her (she is a goody two shoes like her mum was before her). She desperately wanted this lady’s approval. But more recently she’s become philosophical and got it into perspective.
‘I think when Mrs X sees a ball, she goes mad.’
Good point. She is a sports nut after all. And everyone knows mad people aren’t sane, right? So there’s no point trying to please them, because they’re just not rational, yes? Yes. It’s a logic I have to applaud, especially when I’m benefiting so well from it.