We didn’t really enjoy the five-a-side football sessions that small son took part in last year for a number of reasons. So when school offered outdoor training sessions, I had small son straight into the car and en route to the sports shop in no time!


The thing is though, no matter the location of the game, it’s small son’s complete disregard for the game and its rules that is the problem. I noted this as soon as I saw him put his brand new shinpads on his arms. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when I tried to help him put them on his shins (the clue was there all the time, my friends!), he told me off for messing about with his (and I quote) “shin PANTS”.

There was no time to waste though, as I then had to help with the shoelaces which is a skill he has not quite mastered. This of course, had to wait until we’d had a row about whether to wear trousers or shorts.  When I used to play football, we played in shorts, no matter what the weather. I remember playing in snow and even below freezing, and the pain as the ball would smack the skin on your thighs which was preferable to playing in trousers which felt like running in treacle. If these trousers are up to your nipples as the exhibit in front of me though, it’s actually more akin to swimming in treacle.

As the session was about to start, I relented. There were two youngsters from our local football team who split the children by age.  That meant that it was the woman who took the 15 or so boys and girls who were just as clueless as small son.

All of the other parents disappeared, while I asked if I could watch. “I promise I won’t get involved” I joked.  I did manage to keep my feelings to myself for a bit but then realised I was face-palming and tutting when small son lost control of his ball and ended up in the other group for a while, before noticing that he was meant to be playing “stuck in the mud”, not keepy uppies.

Bravely, the staff member then organised a game. Not entirely sure that small son knew the aim of the game is to get the ball into the other goal, I watched in disbelief as he chased the ball all over the pitch but then run away screeching when someone passed it to him.

When I saw one of the other team slide the ball into the goal while small son played some air guitar, I disappeared into the car park to avoid an aneurism.  But small son was undeterred and when we got home, we had a fun kick about in the garden until one of us chipped the ball over into next door’s garden. No prizes for guessing which one of us it was…..




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