Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2014 Contents 16|
| SERIOUSLY? |
By Roslyn Carrington
DRY SEASON brings heat, dust, flowering poui trees,
and long, rain-free days just perfect for outdoor activi-
ties. And for parents, that means School Sports Day.
A day when you take time off from work to stand in
that heat, inhaling that dust, under those self-same
poui trees, and yell your lungs out as your tyke runs
sack races or winds up at the bottom of a writhing
heap of arms and legs during the tug of war.
Chin up; it's only once a year, and your kids will always
warmly remember that you were there to support
them as they ran toward glory or defeat. Sure, you'd
probably rather clean the lint out of your dryer than
bake in the noonday sun amidst a swarm of screaming
little ones, but attending school events is high on the
list of Mommy Musts. And just to make sure you main-
tain your sanity, here are a few hints to survive the day,
while making yourself look like the World's Coolest Par-
1. FLY THE TEAM COLOURS HIGH
No matter how inventive the house names are, chances
are your kid's school is divided into teams sporting red,
blue, yellow and green. Show your support by wearing
your child's team colour --- even if you have to go out and
buy a new T-shirt. It will let your child know you're on
her side, while making other parents think, gosh . . . I wish
I'd thought to do that!
2. ABUSE YOUR VOCAL CHORDS
Invite a severe case of laryngitis by shouting encourage-
ment from the sidelines, not just to your own kid or his
team, but also to every mini-athlete out there, regard-
less of their performance. Congratulate the fast ones,
boost the slow ones. Cheer for the hopeless one who
trips over her own shoelaces, and the one who gets con-
fused and runs off in the wrong direction. It will teach
your child about good sportsmanship, and the little kid-
dies will feel appreciated.
3. HANDS OFF THE REF
To referee is human; to forgive, divine. Even if you think
your precious snowflake is being cheated, keep it to your-
self. Nobody wants to see your impression of John
McEnroe. Do not enquire after the judge's maternal line-
age, or whether he is descended from beasts of burden
or tree-dwelling primates. Tantrums, especially when
they favour your child, are petty and pathetic. And your
child would rather put one of the racing sacks over her
head than watch Mommy behave like an overgrown brat.
4. MAKE FRIENDS WITH OTHER PARENTS
Actually learn their names. You probably know the lady
in the red dress as "Shastri's mommy" or the guy in the
black sneakers as "Robert's grandpa", because your in-
teraction is limited to a distracted nod as you cross
paths in the schoolyard. Why not get to know each
other a little better? Not only will you have an idea of
who your child is spending time with, but you can form
alliances with parents that will benefit both you and
If there is a Parent's Race, run. If there is a snack booth
or prize table, volunteer. You'll get to spend time with
the teachers, and generally make yourself more visible.
There's no telling how the simple bonds you form will
work for the best in the future.
Other hints to remember
• Stay hydrated. This means water, not those ghastly concoction
of sugar and food colouring that is always present at children's
events, and which have brought about the demise of countless
lab rats. This means good old H2O, as cold as you can get it.
• Pack way more snacks than you need, especially fresh fruit, nuts
and homemade goodies. Your child will feel proud to have some-
thing to pass around, and you'll endear yourself to his little friends.
• Stay to the end. It's tempting to spirit your child away as soon
as his event is over, but it's not fair to the other children who
end up performing before empty stands. Remember, it's their
day, not yours.
Most of all, enjoy the chance to spend time with your child.
These opportunities are more rare than you think. You'll have
fun, make friends, become closer to your child, and look like an
awesome parent into the bargain. And that's what events like
these are all about, isn't it?
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