I’m not usually the sort of parent that ferries her children round from one activity to the next trying to ensure that they have a well rounded childhood – working full time means that I selfishly like the kids to be at home when I am so I can relax we can spend time together. However, last week Miss Frugal announced that she would like to learn ‘something’. She’s not sure what but she just knows she would like to do something.
Being the wonderful mother that I am, I popped down to our Leisure Centre and picked up the program of activities so we could choose one. Our conversation went a little bit like this:
Me: What about Karate or Judo?
Miss F: Mam! I’m not a boy you know.
Me: OK, What about dancing lessons?
Miss F:*Big Sigh* That’s too girly.
Me: But you are a girl.
Miss F: *Bigger Sigh*
Me: What about trampolining?
Miss F: As long as no-one else watches me while I jump. I don’t like people watching me in case I’m not very good.
(cue long conversation about how it’s the taking part that counts)
Me: Why don’t you go to brownies as well?
Miss F: ‘Cos I’ve seen their uniform. Besides I want to learn horse riding and pole dancing!
At this point poor Mr Frugal who had been sat quietly listening to this exchange nearly spat out his cup of tea…..
I won’t go into the details of this conversation other than to say that one of her friends had been teaching her pole dancing at school and she thought it looked fun! Funnily enough, I can’t seem to find any pole dancing lessons for seven year olds in this area – maybe I’ve found a gap in the market 😉
Anyway, we settled on trampolining and horse riding (along with a few other things we’re just going to try – just in case) which is how I came to spend last Saturday immersed in the world of competitive parenting.
First up trampolining, parents weren’t allowed to stay in the hall and were told to wait in the cafe area. Mmmm, I was quite excited at this as I remebered seeing a huuuge cream cake on the way in. But no, as one of the other parents told me, what we actually do is go and sit in the cold uncomfortable stands and watch our children jump up and down for an hour – so we can see how they’re progressing apparently. Am I a bad mother that I sat in the stands and thought of my cream cake for the full hour?
After trampolining we went straight to horseriding (stopping only for a chocolate fountain) where Miss Frugal was one of the only children not to be all dressed up in Joules clothes and properly kitted out with her own boots and hat. Not that she was bothered, all she could do was smile because she was horseriding. Again, we all sat and watched and I learned that I was wrong, it’s not the taking part that counts – it’s all about being the best. Silly me….
One woman called out instructions to her child as she went round the ring (the poor teacher just kept quiet so she must be used to her), another went through the motions of trotting along with her daughter whilst sitting on her chair and several others stage whispered to their children everytime they went past that they weren’t smiling enough.
I’m quite a competitive person naturally so I’m going to try really hard not to get involved in this side of things. Anyway got to go, I have a date with e bay to buy some Joules clothes and some riding boots 😉