Saturday, 15 October 2011

Don't start something you can't stop

Today Shark asked me to 'come and play'.

She declined my offer of Scrabble. She said play had to include running about.


It finally came down to mama being reluctantly dragged to a ball court alongside a basketball. Shark reassured me, 'One hour, maximum'.

Neither of us has any experience of basketball.

We spent motionless minutes, staring at each other in puzzlement in the style of an Ingmar Bergman movie, separated by a ball in the centre of an empty court, wondering what to do.

But, a ball's a ball, right? It rolls. And after that awkward start, the running about play went okay.

No. You know what? It was better than okay. It was brilliant. I was brilliant.

I put this down to my easy-going nature and my happy willingness to engage with any request, so long as it comes from the impulse of a child.

And the fact that I have no worries left to lose in the body-exhibition department. I already discarded the last shreds of dignity, along with the rest of my cuttings on the maternity ward floor, some eleven years ago. These days, running about a ball court without grace, co-ordination, or any athletic ability whatsoever, much in the manner of a rhinoceros locked in a yard, comes extremely easy.

Then Shark said the hour was up. It only looked like 20 minutes to me.

She awarded me 1/10 for actual basketballery achievements. But I told her, I'm having 15/10 for effort.

Considering I am a 50-year old woman living the consequences of three kids squatting on her bladder for 7 months, I told Shark, make that 25/10.

'Time to go' insisted Shark.

But no. I made her stay. By then I had just warmed up. I wanted to try a few things I had seen Olga Korbut do in the 1976 Olympics, like head rolls and handstands. I am not sure they are basketball moves. But I wanted an effort mark of 50/10.

By that time I was very hot and a bit red in the face. I said to Shark, these knickers I'm wearing? Trust me. They look exactly like the baggy grey knickers we had to wear for athletics at school.

Shark wanted to go even more urgently, and said now she had a pressing deadline with a geography population puzzle. But I made her stay even longer. I wanted her to play this fantastic new game I have invented.

I am calling it foot-ball. It's going to be huge. You mark my words. You heard it here first. The point of the game is that I have to kick the ball exactly where Shark is standing with her hands on her hips, and get it over the dotty line.

At that point, Shark said she wasn't staying any longer, and it's bad enough when your 50-year old mother takes off her trousers to run about a kiddy playground shouting Look at me I'm just like Olga, but she should certainly know better than to pull up her vest over her face shouting GOAL GOAL GOAL.

Then she picked up her ball and went home.


sharon said...

That's the trouble with young folk today - no sense of adventure ;-)

Nora said...

I especially liked the part where you pulled your vest over your face. That was a very good move.

AIEEE said...

Thank you for this post! As a School Psych in the early weeks of her 3rd pregnancy, this really made me LOL, and I needed that to distract me from the nausea. Thanks you! And Congrats! Motherhood is wonderful! GATE Exam