Now that my five year old baby is growing up he doesn't need me as much. I felt this oh so keenly last Sunday when he began football training at the park. David and I stood with other parents and grandparents watching as our pride and joys ran round in the mud. After his initial assessment done by a man who looked and sounded like a Sargeant Major ("C'mon boys, keep those knees up!") we received the outcome whilst the child himself stood gasping for air with his hopeful colleagues. It was agreed that, going on the initial assessment, Mac would play in midfield "until his true position has uncovered itself". It turned out that all of the boys were to play in midfield which prompted David to make the remark that "Millwall do that". Sargeant Major did not look impressed.
During one game in which all boys were encouraged to "shoot and defend" Mac fell over quite spectacularly after receiving a well aimed tackle from a child at least a foot taller than him. My heart stopped before leaping into my mouth: David had to physically restrain me from running onto the pitch, picking him up and "kissing it better".
My boy stood up, shook himself and very visibly pulled himself together before carrying on. This was a child that, on the Friday before, walked into a wall (too busy chatting to his friends) and came running to me sobbing. Then he sustained no bruises (other than his pride) but had to have a cuddle and the promise of ice cream for pudding before he stopped wailing. Last Sunday he acquired four bruises, one cut leg and a swelling cheek and wore them all with pride with not even a nod to my maternal instinct to smother, look after and kiss better. Even when I drenched him in TCP he didn't cry.
Needless to say, David took him on his own this morning.
We're taking a handful of his friends to the cinema on Saturday afternoon - the majority of them want to see Hotel for Dogs but some of them are just going for the chance to eat pick 'n' mix all afternoon. I'm more than a little wary of this - Mac attended a birthday party last Wednesday. When I dropped him off he was clean, neat and tidy. When I picked him up he was scruffy, sweaty, tearful and bouncing off the walls. Dawn had similar problems with Jonathan so had called the mother of the birthday boy. "Oh yes!" she had told Dawn "My husband's mother dropped in and she'd bulk bought sweeties as a treat!" The "treat" left my son with a headache and a twitch that didn't go away until Thursday afternoon.
But now it's me with the twitch. QVC have an hour of Philosophy now and so I'm off to stock up on my own treats!