Friday, July 4, 2008

But Mum, I really wanted to watch the game...and other confessions.

"But Mum, I really wanted to watch the game." These are the words my beautiful four year old muttered in protest as she was being tucked snugly into her bed this evening. The game in question is Geelong vs. Port Adelaide being played in Adelaide as I write this. The Handsome Australian is still a die hard Geelong fan and he has made it his mission in life to ensure that any offspring he produces follow in his Geelong loving footsteps.

After the scandal I created by choosing to barrack for Carlton all those years ago, I think the Handsome Australian decided he needed to buckle down and make sure the rest of 'our family' went his way. I don't begrudge him this dream, I think every guy wants to pass the love of his favourite team on to his kids. In the Handsome Australian's case, this has been extremely important (particularly in the last year as Geelong has been cruising at the top of the ladder and actually walked away with the Premiership at the end of the 2007 season--but don't call him fair weather, he takes offense to that. Trust me.).

He began by teaching both of our children the battle cry, "GO THE CATS!!" This is what Geelong fans will shout out during a game in support of their team. The Australians have a funny way of adding a "THE" between the "GO" and "CATS". It used to sound extremely strange to me when I first arrived, but now it's just second nature. Our four year old has been able to shout these words at the top of her lungs for a couple of years now. Our nearly two year old made his "GO THE CATS" debut only a few months ago. I think it's safe to say that hearing the children chanting this phrase over and over at the dinner table makes the Handsome one's heart swell with pride.

Next he taught our daughter the Geelong Song--oh yes, there is a song! Did I forget to mention that each AFL team has their own goofy little song? Well, they do! When a particular team wins a game, their club's song is played over the PA at the stadium and all the supporters sing it. Once the players of the winning team are off the field and back in the locker room after the game, they form a circle and sing the club song at the top of their lungs. Don't laugh!! The fans take this very seriously and the networks actually televise this. It's a ritual.

As luck would have it, our daughter loves music and took to the song like a duck to water. Unfortunately, she couldn't always remember the words so I'd constantly hear, "Mum, can we sing the Geelong song again?" To which I'd have to oblige and sing the song for her--over and over and over again. I can sing the Geelong song backwards in my sleep hanging upside down from the monkey bars at the local park if I need to. Maybe that's a new party trick I should put on the resume...

With the team propaganda sorted and our children suitably brainwashed, the Handsome Australian began to explain some of the finer points of the game to them while he sat on the edge of his seat about three inches from the TV screen as Geelong played game after game. The four year old can recognise 'goals' as well as 'marks' while her younger brother is still clutching to basics like, "ball", "man", "running". Don't worry though, he's a clever kid and he'll get there.

About a month ago, the Handsome Australian decided that the four year old was ready to experience her first Geelong Game in the flesh. He picked an afternoon game at the 'MCG' (Melbourne Cricket Ground) on a dismal winter's day. It was about 11 degrees Celsius (that's about 51 degrees Fahrenheit) with patches of rain. I rugged her up in five different layers and sent a blanket along with her. She was beside herself with excitement at the prospect of attending her first footy match with her dear old Dad. The Handsome Australian was beaming too. They were quite the giddy little pair. The mother in me was concerned about the weather and my little one's exposure to the elements for several hours at what I might describe as a 'boring footy match', but I couldn't deny them this experience. So, off they went.

She LOVED it!!! She LOVED it!!! Upon returning home she informed me that 1) yes she was warm enough 2)no, Daddy did not buy her any hot chips (that's Aussie for french fries) but she did manage to wrangle a hot chocolate out of him 3) Geelong won the game and 4) her favourite part was when the mascots took the field at the beginning and when they got to sing the Geelong song at the end of the game. Then she proceeded to sing the song for the rest of the day...and the day after that, and the day after that.

She didn't want to go to bed tonight because she wanted to watch her beloved Geelong with her beloved Dad. She's four. Help! Imagine how passionate she's going to be when she gets older. Yikes. I wasn't expecting the Handsome Australian's brainwashing regime to be this effective. He's got skills I never even knew about.

Here's the thing though, all this Geelong stuff, it's starting to rub off on me. How can I look in the dewy eyes of my two little lambs and tell them that Mommy barracks for Carlton? They'll hate me forever. I think I'm quietly being converted to a Geelong supporter...did I just say that? Damn he's good! Whatever you do, don't mention this to the Handsome Australian. I'll NEVER live it down!

Learn the Lingo
mark=to quote Wikipedia, "A mark is a skill in Australian rules football where a player cleanly catches a kicked ball that has travelled more than 15 metres without anyone else touching it or the ball hitting the ground"
MCG= Melbourne Cricket Ground, affectionately referred to by most as "The G".
hot chips=french fries


Scintilla said...

Oh don't change...

We are the mighty blues...

Learn the song for Carlton !!

suzinoz said...

Thanks for the encouragement scintilla. I'm trying to fight the power, but it's very strong here! =)

I do know the Carlton song and I think it's way better than the Geelong one. It's got a bit of gusto to it.

Nice to see someone beside my Mum is reading this! Thanks for stopping by!

Annelise said...

You do realize everytime you say Carlton I envision Carlton from Fresh Prince Of Bel Aire dancing!

Ahhh, that little princess of yours! I miss her! She could even convince Milo to barrack for her team!