10. 45 A.M. We are all freezing to death, on the edge of some muddy field, watching Harry, my son, play football. It’s bitterly cold and I am missing my warm cozy bed.
Matilda, my teenage daughter, and I don’t have a clue about the rules of football. We look up from our hot drinks occasionally to cheer or clap. Mainly when we hear other parents make some noise.
Harry has not been happy with our football spectator approach as we have been guilty of cheering and clapping for the other team.
The parents at these football matches are generally split into three camps:
- Those that believe their son or daughter is gifted at football. These parents spend their time lecturing other uninterested parents on how they could tell their child was going to be gifted whilst he or she was in the womb.
- Those that believe they are the unofficial football coach and spend their time screaming at their child and other team players from the sidelines. These parents are usually red faced, pacing the length of the pitch and always argue with every decision the referee makes.
- Those that have accepted their child is an average football player and just let them get on with it. These parents drink coffee, moan about the weather and dream of going back to bed.
I have come prepared for the football match. I have a coffee, chocolate (to keep Matilda, Toby and I going on the sidelines) and every form of first aid item stuffed into my hand bag, in case Harry gets injured.
They apparently have a new first aider at the club but I like to come prepared.
Harry has already warned me not to get out my first aid kit as apparently I am embarrassing!
10.45 A.M. Toby is looking over his shoulder.
‘Malcolm [his imaginary friend] thinks that Dad’s girlfriend is probably regretting wearing those high heels’ he says staring at something coming across the muddy field towards us.
I follow his stare and spot Rob, my ex, helping his blonde barmaid girlfriend stagger across the field towards us. I let out a silent groan.
His girlfriend has chosen to wear something practical for Saturday morning football; a tight leopard skin mini dress, a fake fur coat and a pair of huge stilettos.
This is the last thing I need; my ex partner and his girlfriend keeping me company on the football field.
‘OMG she’s stuck in the mud!’ says Matilda, turning round to stare at the spectacle.
We all turn to watch Rob yank his girlfriend’s stiletto out of a muddy hole.
As she gets older Matilda is excelling at reading my thoughts. ‘Must be quite satisfying watching her get caked in mud’ she whispers, staring at the blonde bar maid.
‘Yes it is’ I say, trying not to laugh at the sight of Rob saving his blonde bar maid from falling in a gigantic puddle of mud.
‘Do you ever think about getting revenge Mam?’ asks Matilda. ‘I mean, she was the one he had the affair with’ she says quietly.
‘Not my style’ I say, thinking back to the moment when Rob packed his bags and announced he was leaving us to be with the blonde bar maid from our local pub.
‘Mam!’ hollers Harry. ‘I just scored a goal and you were not looking!’
‘Oh sorry!’ I turn back and start to clap.
‘Bit late now!’ shouts Harry and storms back onto the pitch.
10.52 A.M. We are joined by Rob and his girlfriend at the side line.
Rob immediately assumes the role of unofficial football coach, screaming words of sporting wisdom at the team.
Matilda, Toby and I are left to make small talk with Rob’s girlfriend.
10. 53 A.M. Somewhere along the way she has decided that we are all good friends.
The fact that Rob left me and the kids for her has been conveniently forgotten.
As she giggles about something that happened in the pub, I can’t help but notice the large muddy puddle, right behind her.
The chilly wind picks up and as I button up my coat I notice that she is swaying. Her heels are so high it’s as though she’s wearing stilts.
10.54 A.M. A scream from the pitch makes me turn around.
Harry is down and yelping whilst holding onto his foot. Oh no!
Rob is running across the pitch.
I am now sprinting onto the pitch clutching my handbag of first aid goodies.
Matilda is running behind me.
I can hear Harry shouting ‘no Mam!’ as I start to hold aloft plasters, spray on antiseptic and wipes.
‘Mam is coming my baby!’ I scream as some kids on the pitch smirk.
‘Go away!’ shouts Harry, spotting me heading towards him.
By the time I arrive at the other side of the pitch, I am flushed, breathless and clutching a handful of bandages.
To my horror a hooded first aider from the club is kneeling beside my son Harry, inspecting his leg.
Rob, Harry’s father, is busy lecturing some of the players on tactics for the rest of the match.
‘Harry do you want Mammy to have a look at your poorly leg?’ I say.
‘Mam stop being embarrassing!’ Harry hisses.
The first aider rises, turns around and I am gob smacked. He is late twenties, tall and absolutely stunning to look at.
‘Are you Harry’s mum?’ he asks with a silky smooth voice, making my heart race.
‘OMG!’ whispers Matilda, behind me. ‘He is sooooooo fit!’
I nod, words fail me.
‘Harry’s fine. Nothing to worry about’ he says, before bending down to grab his bag.
We are escorted off the pitch as Harry agrees to play on, despite his bruised leg.
Both Matilda and I gawp at the handsome first aider. We both gasp as he runs his hands through his black curly hair and gives the spectators a heroic look.
Rob’s blonde bar maid welcomes us back. She’s still teetering dangerously on those huge heels, in front of the dark puddle of slimy mud.
Just as we are about to watch the rest of the match she makes a comment.
‘I saw you talking to that first aider ladies’ she cackles at Matilda and I. ‘Shame he’s out of both your leagues!’
She erupts into high pitched giggles and starts to totter about.
When my first partner Jon, Matilda’s father, left me for Paul, the butcher, I didn’t get angry or have issues with Paul. Deep down there were things about Jon that I had been happily ignoring. Also I knew I couldn’t compete with a stubbly chin, a gruff voice and a hairy back.
Paul and I now get on very well and when we are not joking about Jon, we are discussing the price of meat.
The blonde bar maid situation is different. She annoys me on so many levels.
Her joke hangs in the air for a moment as we all stand in silence watching the football match.
‘Shall me Mam?’ whispers Matilda.
‘Yes dear!’ I say. Revenge isn’t my style but sometimes you can’t help yourself.
You would not believe how many years I have waited to do this to my ex’s girlfriend.
We both give the the blonde bar maid a gentle nudge and over she goes. Splash! Into the pool of mud.
‘ROB!’ she screeches, thrashing about in the gooey thick mud.
Matilda and I smile, grab Toby and walk back to the car.
As we head away I can hear her shrieking from her mud bath.
‘Dad’s too busy shouting at the team to help her!’ shouts Toby looking over his shoulder.
A huge smile spreads across my face.