Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Sporting Piglet

From Playing with Pigs
Yesterday Piglet came out of school and said: "You have to get me shin guards for tomorrow."

I do not like to hear a piglet say "you have to," without some honorific title, I prefer something like: "O noble mater familias who bore me amid unbelievable pain and suffering and has nurtured me at considerable cost to your social life ever since, I beg of you humbly on my knees ..."

After we have sorted that one out, it turns out Piglet wants to do girls' football at lunchtime. In their wisdom her particular grove of Academe has elected to tell the girls they will need shin guards if they wish to kick the round ball around the playground - only the day before.

I'm a bit worried about the possibility of prejudice coming to the surface during the football. No, I don't mean racism - the school has been very good about occasional light racist insults, nor sexism - cuz this is girls' football they are playing. I'm worried because Piglet of course supports the same football team as the Fella, and this team and the local team have a long-standing bitter rivalry such that Dads draw their trouser-legs aside with a hissing noise and a look of fear when Piglet pipes up and says what team she supports.

Pic from Rotten Tomatoes
I am keen to encourage Piglet to do sports. She's already in synchronised swimming and karate and although I think football is for wimps, I suppose it does give you some hand eye co-ordination skills. (Like the lady says to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in The Game Plan: "if ballet was easy, they would call it football.") I agree to rush Piglet up to Asda's this morning, having phoned to check they do have shin guards in stock.

Pic from Tough Pigs Anthology
Alas when we get there I am totally at a loss as to what size is suitable for a piglet of Piglet's height and weight. You see, I am an ex-rugby player. We do not bother our pretty heads about shin guards! In fact sometimes we used to have a knockabout with a football to warm up for the match and amuse ourselves by falling on the ground if someone came a bit near us, rolling about laughing and shouting: "Ref! Ref! Red card, red card!"

I see a supermarket worker tootling by with a trolley. I seize him and say: "Do you know about football?" He looks non-plussed cuz he is a working class bloke in a provincial supermarket, not used to feminists who don't want to be accused of making assumptions. Of course he knows about football! He gives Piglet a quick scan, the shin guards a quick scan, and selects a suitable pair.

Unfortunately I have failed to realise that the shin guards need some kind of strap to tie them round the leg, which is not supplied with them. The Fella says it's possible to slip them in long socks without the straps. Piglet is of course well supplied with long socks in a colour that will not show mud, and which have a pretty scalloped edge on the cuff. Hopefully that will do. I tell her to tell the teacher: "Sorry, my mom doesn't understand shin guards - cuz she is a rugby player." If the socks are not sufficient, that should do the trick, LOL.

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