Half Time


With the current overlap of Soccer, Baseball and Softball, the little travellers are averaging around 7 games of sport each weekend. Getting them to their seven various games is not as hard as it sounds. It’s all held within the same area, and although we’ve had a couple of close shaves we’ve managed to get everyone where they need to be each week. Sure, we have the usual nightmares, the where’s my glove, the there’s only one shin pad in my bag, the why are you wearing my soccer shorts they’re not your soccer shorts yes they are get them off Muuuuuuum make him take them offffffff. Surprisingly, it’s none of the above that does my head in.

It’s the snacks – the snacks does my head in.

In the days of old, when Granny Max took on the role of coach of Renmark Junior White (aka Grade 5 netball legends), and I was the enthusiastic but highly inflexible Goal Attack who cracked the shits every time she was moved to Goal Shooter, we also brought snacks. They were called oranges. Oranges that were unpeeled, oranges that were cut into uneven slices and placed in a tupperware container. We also brought water, water that came from a tap. If we were lucky Granny would consider throwing in a couple of ice cubes. At half time oranges would be handed out to hot and sweaty kids as they sat in teams and discussed who was definitely cheating, and the unfair advantage that Renmark Blue’s Goal Keeper had developed breasts earlier than the rest of us and was using them as weapons of mass destruction each time she jumped.

It appears the good old days are over. With each child/team we have had a snack list. And as each week goes by I am noticing that the snack is not so much a snack but a buffet, a buffet in an oversized ziplock bag. Muffins, granola bars, donuts, chocolate milk, and wafers have all made an appearance. Each product appears to have arrived via China and is double wrapped to allow for more packaging than a 40ft sea container of Swarovski figurines. It is pure madness.

“When did we start providing treats for playing sport?”  I asked a fellow parent. “Why are we doing this? Whose idea was this?”

And then it came to me, at the end of the game when I saw a familiar look in my child’s eye. I knew exactly who was responsible. I’d seen that look before, a look that arrives at the end of a birthday party when a child starts thinking about party bags. The present that comes from merely attending the party is now accompanying the present that comes from playing sport. It was that person, the person who one day said ‘hey instead of just handing out a piece of birthday cake wrapped in a serviette why don’t we put a little bag of treats together for each child?”


So, wherever you are, party favour/party bag person, the person who has made life for every parent that much more involved than it ever needed to be. I’ve got a snack list with your name on it.


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