Ever since I accidentally watched Golden Boy Chad Le Clos win the Gold for the something-something Butterfly the other night, I’ve been bit by Olympic fever. Actually not the whole Olympics, just the swimming bit really. I tried to watch Archery, and kept getting distracted by the fact that that stretchy elastic bit they pull back right into the actual skin of their faces, doesn’t leave a mark. Then I watched a bit of shooting. Which may or may not be called something more professional and less cops ’n robbers sounding, I’m not sure, but those bits of paper that they stick to the sides of their glasses probably to help them concentrate and not get distracted (hellooo Ritalin..) looks weird, and I couldn’t help but think that if I was standing around a bunch of guys with guns all fighting over a gold medallion the size of a side plate worth slightly more than sixpence, I would want to know who’s behind me. Back to the swimming though. After Chad’s awesome win, cameras zoom to his parents in the stands. His mother is crying, his father has the country’s flag pulled over his head in disbelief, they’re hugging each other, and I’m just sitting on my couch wondering what it must be like to be that parent. How on earth did they get it so right? And it only took 20 years! Chad is twenty! It’s amazing. How the hell did he manage to wake up on time, pack the right stuff, and know where to be without his mom telling him every ten minutes? I always swore I should get a gold medal for parenting, or at the very least a gold star, but now I realise that if parenting was an Olympic sport, it would be the gold winners parents that would take the gold. Which is just one more thing I can blame my kids for, denying me a chance at fantasy gold even. Just as I’m imagining the scenario involving one of my two, another race is about to start. But whats this? An empty space in lane 6? I find myself nodding knowingly. I can totally relate. Poor mother of that girl. Bet she left her wet cozzie on the floor of the changing room after her last race, and of course it didn’t occur to her to pack a spare one even though her Mom told her to at least 400 times, so now she is running around trying to borrow one. Or more likely trying to phone her Mom to bring her one, all wide-eyed saying it must’ve just fallen out of her bag! And while she is about it, can she also bring her another towel, because hers is wet, and yes she did hang it up but it fell back onto the floor somehow and she didn’t notice it as she stepped over it a hundred times last night and she was going to just take one from the ‘hotel’, but then she forgot. Also, can she bring her a sandwich and a packet of chips because she woke up late and didn’t have time to have breakfast and anyway the food there is gross and now she is starving! And she is telling her Mom to come like right now, coz her race is about to start and she is like freaking out! Her Mom is going “I told you to be responsible with your stuff, good thing I wrote your name in it because you’re just going to have to go back there and find that wet costume and wear it young lady, its about time you understand the consequences of not looking after your things, I have told you this a thousand times.”! The commentators said something like “Neck Injury”….which a billion parents around the world acknowledged as a code for ‘Her Cellphone Alarm Just Like Didn’t Go Off And She Doesn’t Know Why Coz She Like Totally Def Set It Before She Went To Sleep.
Im just saying that parenting Non-Olympian athletes is not for sissies and actually if you think about it, parenting actual gold-winning athletes gives you an unfair advantage, so the rules for winning parenting gold would have to state only one per family. So having an Olympian child is like the equivalent of taking a banned substance…. I really need to be on that committee…Anyway, I’m thinking aloud and getting way ahead of myself. My son will be seventeen this year, we have an equal chance of me winning Parent of the Year and Endurance Sleeping being introduced as an Olympic sport. And as the saying goes “the person who says nothing is impossible never tried to staple water to a tree” or wake a teenager up in time to have a family breakfast before school.