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The Crystal Palace Foundation run a football club for H’s age so we had our first class on Tuesday. At first she refused to sit with the others (there was only ten of them this week) and told me she was scared. Now H has had Little Kickers lessons so I knew I wasn’t throwing her into the deep end, and she already knew a few other children there too – though her best friend who was also doing it was also too scared to join in.

So I did as any other mum might and sat her on my knee in the middle of the group. I think the other parents stopped taking photos around then… Anyway, I slowly retreated to the side and H got on with the lesson, so far, so good.

H-onaldo

Then came the competitive section. General games. My daughter the terrible loser. Even though other children had lost before her, when it was her turn she burst into tears. I wasn’t upset by this, nor embarrassed (it was the same kind of crying she does when she’s declared out of a party game) just realistic. I think. She became the child who ran around wailing with her head in the sky, arms straight either side and not really trying as she was too angry about being upset. “I CAN’T DO THIS!” she yelled at me, to which I replied “TRY!!!!” and “well at least LOOK at the ball!”. She did as I suggested, and she did it.

It didn’t end there though. They all had a ball and had to score a goal. A few boys passed to H (she was the only girl there) and she did okay, but hadn’t scored. She kicked the ball lightly and it went across goal, where another boy tapped it in. That was the final straw for H. She dropped to her knees and screamed an angry scream-yell followed by her hands slamming onto the floor. Proper frustration! I’ve never seen anything like it. I have to admit it was kind of funny too, as I’ve seen plenty of Premiership footballers do that. A quick sit on my knee and pep talk and everything was back on track.

She got her goal thanks to her coach making sure she was included, and a fun time was had by all. The lesson ended (after I’d gone out again with her and worked my way to the side) and she had the biggest smile on her face. “I’m really looking forward to next week!” she said, especially after I’d got coach to explain how important an assist is.

Phew.

We recorded the second half of the Tottenham game last night. We’re going to show her the importance of a team, not just who scores the goal (though they’re pretty important too obviously). Thank christ we won!