It has taken me almost a week to write this tale, this alone will tell you how scarred I was by the experience.
So let me take you back a few days, to the middle of last week, to the twin’s Sports Day.
I don’t hide the fact that I have a little competitive steak bubbling under my skin, and I confess sometimes it gets the better of me.
My oldest pair have inherited this gene.
Thursday 11th July
I didn’t need an alarm, twin boy and twin girl appeared fully clothed in t-shirt, running shorts, and trainers at 6.30am. Twin boy pulled open my right eye and twin girl whispered into my ear ‘Sport’s Day Mummy.’ With those sacred words I was awake and wide with it.
I dressed with haste, he who helped create them had hidden my It is all about winning t-shirt, so I had to make do with a plain black top. If the kids were disappointed they didn’t show it. My running spikes had also mysteriously gone AWOL and my trainers so I had to wear flip-flops. The only consolation was my footwear could get mislead other mothers into thinking I wasn’t a threat.
Yes, I had been in training. I had prepared for the parents race.
In the fortnight before Sports Day I had skipped, ran, jumped in a sack, and carried a bean bag on my head for a 100 meters. I was prepared for anything Sports Day could throw at me.
We all ate a hearty breakfast, we chomped on carbs to compliment the pasta tea of the night before. I had to take BB to pre-school, she doesn’t like Sports Day, my shouting upsets her.
In the car I gave the kids the annual pep talk, I threw in the old jargon about having fun and not worrying where you came, it fell on deaf ears. My kids know when I am lying to them.
Twin girl told me she intended to win, twin boy concurred and then they both sighed.
I questioned immediately, what was wrong, had I given them an overkill of carbs? Was it sitting heavy in their tummies, did I need to encourage a bowel movement from them before we got to school?
It was something else.
“Mummy,” Twin girl whispered, “we are worried about the egg and spoon race.”
“Tsk” I replied, scorn etched on my face, “the egg and spoon doesn’t count, it is not a real race.”
The kids, relieved, sat back in their seats.
The day began, the sun shone and all was well. Twin Boy took the first Gold in the sprint and his sister tied for a Gold in the same race. The sack race went badly for twin boy, he couldn’t work out his jumping from his stumbling and spent most of the race kissing the grass. He did get a surprise Bronze medal in the egg and spoon, it became a little more real for me then. Twin girl stole Silver in skipping and a Bronze again in egg and spoon. I began to see the talent needed for this complicated sport.
Then it was time.
The mums were summoned by mega phone to the starting line. I didn’t look at my children but I could feel their eyes burning into me.
I limbered up by the start line, and carefully removed my flip flops. I assessed the competition and smiled internally. None of them looked like they had spent evenings skipping up the garden, jumping in sacks down the street and running laps round the park.
I prepared to start.
A large wooden spoon and a plastic egg was thrust into my hand, and a matching pair into that of my competitors.
The parents race was the egg and spoon.
The whistle blew and I set off like Kelly Holmes and my egg flew off my spoon like Jessica Ennis.
I was fecked.
The race passed in a blur of me stumbling, scraping around in the grass for my egg, and I watched a lot of other school mothers arses pass me by.
I lost, I tried to turn to comedy and I took out a friend with me in a humorous rugby tackle. The chuckle from the crowd did nothing to soothe my shame.
As I said – the egg and spoon is not a real race.