18 July 2009

Sporting Mum, Competitive Dad!

Normal service has now been resumed. After a difficult week in the Calico household, I'm back to mummy blogging.

A few weeks ago at our baby signing class, the teacher mentioned that dreaded word: sponsored.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to sponsor friends and family to run, swim or jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane. If it's a cause I really believe in I'll give more (say, Breast Cancer Care), whereas if it's not a favourite charity I'll be less generous. No, I'm not going to give you an example!

What I don't like doing is asking people to sponsor me. In this case it would have been me asking people to sponsor Presley and Cash to dress up as animals for the final class of the year. Not much effort required from them, maximum effort from me! I knew that their Grandma and Grandad, Aunties and Uncles would be good for a quid or two, but with everything that was going on with the cat, well I forgot to ask them.

Earlier this week I donated to the teacher's Just Giving page. I thought this was better than handing over coins, as the Government would also be contributing via Gift Aid. It also saved me having to scribble names on a sponsor form!

Today was this big day, the last class of term. In fact it was our last class, as we have decided to try other activities. I have loved going to baby signing. At ten months Presley was able to sign that he was hungry or thirsty. Both boys have gained a lot of confidence from the classes. I've met some lovely people too, but it was time to go.

I dressed my cheeky monkeys in T-shirts with monkeys on. Some of the other parents had put in slightly more effort on the dressing up as animals theme. There was a ladybird, a pig and a very cute turtle. The teacher was a cat, complete with tail. The atmosphere was very jolly.

We had the class as normal, then near the end was a competition - with a prize - for the parents. As the teacher pulled a fluffy toy out of a bag, the first parent to say the name of the animal and perform the correct sign was given the animal. The parent with the most fluffy animals at the end was the winner.

I've been going to this class for quite a while, my husband has only been with us this term. I was confident that I knew all the animal signs. I thought Andy would know a few as I've used them at home.

The game started. The teacher made sure every parent won at least one fluffy toy, by looking at them (and them alone) when she pulled it out of the bag. Then it was less arbitrary. I shouted out quite a few, as did the family next to us. This wasn't their first term either.

Then I got embarrassed. I didn't want to be thrown every animal in a fluffy toy landslide. Of course I wanted to win the competition, but I didn't want to show off. I pretended I didn't know the sign for hippo, I held back on turtle. Andy said afterwards I was demonstrating how to be British and sporting.

Andy, on the other hand, turned into a competitive Dad. He was signing like it was going out of fashion. I had no idea he knew the sign for penguin or frog. He was shameless!

At the end we all counted up our fluffy toys. We had the most. We'd won! A rather large bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk was heading our way. Yay! I put it in my bag and refused to make eye contact with the family next to us. I could feel the hard stares from them, I didn't need to look up.

We laughed all the way home in the car; at my British reserve, at his competitiveness and at our huge bar of chocolate :-)


Having just said that I'm not competitive.... ahem.... my blog is a new entry at number 92 on this month's TOTS100 index of UK parenting blogs. I'm in shock and absolutely delighted :-)




  1. Winning feels so good, doesn't it?
    Freaky that you felt the need to let others get a few, too. Sooo British. :-)

  2. Well done - and well done on being in the top 100 - have just tagged you over at Who's the Mummy.

  3. Congratulations, I knew your blog was top! I', ashamed to admit I am quite competitive, so having children might be my downfall. I cannot wait to go to baby signing classes.

  4. Way to go you - well deserved and your hubby made me smile, mine's the same it's a male thing x

  5. Mwa, yes it does! I wanted to win, but I wanted it to be close :-)

    Sally, thank you, it's so exciting. Thanks for the tag too.

    Dancinfairy, thanks. It's difficult not to be competitive as a parent, but ignore those 'oh my child walked and talked at 3 months, there must be something wrong with yours' type competitions! I love baby signing, makes me want to learn BSL.

    WoB, I hadn't realised he was like that, oh well, you learn something new every day :-)

  6. well done you and your family. Bar of dairy milk is enough to bring out the competitiveness in anyone! Well done on the blog entry, way to go girl, great week for you.

  7. Mmmm dairy milk, definitely worth the stares!!! Well done you!

    The monkey game was from Tesco I think, my Mum got it but I'm pretty sure it was from there and came with the blindfold and tail stickers :)

    mel xxx

  8. Aww thanks for the comment on my blog Sandy, if only real life was always as pretty!!!!!!


  9. b, thanks, we didn't know what the prize was until we'd won. If I'd known it was chocolate I may have been slightly more competitive!

    Mel, thanks! The boys love monkeys so I'll have to find the nearest Tesco! x

  10. Thought I would haul my ass over to your blog to congratulate you in 'person' for keeping me company in the top 100 blogs.

  11. Mumof4, Thanks for visiting the competition! ;-)

  12. I love competitive dads. They just don't seem to have the 'embarassed' gene built in to them like us mums!
    Talking of tags, I'm appologising (for an award you gave me A G E S ago, and tagging you over at mine) x

  13. Next stop the top ten, eh? How many fluffy toys does that win?

  14. Nice blog!!! congrats on your latest achievement. So glad for you! Keep up the hard work!

  15. Award for you over at mine. If you have already received it this means you are twice as fabulous!

  16. Tara, I had no idea he was a competitive dad! Thanks for the tag :-)

    The D, don't know about that, amazed to be in the top 100! Yes, I expect getting into the top 10 would mean knowing the signs for civit, pipistrelle and waterboatman, and I'm not sure you can get them as fluffy toys!

    MelRoXx, thanks very much and welcome!

    Dancinfairy, wow, thanks x

  17. Well done on your two achievements! xx


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