The C word…

When Kieran the youngest of my three sons was born eight years ago the theatre nurse announced “It’s a boy”.

I remember, I exhaled long and slow -not with any anguish at not “getting” a girl but with a deep knowledge that statistically my chances of doing Saturday summer cricket shifts had just increased.

I am sure that my dad a father of one – a daughter was not displeased with these odds.

To the best of my ability I stalled and delayed committing to Saturday cricket. I compromised with Milo cricket on Wednesday afternoons, but even I could see that my children had already outgrown that option.

What do you do as a mother when your sons are so excited and engaged with something. The last thing I want to do is rain on their parade. (But… cricket it can go on for days).

Liam the eleven year old likes the game of cricket but he seems to have a calmer approach then his younger brother.

Kieran shows no real keenness for cricket but is bullied into it daily. Despite be critiqued and criticised that he his hopeless by his older siblings as is the nature of things, he has some aptitude for the game.

Hamish the nine year old is a whole other matter. This is the child that is in full cricket armour; shoes, leg pads,including hip pad box, batting gloves, helmet, with full grill and bat -sitting outside Liam’s closed bedroom door at 6:05 am.

I have put the fear of God into him that if he as so much touches that door knob – he will never play cricket or any other sport again.

He is like a Jack Russell yapping at our feet “come play cricket- youwannaplay youwannaplay??” He negotiates 3 overs which is 18 deliveries, 18 chances for him to show us what he is made of with the cricket bat.

At the completion of 18 balls things escalate (they always escalate). A frenzy of renegotiating commences the child is never satisfied… ever.

I thought a two week holiday to NZ  would provide us with a little cricket reprieve from the televised test cricket, big bash league, and one day international games.

I also was pleased with the lack of cricket equipment (as in none) in our luggage. Giving us a holiday from paddock, backyard, street and Saturday cricket. So why is it on day two of our holiday, we seem to have acquired a cricket set?

Hamish’s love for the game is contagious. I find myself getting wrapped up in his enthusiasm.

When Hamish watches test cricket on television some of the time he sits on the couch but more often than not he is dressed in complete cricket battle gear waiting and preparing for each delivery from the bowler.

It will come as no surprise when he smashes his bat through the television after the completion of the best imaginary cover shot ever.

I asked this question to a guy I work with he is one of four boys

“How did your mother survive cricket with four sons?”

“She would just drop us off at 8:00am and pick us up at 12:30”

This is a great approach in theory but I want to see them get a wicket or to hit a great shot. Proud Parenting moments is what keeps me in the game, without them I think some days that I would just walk away.

But cricket is a long game. I thought there must be a way to optimise my cricket viewing.

There is a lot of miscellaneous stuff with cricket as in all the other kids batting and bowling.

I really only want to watch my kids doing stuff. There is no channel nine highlight package put together for my viewing pleasure. I have to tough it out and watch it all in real-time.

I decided to be resourceful for Liam’s first game of cricket. I sent my husband in early to drop son off  at cricket 30 minutes before game starting time. This would allow me to soldier on at the coal face of domesticity; hang clothes out, put second load on, put dishwasher on, clear drip tray, kitchen benches cleaned, and floor swept.  Done – head into town. Shane had rung earlier to say Liam was batting seven. Perfect I would have time to duck into the shop to buy a brimmed cricket hat.

The phone rings it’s my husband…

“Liam is next into bat”

“Really he was batting seventh? Ok we are 5 minutes away.”

Phone rings again it’s Shane

“Liam is out”


“Yep caught and bowled”

“BUT you said he was next to bat 90 seconds ago – and now he is out- and I missed it.”

Apparently cricket isn’t always that long a game.

So here I am across the ditch on holiday-alone temporarily .

The good husband has taken the 3 boys to the oval with their weapons and they are off to do battle.

While I sit here enjoying a glass of NZ Chardonnay, I guess cricket is not all bad.


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