Anyone for Tennis?

>> Thursday, 8 July 2010

I've had an exhausting day. Not because I spent 3 hours alongside some other bloggers in the company of the lovely people at John Lewis as they showed us their Christmas range, which by the way was fabulous, and some of the clothes were even worth die(t)ing for (see what I did there? I'm not an ancient blogger for nothing, you know...). Nor because I followed that up with a trip on the London Eye with Boys #1 and #2 and Mother-in-Law. And not even because today I wore far-too-high wedges that whilst they are perfectly comfortable in the 'standing still and looking tall' department, are a little precarious and require some concentration when it comes to the 'walking down-hill in the rain on the way to the tube first thing in the morning' department.

No, I'm knackered because after we got back home, Boy#1 and I had a game of 'Boy#2 Tennis'.

Boy #1, you see, has been inspired by Wimbledon. Now, personally I'm not a tennis player. Actually, that's something of an understatement; I am SO bad at it that at school the sports teachers used to walk past the court I was attempting to play on, sadly shaking their heads. So you can imagine how delighted I was when my older son insisted we dig out my mother-in-law's state of the art tennis kit (2 plastic bats and a number of plastic balls sent over the wall by the adjacent school) and play so he could pretend to be a Wimbledon champion.

As expected, my son did not take to the game like a duck to water. The look of confusion on his face when he realised that this is a game that takes just a little practice took me right back to our school playing fields circa 1979 when I made the same discovery. However, the day was saved and any looming tantrums were cut off by Boy #2 happening upon us, and deciding that whilst he might not want to play himself, he was damned well going to be in charge of those of us who did.

He appointed himself Umpire, and installed himself on a deckchair to one side of our 3 metre wide court, but not before he had set the game up the way he wanted it. The rules? Well, they changed slightly from the ones you might know. We had no net, so instead a line of plastic skittles was set up across the middle of the court. Then, Boy #1 and I were informed that the new aim of the game was to hit the skittles and knock them over rather than to hit over the top of them. Points were to be awarded based on the number of skittles knocked over, and whoever had accumulated the most points by the end of the game (or bath-time, whichever came first) was to be the winner.

But this was not all, oh no...

No; before each and every ball was hit (because let's be honest, managing to return a serve that is meant to skim along the grass and knock the skittles over is highly unlikely), we had to wait for permission from the umpire. To grant that, the Umpire had to stomp to the middle of the court, count to 5 (or 4, or 6, depending on how he felt or how high he could remember), and then blow a short blast on an old wooden recorder as loudly as he could. Then - and only then - were Boy #1 or I allowed to hit the ball. Failure to wait for permission could result in general huffiness, some shouting, and a threat to knock the skittles over himself before being placated and starting the whole process all over again.

Sounds awful, doesn't it?

Dear Internet, I enjoyed this game of 'Boy #2 Tennis' more than any other game of normal tennis that I've ever played in my life.

Have they finally broken me, do you think?


Glummy Mummy 8 July 2010 at 23:48  

I absolutely love how you called your mother-in-law's tennis racquet a 'bat'. That just about proves how much you dislike the sport!! xx

Potty Mummy 8 July 2010 at 23:54  

But it IS a bat! It is! It is! (Isn't it?) Well, this one is, anyway...

Expat mum 9 July 2010 at 02:01  

Tee hee. I like the sound of this game - a heck of a lot easier than tennis anyway.
We got our swingball out the other day but it's been retired already. That ball-on-a-string was just TOO tempting for the mutt!

Nora 9 July 2010 at 04:05  

Anything that Boy #2 is in charge of is bound to be lots of fun. I have that figured out already. The kid is a comedian without meaning to be one. I think he must be awfully adorable.

PantsWithNames 9 July 2010 at 08:19  

Love the sound of this game. I think you should patent a Boy #2 Wimbledon and hold a tournament for all-comers every year. With strawberries. x

Michelloui 9 July 2010 at 08:42  

This had me laughing (knowingly). I can relate. I wonder if you have been converted? Its lovely how kids' imaginations create things--you have a new sport here! Have fun with it!! :)

Hot Cross Mum 9 July 2010 at 15:42  

It all sounds far too exhausting to me. My two have been wielding 'bats' since watching Wimbledon. One of them is Andy Murray, the other is Rafa Nadal and I just wince at the inevitable head/racket collision about to happen. Bloody Wimbledon.

Mwa 9 July 2010 at 18:13  

Oh no! You have relaxed into mummyhood. Next, you will sit and laugh every time someone says "poo." Even the fiftieth time in a row. Welcome to the club!

Potty Mummy 10 July 2010 at 16:46  

EPM, I have so many pictures in mind now of your dog hanging from the ball on a string...

Nora, he is. And knows it, more to the point.

PWN, will you come to the final

Thanks Michelle - and yes, I think I may have been converted to this new sport

HCM - ah, I see we're singing from the same hymn book!

Mwa, I would say something intelligent but am sniggering too hard - you said poo!

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