The Podlings outside Old Trafford
Last Thursday saw us outside Old Trafford in Manchester, ready to watch Team GB play Senegal in the opening session of the men's Olympic football. I will come clean and say that I was dreading it. I am not a big fan of sport and the thought of trying to keep three increasingly tired children in their seats for over four hours in a crowded football stadium filled me with dread. The session we were due to watch covered two football matches and I saw this as an awfully long time to keep the Podlings amused.
I couldn't have been more wrong! We all had an absolutely wonderful time. Lily and Emma, in particular, enjoyed it and whilst they didn't really understand the football, they certainly enjoyed the atmosphere. They were especially enthusatic about the Mexican waves! Tom enjoyed the football, but wasn't keen on the noise, so he lost himself in his own world for a few hours, emerging occasionally to take in the sights. That's how he is and as long as he is happy then so are we.
I have to admit that football is much more interesting when you care about who wins and I have to confess that I really enjoyed watching the match. Mark really enjoyed it too, but that goes without saying! I never expected to have such a good time at a football match, but I am so glad we went. It was a truly memorable family occasion and I hope the Podlings will be glad to say that they were at the Olympics in 2012.
Waiting for it all to start
Emma loved the sprinklers that came on to water the pitch
Emma really surprised us by thoroughly enjoying the whole thing. We really thought there would be a large amount of 'keeping Emma happy' involved in the outing, but she loved it and was so good. Emma just loves life and always seems to find a way to enjoy herself, so perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised.
Team GB warming up before the match
More warming up
It is fair to say that the Podlings weren't paying attention all the time!
Just before kick-off
Lily was thrilled with her hot chocolate. We were less thrilled with the extortionate prices they charged for drinks, but since you aren't allowed to bring liquids into Olympic events and it was a hot day, we had no choice but to pay their prices. You can't begrudge a girl a hot chocolate when she appreciates it so much though, can you?
I somehow ended up in the scarf I had made for Tom. I think we all wore it at some point during the matches. We all wore red, white and blue for the occasion.
The half-time score had us all excited
Lily and Emma spent most of the second half on Mark's lap!
Tom has always been distressed by loud noise, so we were a little concerned about how he would be with a crowd of over 70, 000 people shouting at the top of their lungs. He has learnt to cope with noise much better since starting school. When he first started school they had to take him out of assemblies because he found the singing so upsetting, but he will now sit through assemblies and concerts without a fuss, though they are probably still not exactly his favourite thing. We allowed him to bring his DS to the football in the hope that it would help him to switch off from the noise a bit. It must have worked as he seemed quite relaxed and happy most of the time, only putting his DS over his ear when the noise was especially loud. He told me afterwards that he liked the football, but he didn't like the noise. It hasn't put him off though as he has asked to be taken to another football match.
Sadly, in the end Team GB could only manage a draw. At least we didn't lose!