Thursday, September 28, 2017

The little keeper

So here's the post I'd promised, with all of Xena's contributions and commentary on the recent SEA Games. (Sorry, it took me a while to get all the photos and videos and her quotes together.)

Aside from Viv's nightly post-work training sessions and practice matches in the weekends, once in a while we'd find time to take a stroll to the beach. I'd give him some catching and keeping practice and of course, Xena didn't want to stay behind! I captured these slow-mo videos of her 'training Daddy how to play very well'.

Once he reached Kuala Lumpur, she even asked me to take a photo of her like this and said, "Mama, send this to Daddy and tell him this is how a good wicket-keeper should squat."

I had told her that she could watch the opening ceremony and Viv's matches on the computer, so she was really thrilled. She's still TV-free so this was a major event for her. 

7.56 pm (4 minutes to SEA Games opening ceremony)
Xena - Mama, I really need to pee.
Me - Then go!
Xena - But I can't!
Me - Why not??
Xena - I don't want to miss seeing Daddy!
Me - You have time. It only takes a minute to pee.
Xena - Mama, are you sure??
Me - :|

Once the matches started, so did her hilarious commentary.

"Mama, there are four people crouching like frogs behind the batting uncle. So they are all frogs. Daddy is the wicket-keeper so he has to crouch very low. So he is the baby frog."

As the matches got more and more exciting, I really craved some adult company to watch and discuss them. Not that my knowledge of cricket is that great, but surely I had more insightful input than Xena who would point squarely at the wicket-keeper from Thailand and tell me very seriously, "Mama, the Thai frog is not cute. Our frog is cuter."

She also had some very serious questions for me -- "Mama, tell me something. Why can't the batsman get the bowler out?"

Another gem from her after a match that really should have been an easy win, but wasn't -- "Mama, you know, Singapore was losing and then it just accidentally won."

From time to time, I'd explain to her why I was behaving like a crazy person, screaming at the screen, closing my eyes, or minimising the window and walking out, or hyperventilating.

"Xena, if we win this match, we will win the GOLD MEDAL!"

"Mama, will everyone in the team get a medal or only the captain?"

"Everyone will get a medal."

"Yay! Daddy Froggy will get a medal!"

Whenever I'd message Viv, I'd ask her if she wanted to send him a message. She'd say something like, "Mama, tell Daddy Froggy that Baby Froggy says 'Ribbit!'"

She asked me to google Thailand's flag so her drawing would be accurate.

She'd also make lots of drawings to encourage the team and I'd send them over, such as this team picture. She was too tired to draw all the Param brothers (yes, there are three brothers in the team!) so she drew one and wrote x3. Viv told me it was a source of much amusement for the team when he shared it with them. 

Once the series was over, she couldn't wait for him to get back. She had missed him badly because he'd been away at training a lot in the months preceding the Games as well. So it had been a long separation between Daddy Froggy and Baby Froggy. 

She posed with this book and asked me to send it to Viv. 

I told her how we'd be going to the airport to receive and welcome our champions, and she excitedly proclaimed, "Mama, I am going to shake all the players' hands and I'm going to hug all of them and I'm going to pick all of them up but no I can't pick all of them up because they are so heavy but I can pick Uncle J (the youngest player in the team) up because he's only 17."

The Froggy reunion at the airport was a sight to see. She clung on to him and very shyly shook hands with the rest of the team.

Baby Froggy poses with Daddy Froggy's gold and silver medals.