I think Woooo Woooooing is a bit like dancing. Skills instantly replaced after childbirth by the ability to balance cotton-reel snakes, shin-pads, speeding tickets, vase of dead flowers, scissors, 7 odd gloves, half a pizza and a full potty on the edge of the fridge for weeks at a time.
But now and then one forgets that one is not in the full bloom of pre-childness and one embarks on reckless Woooo Woooooing in public in front of one's children and is forever marked down as mutton dressed as Blue Peter Presenter.
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! would have been more appropriate.
But there I was. Chief Cheerleader - due to The Cough. Dog Boy and His Cough. Whenever he gets a cold, he gets The Cough. Which then lasts for a further 3 weeks. And we're still less than a week in. Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark - you get the picture. Bark Bark Bark Bark ............... Poor little sod.
So the weekend's plans changed (as they always bloody do) and instead of 2 happy boys staying and Nanny and Grandad's on Sunday/Monday, and Minx having Mummy AND Daddy (+ Thuglet but hey.... ) whisking her away to a hotel Sunday and watching her ice skating competition TOGETHER on the Monday - Nah! - Daddy gets to spend a sleepless night with one perpetual barker and one perpetual wriggler all on the same settee and Mummy gets a doe-eyed 'Is Daddy coming?' little Minxie-pops with regular 'When's Daddy going to get here?' ..... 'Is he coming in the morning?' ..... 'Couldn't he just leave them behind?' ..... 'WHY DID YOU MAKE ME HAVE BROTHERS ???' etc All after a multi-award winning bare-knuckle drive to the hotel. (And the Award for Most Innappropriate Language spat at a Sat Nav Device goes to........)
But we did get to the ice rink with a whole hour before it shut on the Sunday for a familiarizing 'go' - but they wouldn't let us in. 'It's too full and we're cashing up.'
In my head I grabbed her by her eyeballs and smashed her face against the screen.
In reality I walked away - not daring to speak actual words until I was away from the temptation of actual violence.
Cutting to the chase: Monday morning. Forgetting the agonies, the U-turns, the pleading phone-calls, the disappointments, Mummy's tantrums, the 'mare that is a 3 year old boy shut in a hotel room for 11 hours with access to squirty soap and spiralling toilet rolls ............ We are HERE! Minx looks gorgeous in her shocking pink and black sequinned dress - all made-up and hair-sprayed and glittered and buzzing. Music is blaring. Flowers are flying. The atmosphere is jolly. And we are counting down....... Minx's coach decides to add more eye-liner, more foundation, more blusher .... 'You look like an Oompa-Loompa here but on the ice it'll be fantastic!'
I love Minx's coach. She is the only person in the world who can boss Minx about and get an 'OK!'
She's finally on the ice for the warm-up. Last minute coaching - 'Change the Upright for a Parallel they're giving higher marks for them! Show me your Parallel! OK stick with the Upright!'
And we're on. Her music starts. I can't breathe. She looks so beautiful. She's so obviously the best skater in the whole wide world and ........
My angel! Flat on her beautiful face. Hands to face gasping all round.
But she got straight up and got the BIGGEST applause and cheering from everyone and then did a great jump and carried on. My nerves just can't take this.
But I am SO proud of her. And she was surprisingly cool about it all. She's such a star my Minx.
I told her it's much better to be really good at something and do something mental and get the gasps than just be a bit .... 'this one's not very good is she? So I said to him I did.....' And it was quite spectacular.
And just think of all those Olympic skaters who had trained all their lives for this moment, flown across the world, carried their nation's flag - and still fell flat on their arses.
It's bloody slippy out there.
And next time Daddy WILL be there. Golf or no golf, sick boys or no sick boys, Cheryl Cole on the phone or no........
And next time I will remember to throw the flowers and the bunny.