We as parents are busy; I am the first to admit it. I rush home from work, grab the kids from daycare, throw some food at them for dinner (figuratively, not literally), clean up, get the kids in the bath, listen to every excuse on why they are not yet ready for bed: hungry, thirsty, have to pee (insert your child’s best excuse here) and then finally get them to sleep, and all I want to do is go to sleep myself.
This is my Monday to Friday life; the rat-race. But more and more I am trying to break from its monotony, and spend some quality time with my kids during the week. It could be something simple like some play in sand box after dinner, a trip to the pool to swim, or getting out the train tracks and playing trains. This week my husband and I were lucky enough to take Mattias (our four year old) to see his first Whitecaps FC match at BC Place.
I know it is difficult to get a babysitter sometimes. We are quite lucky that Grannie (my mum) lives close by, and always wants to spend some time with her grandkids. She agreed to come over and put Markus (our two year old) to bed, so Raimo and I could take Mattias out by himself. This is a REAL treat! It’s relatively easy to get one parent and one kid out doing stuff together, but for one on one time with BOTH parents, that’s special.
As we arrived at the stadium we saw the Southsiders waving flags and marching towards the stadium. They are the loud, and boisterous, Whitecap’s supporters that you see, and hear, chanting and dancing throughout the match! We had hoped to make it in time to march alongside them, but traffic from the East side of the Port Mann into downtown, took us a bit longer than anticipated!
Mattias’ one request at the game was popcorn! So something to eat was out first stop! With a giant bag of popcorn in hand we headed to our seats, “this was such a good idea!” he exclaimed between mouthfuls! Raimo and I looked at each other and smiled. Mattias marvelled at the flying flags in the endzone, he stood up to dance and cheer like his dad and thoroughly had a great time! There is so much to see when you see the inside of the stadium for the first time!
What I did not expect, was when the Whitecaps scored and both Raimo and I jumped up to cheer, Mattias burst into tears! He claimed that it was too noisy, but I think the sudden, unexpected eruption also scared him a bit. After a few minutes he was ok and was enjoying the game again!
I highly suggest that you get out of the house and show your children a new experience, especially if you can do it one-on-one or even better, with both parents. Mattias has seen us watch the Whitecaps on TV, but has never seen the inside of a stadium or a soccer game (ok he has seen me play on Sunday mornings with the “Lush Puppies,” but I will admit that we are all around that 30 year old mark and not even ghosts of our former soccer-playingselves).
Mattias got the whole experience, his own ticket, his own seat, popcorn and pop (what is it with kids and pop?? I’m not a pop fan so maybe I just don’t get it). He got to come in the car with mom and dad and didn’t need to have his little brother tagging along! We all thoroughly enjoyed our evening out and hope we get another chance soon!
A few tips for kid’s first time at a sporting event:
- Try and get an aisle seat if possible to make quick exits if a sudden bathroom break is required.
- The bathrooms often have long lineups at half time, its better to go during the match if required. There are also family bathroom’s at BC Place and there was one right outside our section, but it was occupied both times we tried to use it.
- It can get loud in the stadium, so prep your kids for noise and take kid sized headphones for little ones.
- The game can be long, so leave your expectations at the door and if an early exit is required, you should probably take it.
- Sitting in the back of a section isn’t bad, your kids (and you) can stand up and move around without bothering others behind you!
Lindsay is a wife, a mom to two little boys, a soccer player, a lifetime traveler and a lover of learning. Lindsay resides in Langley and is currently searching out new ways to enjoy every minute she can with her family, while balancing the pressures of living in our fast-paced society. Check out Lindsay’s blog at www.carpediemourway.com