June 09, 2010

A Rugby Wife - Bonnie Way

“You’re not allowed to throw the ball forward, so they always toss it to someone slightly behind them...”

I smile as I listen and cast a sideways glance towards the voice. It’s an older man explaining rugby to a younger woman, perhaps his granddaughter. It reminds me of when I watched my first rugby game, and a fellow who’d lent me his umbrella talked about rucks and scrums and other things that I was clueless about. I alternated between watching the ball and watching my husband (then “just” a friend from university) and at the end of the game had to ask him who’d won.

I bend over Lilibet, tucking her blanket closer around her, and glance at Sunshine, who’s crawling across the bleachers under the legs of the lady sitting next to us. Out on the field, I try to find my husband, until Lilibet wails under her blanket. I shift her to my shoulder, adjusting my shirt and hoping everyone is focused on the game and not paying attention to a mom trying to nurse her three-week old on the sidelines.

“Potty,” Sunshine says, tugging at my jacket. I sigh, looking at Lilibet and the diaper bag and the long walk across the lawn, up the stairs, and through the clubhouse.

“You really have to go?” I ask her, but of course, she insists. I’m fairly certain that as soon as we get in there, she won’t do anything. But I pack Lilibet into her carseat, heave it up, and decide that my diaper bag (and wallet) will be safe on the bleachers.

We weave through the crowd in the clubhouse, find the washrooms, and both use them. Back outside, Lilibet stays sleeping in her carseat and I’m able to focus on the game. It’s my hubby’s first game in about fifteen months; there was no team up north, so he hasn’t played since we left the city. He’s not running as fast as I’ve seen him run in other games, but then, several of his team mates also seem really out of practice. I groan at a bad catch that results in the other team getting the ball.

Sunshine is back beside me, trying to rock Lilibet. She wants a juice. Then she doesn’t want it. She climbs up the bleachers, back down again, under the lady’s legs. When Lilibet begins to wail, Sunshine seizes the blanket that I’d tucked over the carseat. I try nursing Lilibet again, with the wind blowing the nursing cover around and Sunshine dragging the blanket around the bleachers. Then Sunshine wants to go potty again. I tell her no.

By the time the game is done, I’m exhausted. I pack the girls up and head back to our Jeep, hoping that my husband will know where to find us. In the warmth of the vehicle, I unbundle Lilibet and myself and nurse her without worrying about covering up. Sunshine plays with the steering wheel. When my husband appears, he takes Sunshine back to watch the last half of the game with him. Lilibet falls asleep and I crack open my book, breathing a sigh of relief at the chance to relax.

His next game is Saturday. I’m trying to figure out a game plan for watching rugby with a baby and a toddler. Who knew it could be so much work?

~ © Bonnie Way (http://thekoalabearwriter.blogspot.com/)


  1. Motherhood is definitely for the young! I get tired reading this... May God give you that game plan as you do your "workout" while your hubby does his!

  2. I hear you! I nursed many babies in the change rooms when I was trying to shop! Believe it or not, it does get easier. And then the day will soon come when you wish they were little again!
    In the meantime,keep writing these incidents down. Right now you might think they are just the 'boring routine' but someday you'll look back and be glad you captured these times in writing!
    Pam Mytroen

  3. You're braver and more patient than I ever was, Bonnie. When our eldest played ball, we'd take turns going to watch so the other one could stay home with his younger brothers.


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