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St.James’ Park – Battle Of The Sexes

11 years ago

I had a great moment in life a couple of weeks ago, one that is unique to my generation judging by the bafflement of the older folk around me (although bafflement does seem to be the ‘go to’ state of mind for a senior person in any given situation).

I found out the sex of my first child a clear four months before birth, when a nice lady at the RVI told us that the little wriggler paddling around in Mrs S’s tummy was a girl.

This is a fantastic, but slightly surreal experience, as suddenly the coming years start to pan out in your mind’s eye. Pink, pigtails and My Little Pony are on the agenda and all things girly were discussed as we stepped out of the hospital, then you see it.

St James’ Park looms immediately as you exit the RVI (well a bit to the right but that just sounds crap) and its dominating visage presented the obvious thought: when do I take my little girl to the game?

I realise I am toying with the unsavoury practise of sexism hear.

For a boy it’s simple and straightforward. When he’s big enough (4? 5? 6?) he gets taken along. An unspectacular match perhaps, against Blackburn or Norwich. This is repeated at irregular intervals until he pesters to go to every match. In due course he’ll possibly drift towards going with his mates but you will have something in common that will help forge that father and son bond for life. Timeless.

How does it work with a girl though? Do you make her go, even though she might be totally uninterested? If she is interested, do you discourage her from pursuing a traditionally masculine pastime in favour of going shopping with her mother? Is it unfair to treat male and female offspring differently when inflicting some silver-phobic cash guzzling monstrosity of a sports organisation on them…and if it is, who’s getting the short end of the deal?

Also, I have selfish reasons. I don’t want my daughter to see the person I am at the match, same way I don’t want my employers or Northumbria police to see it. Whilst this can be compromised on an irregular basis, more consistent visits may see one of us feeling a bit uncomfortable.

I’m a bit embarrassed that I’ve only just considered this situation given the fact I’ve been alive for a while now. I’m sure there are many people out there who think me the regular Terry Tithead for even considering this, given the several million worries of parenthood I am gleefully advised of on a daily basis (people love nowt better than a bit hysteria spreading don’t they) this is surely a situation that will sort itself out in time.

Maybe others have had the same dilemma and considered it a right old situation, worthy of comment. “I wish I’d written about this on the internet”, is something people are thinking more and more these days, I choose to believe.

If anyone knows what to do, please feel free to tell me. I welcome all advice and comments, except negative ones and ones I choose to misconstrue horribly.


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