This morning we settled in to watch the All Blacks play France. One of the family members brought their 3 year old daughter over to join in the fun.
Her being three, of course, meant there was always going to be an alternate commentary.
10 10 minutes in, she looked up at the screen, taking her eyes briefly from her Frozen coloring-in book and brand new pens: “Who are the silly boys”?
Dad: “Rugby players”.
“Elsa has blue eyes and a gold crown”.
A few minutes later, on observing the players contesting for the ball on the ground: “What are they doing”?
This question required a carefully considered response from her Dad and me: “They’re having a cuddle. And a rest. When the ball comes out, they’ll get up and start running again”.
“What is that man doing”? (Seeing the referee). “That man is like a Teacher, with 30 children in his classroom. He tells them what to do.”
At 36m: “That was a silly game, is it finished”?
Before we could answer, we were transported back to Frozen. “Who do you like: Elsa, Anna, Kristof, Sven or Olaf?” (Hans apparently wasn’t an option).
I chose Elsa. “no, it sbould be Kristof. Girls like girls. Boys like boys”.
The match progresses. Savea scores through several tacklers. The adults are re-enacting Keith Quinn’s Lomu climactic commentary. Miss 3: “You’re so sil”.
When the French 8 Louis Picamoles was sent off for fisting Richie, Miss 3 is very upset. “He’s not allowed to play? For 10 minutes? When can he come back”? The concept of isolation and punishment was nearly more than she could bear.
A little later, Carter converts. “Good kick old man, good kick old man”!!!
Back to the sin bin (also known as the naughty step). “Is he allowed to play again yet? How much longer”? This is clearly weighing heavily on her mind.
One breath later: “Simon, you can colour in Anna”. (And we are back with Frozen).
The stream of consciousness is highly amusing.
Another try scored. “It’s amazing and astonishing to just drop the ball”. This was followed with an indepth explanation by Dad about how all the players had a single purpose, to place the white ball over the line. “It’s called a Try”. She didn’t care. Anna has dark blue eyes. Apparently there is no discussion to be entered into.
The full-time whistle blows. The teams shake hands and hug in victory and loss, reveling in the camaderie that only rugby players know: Miss 3: “They’re having cuddles for reals”.
They sure were.
They ghosts of the past have been well and truly exorcised.