Monday, June 14, 2010


Every four years, I've got an excuse to watch soccer.

(Excuse me, I mean football.)

Every four years, despite myself and despite the depressing prospects of the French team, I am captivated by the World Cup. I start out ambivalently watching the match between France and Uruguay, and I wind up glued to the screen in front of Germany vs. Australia. I was, naturally, thrilled that the underdog American team managed a tie with England. Le Petit giggled as I sang along to the Star-spangled Banner. No other sporting event draws me in like this, and I can't explain it.

Le Petit is, for once, exposed to television for hours at a time; he runs around yelling "Il y a BUT! Il y a but?" (GOAL! There's a goal?"). After a half an hour of a tied match, however, he loses interest and asks us to put on a Jordi Savall CD.

I'm embarrassed to admit, however, that he's memorized the commercials aired on TF1 at half-time.

"Mommy is going to Seattle. Mommy is taking a plane, and a boat, and... a Toyota. Grandpa and Gramby have a Toyota. And Toyota is the official car of the équipe de France!"

While my husband was putting le Petit to bed and listening to rehashed car commercials, I was watching the second half of Italy-Paraguay, hoping against hope that Paraguay would hold onto their one point lead. (After 2006, no self-respecting French fan can stomach the thought of an Italian victory, no matter how well-deserved.)

The Italians score. The match is tied. And I feel a tentative, tiny kick somewhere in the middle of my abdomen, one of the tickles I've only started to notice in the last week.

"So you're a fan of the Italians, huh, little one?" I pat my belly. "Well, I suppose Mommy can find a way to be one, too, then."

And now you know why I've been a bit distracted lately.


hush said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

What is it about commercials that toddlers immediately notice? If DS ever falls asleep in the sofa while we're watching tv he wakes up as soon as the commercial comes on - so we are quick to hit pause and try to move him into bed before that happens, sometimes unsuccessfully.

paola said...

Congratulations!! I watched the match myself, but fell asleep like 2 seconds before Italy kicked the goal. Hubby woke me with shouts of joy. We are not a Football family, but we do enjoy the 'Mondiali'. I'm hoping Australia and Italy get a chance to fight it out, but have not yet decided who I'll cheer for.

Cloud said...


"Footie" in our house is rugby, not soccer, but my husband is watching some of the matches. I doubt I'll see many this time around- sleep is more important!

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

@hush - The toddler/commercial thing is creepy, I know. I was noticing tonight that le Petit can totally block out the soccer game itself, but is GLUED to the screen during the half-time commercials. Including the ones selling perfume and razors with plenty of not-so-age-appropriate innuendos. Hope he doesn't memorize *those* scripts... and next time I'm switching OFF the TV, just in case.

@paola - I'm glad to know an Italian fan now, because that will make it easier for me when they win and the French lose. :) We're the same way in our household -- soccer just isn't on our radar except during the World Cup. I'm not sure who I'd cheer for in the unlikely event that the French take on the Americans.

@Cloud - New Zealand is in the cup this year, too! My husband follows the Rugby World Cup, too, being from Toulouse and all. Rugby is king in Southwest France for some reason I've never figured out.

caramama said...


You totally buried the lead, as my husband says! How far along are you? When is the due date? How's the pregnancy been so far? What's the news?

Soccer isn't on my (or my husband's) radar at all. So I've got nothing for that.

Jac said...

Congrats! I've just started feeling some kicks too - wonder if we're due around the same time?

I'm a big BIG World Cup fan. Can't get enough of it. DS has been really good about watching it with me. He keeps wanting to cheer for the "lellow guys". Took me a while to figure out that he meant the referees.

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

@caramama - thanks, it's going really well right now, especially since I'm over the first trimester exhaustion. But I'm having to break the cultural code in France about snacks, because without a mid-morning snack I wilt before lunch.

@Jac - congratulations as well, how cool! I'm due December 4th, and you? Hee hee about the "lellow guys." Le Petit insists on calling soccer "tennis" because he also watched some of Rolland Garros in May, and it's played with a ball, so it must be the same thing. I just love watching sports from a preschooler perspective.

Jac said...

Ha! My DS keeps calling the soccer "hockey", because we've just finished watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That is too funny!

Am Due Nov. 26, so pretty close!