When In Doubt, Ask A Nine Year Old Or A Strawberry Blond & Lovin’ It!

Well my crash course into the world of xBox continues and while I am doing pretty well and learning reasonably quickly on most things, FIFA 17 and the skills required for a truly competitive game still elude me.

So, I am more than happy that the steady flow of buddies for the small testosterone filled one continue to come through the door and continue to offer a much more challenging game than I ever could.

Last night, in a vague attempt at getting to grips with the damned game I managed to seize the opportunity of the small testosterone filled one not being on his xBox and went to the basic controls page of the game.

Armed with a pad and pencil, (how old-fashioned!), I duly started to copy out the various combinations of buttons on the control pad to allow for some private study and familiarisation with the game.

I duly started to copy them out with all due care and after half a page of A4 I was left with a feeling that I could so this and in time I would be that cool mum that could play a good game of FIFA 17.

It was at this point that I spotted the remaining pages on the screen – all waiting to be copied out.

There were a further 12 pages – all ranging from half to three-quarters of a page of A4.

Not to be beaten I duly found a website from where I could save time, energy, paper and my right arm by printing them all out.

12 Pages later they were all printed out.

Now, if it wasn’t bad enough that I now have 12 pages to study and inwardly digest, I am also having to Google various terms and technicalities.

For instance, I am learning about ‘manual protect’, ‘small feints’, ‘big feints’ and ‘finesse shots’ among others.

As for ‘threaded through passes’, well that sounds like something you need to speak to your GP about.

So, I am actually no further forward and as I struggle to get time alone on the xBox to practice and get to grips with the intricacies of the game I cannot see any progress being made between now and the small testosterone filled one’s 18th birthday.

However, rescue continues to come in the form of other small testosterone filled ones who appear out of nowhere in order to offer their services as suitable opponents.

Just twenty minutes ago himself and I had regained control of the TV, forcibly switched off the xBox and were settling down with an orange juice, (don’t forget where we live), a bowl of pistachios and were about to watch a pre-dinner rerun of Top Gear when the phone rang.

The small testosterone filled one answered and needless to say it was for him.

Before we could do anything about it one of his buddies was en route for a xBox session.

So, here we sit with two small testosterone filled ones enjoying the delights of xBox. The pistachios are half eaten, the orange juice drunk and the pre-dinner rerun of Top Gear forgotten about.

Now, this is where the title of this evening’s post comes from.

You see they are not actually playing FIFA 17 at the moment but another game called ‘Rocket League’ where two cars play football and the normal football objective of scoring a goal is the aim.

Now, like FIFA 17, there are many different configurations of control pad to make for a competitive game – but nowhere near as many on damned FIFA 17.

So, while I have yet to win a game of Rocket League, I can put up a good fight.

However, this evening’s xBox guest arrived, immediately grasped a control and started making his car do all sorts of fancy tricks while scoring numerous goals and quite frankly giving our small testosterone filled one a real run for his money.

Himself was slightly bemused by this and promptly asked how the xBox guest had performed such intricate acrobatics.

He then wished he had not asked as the nine-year old xBox guest went into a convoluted explanation of how to do said acrobatics involving a very complicated combination of control pad commands.

We both wish he had never asked.

This has only added to my feeling of being old and past it which quite frankly has been growing since the arrival of the gruesome twosome just 5 days ago.

Yeap, not only is my inadequacy on FIFA 17 a major issue in my mind, (along with the lack of opportunities for appropriate quite and private practice), but also the growing physical prowess of the small testosterone filled one.

Firstly, we had a wrestling match the other day and for the first time ever I really could not do it. He simply had the advantage and there was nothing I could do about it. I had to call in himself for reinforcements and had over control of the battle to the stronger force.

Secondly, since the return of the small man, he has been joining me in my swimming training. This is not only to get him out of the house and away from his xBox, (and the damned FIFA 17), but also to try to get rid of some of that nine-year old boy energy.

In times gone past I comfortably had the advantage in all swimming challenges laid down by the small man, but no more.

Yes, that fab school with all their sporting opportunities has clearly worked its magic not only on the small testosterone filled one on the rugby, football and hockey pitches and on the cross-country course but also clearly in the swimming pool.

No longer do I have the upper hand. The only stroke that I stand any chance in is front crawl and even then we are neck and neck. After each race of front crawl I am a breathless mess needing a break before the next leg.

The small testosterone filled one is quite benevolent to his old mum as he does volunteer to give me a five second head start on breast stroke, (my weakest stroke by far), but is still drawing pictures in the water waiting for me at the finish line.

As for back-stroke – well I have no idea what is going on there as once again he is stood contemplating life and the universe by the time I make it to the end.

Now, the fact that we have this afternoon had a fully technical explanation of intricate driving techniques on Rocket League by a nine-year old xBox expert and I have been reduced to a breathless, exhausted mess in the swimming pool by the small testosterone filled one, the strawberry blond hand grenade has also today contributed to my feeling of being over the hill.

You see while I have been swimming training with the small man, I have been at the gym with the hand grenade.

Now, the presence of strawberry blond one at the gym is as a result of numerous per-end of term emails asking for a ‘Fit-Bit’.

We are not the sort of parents who just buy things on demand for our children and I negotiated, via email, a deal whereby if the strawberry blond one came to the gym with me over the holidays without whingeing and moaning and actually did something, then I would discuss the possibility of a Fit-Bit with himself for her birthday.

So, she has made her bed and now she has to get out of it in a morning and go to the gym with me.

Now there has been a couple of episodes of whingeing and moaning to which I have just said the words ‘Fit’Bit’ and suddenly it has stopped – now there’s a surprise.

Now, there are challenges to taking a strong-willed, (don’t know where she gets that from), strawberry blond hand grenade to the gym.

You see, aged 11 a strong-willed strawberry blond hand grenade knows everything and will not accept advice from her mum – even though her mum is a fully qualified physio.

So, the hand grenade launches head first into activities in her own way and not always with the best technique.

Any words of advice, no matter how indirect, are rebuffed and she just carries on in her own way to prove a point.

I am firmly of the opinion that the fact she is going to the gym is a major bonus and as long as she is getting into the habit then I can live with any poor technique.

So this morning she announced she was going onto an exercise bike. She has made some vague comments of late about a slight twinge in her knee but being the callous physio that I am I have ignored her and will only worry when her leg drops off.

So, I made the fatal mistake of congratulating her on her choice of using an exercise bike and commenting that strengthening her quads would help any knee pain.

Well, not my brightest move.

With a derogatory eye roll and a facial expression that would have made Donald Trump crumble into a gibbering  mess, I was informed that she knew that and she knew all about knees. I was told that they had studies knees the week before last in biology at school and that was why she was going on the exercise bike.

Clearly I was misled with three years and a BSc in physiotherapy studies, I should have just gone to the strawberry blond one’s prep school and done a biology lesson instead.

So yes, I am feeling a little shaken by the increasing strength and sporting finesse of the small testosterone filled one and the unshakable level of superior knowledge of the hand grenade. I am not sure what will come next, the small man throwing me over his shoulder to speed me up getting to the swimming pool on my zimmer frame or the hand grenade explaining quantum physics and molecular science to me.

Whatever it may be I am sure that it will result in me feeling even more antiquated and past it.

Right, I am still working my way through the small testosterone filled one’s washing pile so best I head off, put on my marigolds and load the long-suffering washing machine up once more.

I still have not heard from any exasperated Cumbrian farmers whose sheep have been electrocuted by chewing through our ‘temporary’ telephone wire and I did phone our home number yesterday to check the answer phone just to see if it was still working. It was yesterday.

I am maintaining my pressure on BT/Openreach – much to their disappointment as they clearly thought they were out of the woods and was delighted to see yet more poop rain down on BT with the OFCOM £46 billion pound fine for poor service.

Did I rub their noses in it on Twitter and Facebook as well as happening to mention it to our ‘Senior Executive Level Complaints’ Bod in an email?

Oh yes, just a bit!!! Lovin’ it, lovin’ it, lovin’ it……..




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