The first football World Cup that I vaguely remember is the 1986 tournament in Mexico and the first that I got really excited about was the 1990 event in Italy. During France 1998, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend three matches and in 2002 I took into account the schedule of games in Korea and Japan when planning revision for my final year university exams.
This year’s World Cup in Brazil is the first one since I became a dad last year. As I mentioned a while ago in a post entitled My First Football Season as a Dad, our son has already been introduced to football and in particular Bangor City. He had a Bangor City baby grow before he’d reached a year old and has already been to watch the team twice. He slept through and remained awake through the second, although he seemed more interested in watching the crowd than the game.
I thought that it would be nice to do something to mark this year’s World Cup for our son and was initially struggled for ideas. At first, I considered trying to feed him something related to a different World Cup team each day during the tournament. It would have been quick enough to tick off countries such as Spain (tapas), France (omelette) and Mexico (tortilla wraps). However, I sensed that teams such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Ecuador might well have posed a greater problem as I was less familiar of their national cuisine and their baby-friendly vegetarian options.
I momentarily thought that if I made something that counted as ‘global fusion’ food, then I could tick off any of the World Cup countries. This could mean that whilst vegetarian lasagna would cont for Italy, vegetarian haggis lasagna could potentially for any country I fancied. As this seemed somewhat contrived, I decided to focus on other ideas.
By chance, I ended up getting our son a ‘caxirola‘ whilst at our local supermarket. Before my trip to the store, I had no idea that the caxirola was a small percussion instrument that was the official musical instrument of the 2014 World Cup. Nor did I know that the caxirola had actually been banned from all twelve of the World Cup stadiums hosting matches in Brazil. Our son thankfully didn’t seem to mind and has been happily shaking his caxirola whilst walking round the living room.
When I was discussing the World Cup with a colleague recently, they remarked that there had been a lot of child-like behaviour on display. The most notable example so far has been Uruguay’s Luis Suarez biting Italy’s Giorgio. I can’t remember whether or not our son was in the room while I was watching this game, but he has tried to bite my wife and me on the leg a few times recently. As a fifteen month old toddler, he can at least blame this on teething. Such an excuse is certainly not something that Suarez could use as a justification of his behaviour.
As this World Cup has progressed, it’s been fun to see our son toddle around chasing after a little football. His skills are definitely improving and he is now able to kick the ball rather than just pick it up, throw it and trip over it. If he continues to progress, I’m sure that scouts from the big clubs will soon be in touch.
Do you remember the first time that you watched the football World Cup? What do you do to mark the World Cup and celebrate it with your friends and family? Please feel free to share your views in the comments section below or on the ‘Dad’s The Way I Like It’ pages on Facebook or Google+.
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