Programming, Temper, and Trophies

I’ve written somewhere in the region of 1,700 lines of code this week for a client project. I’m doing it single-handed – responsible for design, coding, testing, and eventually deployment. It looked like a vertical cliff face yawning over me at the start of the week – now it feels like I’m a few feet from the top. I have no idea what’s up there of course – probably somebody waiting in a deck chair with a scruffy piece of paper detailing a change to the design in their hand.
While this is all going on, I keep getting hassled with support calls for a project that was originally built by somebody that left. The entire thing is a colossal mess. I also have a conference call in a little over an hour to talk to a client about a project I wrote the design for so long ago that I’ve forgotten everything about it.

Anyway. What else has been going on?

After arriving home from work last night, I got informed that I was taking Miss 13 to the trophy evening for her local football club. We nearly didn’t make it, on account of Miss 13 doing that thing that teenage girls do, where she exploded violently and volubly in response to me asking her to “stop shouting” at the dinner table. What followed was a fifteen minute shouted rant that ran from room to room as my other half tried to defuse her. Peace was brokered on condition that she came back into the room, nobody said anything to her, and nobody laughed about what had just happened.

It was pretty funny though. From memory, the escalation went something like this:

“Can you turn it down a bit? You’re shouting again.”

“YOU’RE ALWAYS HAVING A GO AT ME! I HATE THIS FAMILY! I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY OF YOU! AT ALL! AND PARTICULARLY YOU DAD! I WISH YOU WEREN’T MY DAD! I HATE YOU”  (etc, etc, etc)

I imagine this is going to be the pattern for the next few years in our house, because we have a younger version of Miss Angry Pants coming along after that is potentially even more fiery.

Fifteen minutes later we all pretended nothing had happened, and I walked to the football club trophy evening with Miss 13 in absolute silence. I thought silence might be the safest option, seeing as any words from my mouth might cause another explosion.

The football club was interesting. We were among the last to arrive, and joined everybody else in the bar. A lady I had never seen before that was buying a round of drinks for everybody except me offered to buy me one. I politely declined, and waited my turn while making forgettable conversation about exploding children with the one or two parents I have come to know.

The format of the evening was pretty informal – one of the senior coaches stood at the front of the room, pulling trophies from a box for each team member, introducing each of them with a pre-amble that kept everybody guessing and laughing at the various stories he told about their exploits on the pitch over the past year.

You should have seen Miss 13’s face when she realised she was being introduced for the next trophy. “This girl arrived with us at the start of this season, and was perhaps the most important new member of the year. We had just lost our goalie, and she is a natural. She’s brave, always happy, and never misses a game”. The applause and cheering from the rest of the squad was thunderous – suddenly a little girl that didn’t think she had any friends in the team was having the roof lifted off by them.

I’ve only seen it happen once before – we went to an away match where I got enrolled as a linesman. The opposition team must have put seven goals past them – it was like a shooting gallery. As they all came off at full time I could see Miss 13 was close to tears, and so could the rest of the team – who did something quite unexpected and wonderful – they all ran to her and almost carried her off the pitch. I’ve never seen her smile like it before or since – at least, until last night.

Oh – and the lady buying drinks? Turns out she was also buying the entire team new kit and hoodies for next year. As it was announced she sat smiling to herself.

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