Whilst watching my team play in the FA Cup on the TV last weekend I realised I need to curb my enthusiasm in the presence of my baby son. My beloved LFC were playing a club from a much lower league and I had imagined the win was guaranteed. There was as always I slight doubt in my mind as Liverpool seem to raise their game for teams better than them and don’t try hard enough for teams worse than them. And so it was. Oldham bullied them through the most part and sliced through the shaky defence when needed. The seed was planted as they scored first while we hardly had a single chance. I thought their goal would stir my team into action and this seemed to work when our lucky number 7 equalised.
In standard football fan tradition, I shout out as their net bulges and picturing a reversal of fortunes for us, stand up waving my fists at the TV screen and our opponents. The sudden unexpected change in position and volume disturbs Theo, who up to this point was happily playing on his mat right in front of me. Within seconds his bottom lip begins to tremble, his face reddens and then he lets out an ear-shreading cry.
I bend down to pick him up, apologising and trying to settle him with soothing words: “Silly dad, shouting like an idiot, scaring his poor Boo. Oh sorry my love” etc etc. He cries for a few more moments and takes a little longer to completely calm down. A few more cuddles and then 10 minutes in his bouncer brings the smile back to his face.
As it goes, the rest of the game has no further excitement anyway and we later trail 3-1 before finishing 3-2 after we score from a deflected shot. A deserved win for Oldham and another day wiser for dad.