I bought a curling broom 10 years ago… I used it once and apparently did not impress enough to warrant a second use of the broom…  but the nice thing was my children could use it once a year at their annual Valentines Day Curling Bonspiel…

I thought this was the final curling bonspiel I would attend…  as I was doing my daughter’s hair this morning, I was telling her to enjoy her last year and she looks at me and says ‘I have one more year left… I’m in grade 4’

this is when I realized I had made a big mistake…

 a little history on the elementary curling bonspiel…  as a parent, you get to choose from the following options for this big day…

choices are: helping the curlers on the ice, bringing valentines day baking, cleaning up afterwards or working the booth…  (fifth option is to not sign up for anything but show up and sip coffee and eat all day…  it is more of an ‘unofficial’ option and is slightly looked down upon)

the previous 9 years I have worked in the booth…  I preferred this option for a few reasons…  first choice of the valentines baking that came in, no pressure to actually watch the curling, no obligation to tie skates when kids were not curling and I could distance myself from the screaming…

but I had thought this was Sienna’s last year and thus my last year and I had decided to ‘mail it in’…  I signed up to bring baking, threw a packaged brownie mix in the oven and thought I would show up for an hour or so to take a few pictures and head back home…

so you can understand my embarrassment when I realized that my daughter was not in grade 5 and I had one more year left of this…  oops…

so I decided I would take the pictures this year and then finish off my ‘Bonspiel’ time next year in the booth…

I have two highlights of the curling bonspiel from the last 9 years…. first is the time a friend of mine overshot her audience and crafted possibly THE best cupcake I have ever tasted… Martha Stewart recipe… homemade with buttercream icing…  I ate two of them because I knew they were too good for the kids to appreciate… second highlight was the year I worked in the booth, left to go to the doctor to find out that the baby in my belly was a girl…  I still remember coming back to the rink and wondering if I was going to tell anyone it was a girl and then sobbing when I saw a few moms because I was so excited…

oddly enough neither of my highlights involve curling…

as I came in the rink I quickly found my daughter eating Cheezies at 10 am in the morning…  (this is another reason why I work the booth – to keep her from making these types of decisions)

I took a few calm moments over by the rink to gather my thoughts before I ventured over to the mayhem ensuing in the curling area…

if you are wondering when to go watch an Elementary Curling Bonspiel, the morning is the time to go… before the terrible food choices and general manic energy of the day has worked every child into a frenzy…

(I still can’t believe my friends never invite me to curl… especially after the commitment to curling I made with the investment of purchasing a broom)

the first few ‘matches’ (?) of curling are exciting… this is Sienna and her cousin (another hint you are in a small town) laughing with each other before their epic throw down of a game…

but as the day goes on you start to see why teachers most likely are all closet alcoholics…  I would say 1 in 3 kids wiped out on the ice or got hit by a curling rock… I saw one child licking another child’s face… twice… licked it twice… a few kids took to screaming for no obvious reason… kids chasing each other around… basically doing everything but curl…

the thing you need to take into consideration when you are comparing this to your own childhood experience, is that as modern parents we have taken children who naturally had trouble paying attention or focusing and gave them an iPad since the day they were born…

so it isn’t a shock that focusing on curling for more than 7 minutes is a struggle…

not if you were on Sienna’s team though… after watching a few brief moments of curling on TV lately and becoming an expert, she took to screaming ‘sweep’ at her team and kept them on point…

it really is no shock that this bonspiel happens before the February break at school…

and after watching Sienna curl, I feel like the search is still on for an Olympic sport she could participate in