Obsessive Olympics-watching was the order of the day in our house this weekend, from last Friday's fabulous ceremony (despite the best efforts of NBC to ruin it) to watching the first Team GB medals in the cycling road race and swimming.
The Littleboys, despite sporting American accents and knowing the pledge of allegiance to the US flag off by heart, have turned out to be staunchly pro-British.; for example, they object highly to a Citibank ad that keeps being during the coverage, with the strapline 'Go Team USA'. Meanwhile Littleboy 2 keeps earnestly asking me if "England" is the same is "Team GB", because that's who he wants to support (I'm not surprised he's confused - what does Team GB mean exactly? I mean, aren't we Great Britain and Northern Ireland?).
This is the first Olympics the boys have been old enough to really take in, and I'm loving it all the more for their enthusiasm, as well as the fact it's in London. They stayed up for a good half of the opening ceremony, loving Mr Bean in particular and the children bouncing on hospital beds. Littleboy 1 has started an Olympic log book of sports he has watched, noting down teams and scores in felt pen. When we went to the town pool on Sunday, both insisted on swimming several lengths of front crawl, and asked me to teach them how to do a somersault turn.
I think it's great that they're so inspired by the Olympics, and have been wondering how exactly I could ensure their future dazzling success as Olympic athletes. It seems to me you must have to settle on a sport pretty early on in life; Littleboy 1 is already seven, so we need to get a move on. He's fairly sporty, but I'm not sure cycling up and down the block is going to produce the next Bradley Wiggins, and although he's a good soccer player I'm realistic enough not to think he's going to be a world-class footballer. I think I need to pick something more obscure - perhaps both boys could team up and become sychronized divers? Or perhaps beach volleyball - there's a court near us, and surely that would be an advantage over most the future players of 'Team GB'?
In truth, I would love to raise an Olympian, but deep down I have a feeling that, if you weren't one already, you would turn into a kind of obsessive freak-parent whose life became dominated by your child's success or failure, training regimes and the like. Just looking at some of the wild-eyed, chuntering parents of US gymnasts in the crowd yesterday made me shudder (particularly when we heard that one of the girls was competing with a broken toe). I wonder if it's possible to raise an Olympian without going overboard - or if that's just not realistic these days?