For most of the term, the girls' school has been trying to hold the cross country run (before the Zone competition) for all the pupils. The weather here has been standard Auckland weather: four seasons in one day. Thus the run has been postponed and postponed.... well you get the picture. And in the meantime the teachers have had the kids out practicing whenever weather permitted (this exercise thing is part of the curriculum you see).
Jess, who runs well but hates cross country cos it is just that - across country (and where we are, that means cow pats), had been agitating for weeks to get permission to not do it.
Tamsin never said anything, just taught herself to tie the laces on her sneakers so she could wear them to school due to her teacher recommending lace up sneakers as better for running.
Finally, the actual event did get held, using a circuit around the outside of the school instead of the original around the mountain-through-muddy-fields-and-cow-pats one.
I had compromised with Jess and had sent a note giving her permission to decide for herself whether she ran or not. This solved all her concerns and she worked out an on the day solution which she and her teacher were really happy with.
Tamsin just made sure she had on her lace up sneakers and continued to stay out of all the debates about school cross country events.
Anyhoo, I picked up the girls from school as per usual on a Tuesday - in a hurry as it was ballet, then gymnastics. Tamsin's teacher mentioned as Tamsin and I were leaving the classroom to go meet Jess that Tamsin had told her she'd come first but the teacher didn't know if that was true or not as she hadn't been at the finish line. Tamsin has a great imagination so I, bad momma, didn't pay much attention.
On walking the girls to the car, we ran into one of Jess' friends (Brittney) who gave Tamsin a big hug and a "congrats on winning, Tamsin!"
Jess then answers my "did she?!" with "oh yeah, it was cool! and Alice came second!" Alice being our neighbour's tiny tiny 5yr old. Brittney's mum joins us and confirms this with "Tamsin was great, she was lapping people!"
Apparently the 5yr olds had been split into two groups and sent out 5 mins apart (Alice in the first group and Tamsin in the second), so Tamsin had caught up with and then passed all the other kids.
Tamsin meanwhile is just standing there with the biggest grin on her face, finally being the centre of congratulatory commotion for something she'd done, all by herself and not in the shadow of Jess.
Tamsin, my 5 and a half year old, won the 5yr age group school cross country event.
She really really did.
You see, my bright youngest daughter had worked out that it was a race and by running steadily the whole way (no walking or mucking around) beat all the other 5yr olds - and encouraged Alice along the way so she came 2nd.
Way to go Tamsin!