Things were going well for the Blue Flames team and they were well in the lead.
All the kids were transfixed by the ball flying back and forth across the net and Kyo and Goro were really getting into it.
“Yeaaahhh!” they both screamed when the ball slammed down on the opposite side of the net, giving the point to the Blue Flames, then the opposing side retaliated in the next rally but Dabi jumped and blocked it- causing another round of excited screaming from your group of now 2 and a half year olds and 3 year olds.
Suddenly the whistle blew and the umpire indicated that Dabi had touched the net and so it was a point to the other side.
“No!” Koemi yelled at the top of her lungs, understanding the volleyball signals, “daddy didn’t touched it!”
“Ok, sweetheart, calm down, it’s the umpires call…” you said in a low voice, trying to calm her down.
“No, mummy! He didn’t touched it! He didn’t touched it!”
“Sweetheart, hush please, don’t yell so loud—,”
“Daddy didn’t touched the net, I saw’d it!” she up and screamed at the umpire, who was now looking over at his pint sized opponent.
“Shhh!” you hushed her.
“She’s right!”Kyo suddenly backed your girl, pointing at her, “he didn’t touch it, it was the other guy!” He then pointed to the opponent who had tried to spike the ball. “His fingers did like this…” He then demonstrated how during the jump, the spiker’s hand had touched the net.
Two officials walked over to you, intending to tell you off for letting the kids be so loud but the fact that they were being so insistent had you wondering if maybe they had really seen what happened.
“Can we get a second opinion?” you asked the men as they approached you.
“The children don’t get a say in the match,” one guy scoffed, as if you say ‘do you really think we’ll listen to a bunch of 2 year olds’??”
“I think they did see what happened,” you said again.
“Listen,” the other guy said sharply, “we’ll have you and the children removed if they don’t be quiet.”
Just then a lady called from two rows back.
“Sir! I have the play here on my recorder.”
Everyone stopped and looked at her.
“Daddy didn’t touched it,” Koemi said again emphatically with the thickest scowl on her little face.
“May I see that, Ma’am,” one of the officials asked as he stepped over the barrier near the kids and walked over to her.
She nodded and showed it to him, replaying the moment on her cam recorder. Because of where she had been sitting, she was right smack bang in the middle of the two teams and could see clearly down the net on either side, making it the perfect angle to see who had touched the net.
The officials watched it back a few times then nodded at each other and walked over to the umpire to explain what had happened, making motions with their hands.
“It was that guy!” Kyo called, pointing to the player who he thought had touched the net.
You quickly quietened him and the umpire stood up to announce the verdict.
He blew his whistle and made a sign and your kids all screamed with excitement.
The point was given to Blue Flames. Dabi hadn’t touched the net.
“Daddy didn’t do it! I telled you!” Koemi cried with glee.
You were proud as punch of your kids. They had keener eyes than the officials and you shot the teo officials a smug look, which they did their best to ignore.
After the game had been won by the Blue Flames, you took the kids back to the bus to head back to Mr Totoru’s and not even 10 minutes into the drive, they were all asleep.
“That’s one group down,” you said softly to the driver, “two more groups to go. The next two should be better, they’re all a little older.”
The driver nodded and glanced up in the rear view mirror at the kids.
“They had fun,” he said, “they all look so peaceful.”
“They’ll sleep well knowing they helped the Blue Flames keep a point,” you added with a proud grin, “these kids are the best.”
Once back at Mr Totoru’s you gently got them off one by one.
The parents were already all there waiting for you so you helped to ferry the kids to the corresponding cars and clip them into their seats.
The twins didn’t even stir as you transferred them, and neither did Mio. But Emi and Koemi woke up and hopped off the bus themselves, so that was helpful.
You said goodbye to Emi and then sat with Koemi for a bit until the next group arrived.
Because Dabi was playing volleyball all day she was going to come with you to the courts again and she was only too excited to do so. So as soon as your next 5 students turned up, you were off again.
Yoshi, as expected, was beyond excited and couldn’t sit still the whole ride there. Rin and Miru were also pretty excited and Harima and Aya insisted on taking a ball each with them to the courts.
Because this group were all a little older, they understood what was happening and this time around there were no tears.
Once inside, you sat them all down and they waited for the match to begin.
Koemi proudly pointed out her dad to the other kids and he even came over to shake their hands.
Poor Yoshi nearly fainted when his favourite player reached out his hand for a handshake.
“I’ve been waiting for you to come, Yoshi,” Dabi said to him as he shook his little hand, “are you gonna cheer loud for me?”
Yoshi nodded his head emphatically, unable to speak in the presence of his idol.
Once Dabi had let go of Yoshi’s hand and had left, the elated and still stunned Yoshi turned to you and said “h-how did he know my name?”
To which you chuckled and replied, “oh, Dabi knows all the names of the people who support him.”
This really surprised Yoshi and his awe for the raven haired player grew even more.
The game went smoothly this time and your kids cheered loudly everytime the Blue Flames won, and then once the team had successfully cleared that round, you took them back to Mr Totoru’s and prepared for the final group.
Little Koemi had 3 naps that day, short ones in the van when you ferried the kids back after the match had finished, but overall she held up really well and when you finally finished for the day and Dabi came to pick you up, she fell asleep once more on the way home.