Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Time on Skates

Austin has been talking about ice skating a lot lately.  I'm not sure if there is a hockey player in his preschool class or how this notion got in his head, but he was fairly certain that he should go ice skating.  Since our weather has been less than pleasant lately, I was very happy when my sister reminded me that our gym has two indoor skating rinks attached to it.  I was even more pleased when I leared that they had open skating every day and that it was free for members and only $2 to rent skates!

Austin and I set out to try it out this past Tuesday.  We dropped the girls off at Playworks and headed over to the rink.  In preperation, I spent the entire drive there, and any other opportunities I could find, debriefing Austin on what was about to happen.  It was going to be cold.  It was going to be hard.  He was going to fall.  It was going to be hard.  He was going to fall.  You get the point.  After the 8th time I explained that he wasn't going to be able to just skate off on his own right away he replied "Okay Mom.  You mean because I'm not that coordinated yet?" 

Ummm...yes.  Why didn't I just think of that?

I took to the ice first to get my ol' skating legs back.  It was more slippery than I remember.  But then, I don't know that I've ever skated on a real, well maintained, ice rink.  My experiences stop at flooded baseball diamonds.

Once I was prepared to keep myself standing as well as Austin, I let him join me.  His enthusiasm started out high.  The pictures are horrible because I couldn't stop moving.  But, see:

He's still smiling.

After about 5 minutes, his enthusiasm wained quite a bit.

After about 10 minutes, he declared he was done.  However, I don't believe in letting my kids quit things becuase they find it difficult.  Whether they are 4 or 14, I will make them keep trying.  We took some small breaks, he spent a lot of time laying on the ice to rest his knees.  Why his knees hurt when I was the one carrying all his weight around is beyond me!  Then we took to the benches for a real rest.  At this point I think Austin started crying out of frustration and wanted to be done.  But, I'm evil.  Also, I didn't want to end on that kind of note so I forced him out on the ice once again.

This time I finally thought up a game:  "Red light, green light".  It worked like a charm.  Soon there were giggles along with great progress.  Austin tweaked the game a bit.  He suggested I say "Carbonite" when I wanted him to freeze.  He is a Star Wars geek.  He is lucky I have seen that small part of one of the movies (I'm not sure which one) where Hans Solo is frozen in carbonite.

But, if it made it fun, I was game.  So, I would yell "Carbonite" (and the other parents skating by looked at me like I was crazy) and Austin would do this:

Then I would skate back about 4 feet and say "Unfrozen!" (I couldn't think of a better word) and then Austin would skate, all by himself, to me.  We did this over and over and then I decided that although he was still having fun, it would be a good time to call it a day.  I like to leave 'em wanting more.

I had my doubts about this being a successful trip, but Austin has already mentioned several times that he would like to go again!


Amy said...

Love it! Sounds like a successful trip the the rink!

Anonymous said...

Austin really looks cool in 'carbonite' that was an awesome way to get him back on the ice... You have to thank the Star Wars Movies for something--even if you don't like that creepy Jabba the Hutt!! or some of those other ugly characters.

Grandma R.

david.infanger said...

The kid's got me beat already - I never made it past the double-bladed skates (yet still manage to refer to myself as a Minnesotan).

Terrific snapshot into the fine details of parenting. Nice work.