Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finding Ice Time

Did you know that if you write "Public Ice" often enough on your calendar, it starts to look like "Pubic Lice?"

I'm sitting and staring and debating and I'm starting to understand why some moms pull their spawn out of school to make way for skating. I get it. You look at these schedules and it's just a half hour shy of school being out. Or in. When you factor in a Coach, and her schedule, and it gets even more confusing. "I can do this day or this time, but not then. Perhaps next week? What about then?"

Pre-Freestyle Ice seems to assume that your kid doesn't go to school. Or something. It's incredibly hard to get a Pre-Freestyle kid on the main rink. The days that they are out of school are also the days that just HAPPEN to have no Practice Ice that day. I swear, it's like the school board and the rink staff had a meeting. It just seems easier to say, "Screw it, I'll just school them myself and be done with it." Except for that whole thing where I'm terrible at math and we'd be on food stamps, it seems like an elegant solution.

What's also terrible is that my weekends have been consumed by skating. I spend every Saturday and Sunday shuttling back and forth to the rink, with less than reliable results. Public ice is sketchy. Friday nights, there is no resurface at all because "The broomball people like it rough." It's gotten so bad, it's almost not worth going. Saturday afternoons are crowded with smelly Hockey people, followed closely by balls of hockey gear with little kids somewhere in them on the Public Ice. I've been warned that Sunday afternoons become a "Madhouse" in winter, with everyone and their dog suddenly wanting to participate in skating. I hate crowded ice. I don't mind populated ice, just not Crowded Ice. (I'd get my Sundays back, as well as my Saturday afternoons.)

I'm left with Practice Ice. If I do the two least expensive options, that gives me several weeks of hourlong figure skating sessions. Stitch seems to take the Practice Ice a bit more seriously, so maybe this means no more goofing off and throwing snowballs. What I've decided is to book the midweek evening session, and a sheet of coupons. This way, we have an hour of solid practice plus sheets for lessons and whatever. We'll continue to go to the public sessions that are valuable (clean ice and sparse crowds), but skip the ones that have become useless.

Morning Ice seems to have become an inevitability. I just spend my mornings drinking coffee anyway, I can do that anywhere. The challenge will be to get Stitch out of bed that one morning of the week.

I've dumped every session of Ice available to Stitch on a Calendar that I can easily access from my Stupidphone, so no more bumbling when Coach accosts me with vague references to this day or that day. And I can easily point out sessions to Dad when he's got the time to take Stitch to the rink.

I downloaded this song this morning. It made me feel better.

I'll beat this system yet, I swear!

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