Stitch had a cough this weekend. No fever, just a nagging, hacking cough that made it sound like he would be giving TB to anyone within a 500 foot radius. As such, I pulled back on the skating schedule to allow for some rest.
Friday afternoon I picked Stitch up from school, we ran to Target for a few things, and then it was off to the rink for his first Ballet and Off-ice conditioning class.
I was dutifully expelled from the small dance room where a large Russian man walled off the children from us Parents. It felt odd. I was used to being on the sidelines, camera in hand, waiting for the slightest moment to capture. Nope. I was in the lobby, reading a book and waiting for some little kid to get nailed in the head by a bigger kid practicing her off-ice axels. It was exciting.
Stitch came out of the little room an hour later, looking very sour and mad. I was afraid to ask. "Uh, did you like it?"
"NO," he replied in a fury.
"He YELLED at me, and it was PAINFUL." Apparently the stretching was painful, and the Russian dance instructor had done what Russian Dance instructors do, which was be gruff and "mean."
The man came out and told me that Stitch did well and was "very coordinated." Really? Stitch? coordinated? You must have him confused with that other kid.
The kids got a few minutes to rest, and were then ushered outdoors for some running and jumping. Stitch had been coughing prior to this, but now he was coughing in earnest. I indicated that perhaps Stitch should go home early from this outdoor exercise in the chilly fall air. Coach Y agreed. "A few laps and then I send him home," she said.
So the kids trundled outdoors, where they ran some short relays, did laps, and then jumped rope in some various ways. The bigger kids behind me were jumping Salchows and other doubles. I remember the first day I saw a skater do a double jump on solid ground, it was earth shattering.
Stitch and the other boy were working on jumping rope, which is apparently a lost concept on boys younger than twelve. Neither of them got it, but Stitch got it a bit better than that other boy. Perhaps Russian Man was right about Stitch's coordination.
Stitch began to cough, whine and collapse. His cough was just too much. (As in, he was gagging on it.) I said it was time to go. Coach Y bid us farewell and off we went. I told him we could skip Friday night skate and order chinese instead. He liked that idea. As we walked into the door of our building, there was a stack of chinese menus freshly dropped off. "Kismet!" I shouted, like we'd just won at Bingo.
I started him on Vitamin C, we ate fried rice and watched a boring train video.
Saturday was lessons, group and Private, and he did well. Nothing exemplary, just more and endless crossovers. Nutso was blathering on about how Coach L might let Precious skip Alpha 2 and go right to Beta, which I thought was a mistake but I didn't want to have Nutso go all freakout on me. Precious was out in her new skating dress and plaid jacket, crossing feet and gliding. Eh, even if it's a bad move it will still be fun to watch. I don't anticipate seeing Nutso or her family around much longer, especially since they've started going to the other rink across town for additional lessons. "They've already skated for an hour today," she smiled as Shuffles looked up at her mournfully from yet another failed attempt at a one foot glide. I just nodded and smiled, wincing as Coach Y physically forced Shuffles into position.
We hit afternoon skate, and an hour of evening skate, until his cough returned and we went home early.
Sunday we went again, and just as I was thinking that perhaps we were skating a bit too much, Stitch pulled up beside me on the other side of the hockey boards. "MOM!" he shouted between the crack in the glass.
"What?" I shouted back.
"IS THERE ANY OTHER SKATING TODAY?"
"No, this is the only public skating session today. Why?"
"I WANTED TO SKATE SOME MORE." And he took off, swinging one leg up high in front of him before catching his blade and examining it for a moment. He dropped it again and looked back to me with a wicked little grin.
Patience, patience, patience.
(His cough is much better. Vitamin C, people. Lots of vitamin C. Crushed pills in orange juice or in honey/lemon tea. Start it early before it blossoms into true sickness!)