Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets

Stitch and I were watching 4CC vids on Youtube and working on his stretches when my Stepmother in Law pinged me on chat. She wanted to know when his next comp was, they wanted to try and make it.

I gave her the date.

"What time does it start?"
"It starts at 9am, but he won't need to be there all day."
"So when does he skate?"
"I don't know."
"You don't?"
"No. I won't know for a few days yet."

Yeah. This is one of those things no one explains. I'm a schedule person. I like to know when things happen, so I can be early, and plan out the rest of my life. Skating Competitions were an amazing jolt to my head. When you enter your child in a skating competition, you send in your paperwork, and then you sit in the dark until about a week before and then they'll provide a ballpark time for you to get there. Plan your cooking, cleaning and shopping schedules as though you'll be gone for all that day (or days) because you just don't know.

Don't call them. That only makes them mad. The one time I did call because the schedule was late in coming, I got some heavy sighs and multiple emails that I'm pretty sure were sent out of spite.

For us, the skater and his Manager/Mom, this is actually fine. I work the schedule so that we're busy for an hour or two and the rest of the time is goldenly ours. Movies, anyone? Well, he's busy. I'm in the stands.

For Family, this is going to be problematic. Stitch really loves Grampa, and having Grampa at one of his comps would be an awesome thing for him. But I don't want to get him all excited only to learn he's skating in the morning and Grampa can't come. So, I'll keep it quiet, and if he skates in the afternoon then he can be surprised by Grampa's presence. I can't know for a few days.

As if this wasn't fun enough, the entire fleet of Grandparents has expressed interest in being at the July Comp. When I say Fleet, I mean that. There will be about six people coming. I love all my family, but having everyone together can be *ahem* stressful. I'll only have a few hours of entertainment for them, but it's their grandson so they'll all be in rapt enchantment. The rest of the weekend? I guess I'll juggle oranges or something.

So all you newbie parents out there, I'm letting you in on one of The Secrets. Lower Level Competitions are a lot like everything else you encounter; You won't really know what's happening until it's too late.


  1. When I was much younger, Different Sport Coach would not take me to competitions if the facility did not have a record of keeping the competitions on schedule. I'm sure you'll soon find out which competitions are worthwhile and which are just annoying.

    I think it's pretty universal to have to wait a few weeks after entering to get the schedule since they adjust it to the number of entries. Different Sport had software for handling the data - I'm pretty sure IJS events use similar software.

    According to Different Sport Coach, the chaos and bureaucracy are worse at higher level competition.

    I hope grandparents like watching the other competitors too.


  2. They will then inevitably schedule you during the single one-hour slot during which you have a long-standing conflict. I think it's part of the computer program or something.