Tonight I made it to lessons just in time to see Stitch wheeling a corner on an inside spiral, Gordon not far behind as the two boys were apparently racing the warmups. I relieved The Sitter, who said that Stitch actually did crossovers, as I had texted her in big letters "TELL HIM TO DO CROSSOVERS" just as I got out of work. Stitch and Gordon flew past us, sliding on their bottoms on Shoot the Duck attempts. Stitch went past the door, saying something about wanting a refund but I ignored him.
I gathered up the things and went to the Lobby to find a suitable spot to figure out what to do with myself for the next half hour. I'd finished my book, I didn't have a beading project, there wasn't anyone to talk to, so I got a Diet Coke and lingered by the window. Stitch saw me watching and rolled his eyes, so I assumed this was a "get lost" look. I wandered around, debating snagging a new book but I've already got two in the stack at home, plus another title I need to find. I watched the skateboarders outside and wandered back in, where Ms V caught me and started talking about her husband getting all ready for baseball season. Her car is apparently loaded with half the contents of Sports Authority, and she isn't sure what's going on, giving some horrendous figure he's spent on all this stuff.
I looked up, seeing Coach supporting Stitch by his backside. This didn't bother me, this is typical for Shoot the Duck, but then I noticed Stitch crying.
"Is he all right?" Ms V was suddenly concerned.
Coach's usual response to a fall is to give them hard looks until they get up, so either Stitch snowed her with a really good injury act or this is serious. Whatever it is, I need to intervene.
I get into the Rink and Stitch is performing his Lump of Pain Routine, so Coach is forced to shove him out of the ice door where he nearly keels over on me. He's all red faced, sniffles, crying and tears and mess and goo. "What hurts, where did you fall," I ask.
He cries harder.
"He fell on a spiral," Coach says. "He looked around and lost his focus."
Damn toepicks. "What hurts," I repeat, firmer to get through the tears.
Stitch indicates his knee, the same knee that got whaled by a bathroom door stall just a few days ago which earned him a band-aid and pity points from Teacher.
"Okay," I acknowledge. I send Ms V for an ice pack so she'll stop hovering, and I comfort Stitch. Coach goes back on the ice.
"Breathe, just breathe. Slow down. It's all right."
Stitch huffles and sighs, still gooey and red.
Other people nearby tell him he was doing great, but this just makes him madder.
"Stitch, were you looking for me on that spiral?" I ask him.
"I thought I was bugging you so I left. I'm sorry."
He snuffles and buries his head in my scarf.
The lesson ends and Coach comes to check on him. "Will he survive?"
"Probably," I sigh. I figure this was partially serious, but mostly an act.
We leave and Stitch is sullen, angry, limping and hurt inside and out. Ms V keeps chattering and Gordon attempts to cheer Stitch by getting out toys and playing with his tiger soakers. I get off skates and put Stitch's shoes on backwards, which gets him finally talking. "Mom, you know those are on the wrong feet."
"Did I do that? That was silly of me... I guess I was listening to Gordon tell me about those cool toys."
Stitch looks over and Gordon's got some spinning top thing, which they both get absorbed in and suddenly the knee isn't so bad. Ms V starts dragging Gordon away, I pack up Stitch and we're off. Sort of. Stitch is limping dramatically out the door. "The pain, the pain..." he moans.
At that point I actually wished we had a Zuca. I'd have parked his little butt on it and dragged him out to the car. But I had to cajole and finagle him out, promising him a pillow for his leg and some rounds of Mario with dinner. I shut the car door and look back at him, still sullen. "Stupid toepicks," I say.
"Yeah. I'm going to grind them off on the sidewalk."
"Why not just pay attention next time. That will save me money on blades."
We get home and I set him up on the sofa, inspecting his hurt knee but finding no bruising or swelling. I put it up on a pillow just the same, bring him his dinner and we get massacred by Bowser and his Goombas for awhile. I offer him some Tylenol if it hurts too bad but he turned it down. I carried him to bed, put him in his pajamas and he settled in to read about birds and Junie B. Jones.
"Stitch, do you want me to watch your lessons?"
He looked at me. "Sort of."
"Well, if you want me to get lost, just do this," and I made a finger across the neck motion. "I'll leave."
"I can't do that if I have to hold my arms out."
"You never do that anyway."
He rolled his eyes.
"If you want me to stay, I will. If you want me to leave, that's fine, too. I stepped away today because I thought I was bothering you," I explained.
"I'll keep that in mind. Just tell me what to do."
Still no bruising on the knee. This is actually a bit of a disappointment. One of the ways I cheer up a bad bruise is to make "Bruise People." Take an ink pen, draw around the perimeter of the bruise (the more bumpy, the better), add a face and stick some arms and legs out of it. Voila. Stitch gets a kick out of me drawing on him, and a collection of bruise people usually ends hilariously. At one point we had two cops and a fireman. I was really hoping for a Bruise Mona Lisa, but it looks like I'll have to wait. Oh well.