Stitch had privates this morning, same as always, but again he looked off his game. A bit unsteady, unsure. I was talking with another mom, but glancing in on them every so often. Two weekends in a row, this was strange.
He came off the ice and ran to watch the vending machine being refilled. I wound up my conversation and went to fetch him. As he walked back with me, his feet made an uncharacteristic *thump*click*thump*click*thump* pattern. Thump, click? What's that click? "Stitch, sit down. Let me see that skate."
I wiggled the blade, and the blade wiggled back. The heel plate was loose. "That explains it. Has your skate felt funny?"
"Why didn't you tell me?"
I borrowed a screwdriver from the maintenance fellow, but half the skating parents dove into their bags for their own screwdrivers for me to use. "I thought I heard his blade was loose," commented one.
"So you guys just have one?" I asked, referring to a screwdriver.
"Oh yeah, blades come loose all the time," said one mom.
"I guess I need a screwdriver."
"You will," a dad nodded.
I screwed the heel plate down tight, and tightened the rest of the screws which were all loose by a half turn or more. Stitch and I hung out, I made him do writing and spelling, "speed" drilled him on singles addition, and then it was time for group lessons. I missed Rink Across Town.
With the blade fixed, Stitch was back on his game. Everything looked better, but it was very nice to see him smile again. His jumping was much more confident, and spinning lasting longer. He came off the ice, happy.
"So, does it skate better now?"
"I can't believe that came loose. How does that happen?"
"Maybe it's because I'm doing real stuff now."
Mystery solved, I packed him up and we headed down the road for lunch and our very own screwdriver. Stitch smelled the flowers at the hardware store, and I stayed away because of my Brown Thumb. We priced out concrete and gravel for my upcoming summer project, with Stitch getting excited about the prospect of using a trowel. And of course, I bought a small screwdriver. Who knew? The waitresses at the lunch counter "accidentally" made him the adult sized shake, but I have a feeling it was because of the cute way he asked for extra pickles on his sandwich.
Then we were back to Home Rink for (dun dun, duhhhn) Ice Show Rehearsal. Yes, Stitch and one other lone boy circled the big rink for what seemed like ages as I waited to hear and see just what silliness they were going to put the boys through. At first I thought it might a construction worker thing, but then coaches played the theme song to a local football team. A not-so-great local football team. Okay, so we have two boys, one of whom does not play team sports at all, both on skates, tossing a ball around and pretending to do a Football drill. Yes, this is awesome, yet I worry about the boys being the brunt of a joke. And how ironic, my reading of boys and sports and masculinity and ice skating, to be doing this of all things. Fortunately the program is loose enough so that boys can do what they do, and Stitch gets to do a lunge and a Waltz Jump for it. This is fine, and I can work on throwing and catching on the playground. Stitch says he likes it, and he's now humming that interminable song endlessly while he "cleans" his room.
We're back again tonight, to play with Stitch's friends who need the practice for crossovers and backwards stroking. I'm trying to think of some games to get them to play, maybe I can trick them into practicing for a change. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears.