Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Should my child Compete?"

Here's another question newbie moms ask me.

My opinion? Sure! Why the heck not? If your kid has more than a passing interest in skating, then yes. It's not any different from a Little League game at this stage. Stitch enjoys it, it's an "end result" of all that falling they do, and everyone gets a cool prize at the end of the day.

But should you and your child? Here's a handy questionnaire to help you decide.

1. Does your child really enjoy skating?
a. Yes, he says he's having fun.
b. The Rink Guard had to pry him off the door when public skate ended.
c. She only likes skating when she doesn't fall down.

2. Can you garner critical information from people who may be obtuse, unavailable, arrogant or nonsensical?
a. I can usually make sense of random bits of jargon.
b. I don't leave until I get what I came for.
c. Fight fire with fire, is what I always say.

3. Do you enjoy being ignored or patronized when it comes to your child's interests and progress?
a. Just so long as he's learning to own his interests.
b. What? I was getting some coffee..
c. I have tattooed her school records and growth percentiles on my shins.

4. Are you always feeling too hot?
a. I tend to dress in layers.
b. Only my butt.
c. Are you going to use that scarf?

5. Can you watch your child crash and burn repeatedly? Not just in practice, but during the actual competition? Can you do it and not intervene?
a. I would be a little upset and scared for him.
b. As long as he doesn't do it worse than that Other Kid.
c. That won't happen, I took notes during practice and I can give choreography moves from the stands.

6. Are you prepared for a frank estimation of your child's abilities?
a. Put it to me gently, I think I can take it...
b. Why is the concession stand always out of Splenda?
c. My child is above average in every way, and I love to hear about it.

7. Can you listen to the same song more than six times in a single morning?
a. Sure, I like pop music.
b. Only if I remembered to refill the flask before I left.
c. Is it Berlioz? We played that for her in utero, so I'm used to it.

8. Do you enjoy surprise expenses?
a. No, but as long as I know what they're for...
b. I don't believe in surprise expenses.
c. Do you take cash?

9. Are you prepared to face children cuter/more talented/smarter than yours? Will you be able to speak civilly to their parents?
a. I was raised to be polite, so yes.
b. Time for more coffee.
c. I feel more sorry for those other children who will have to compete against mine.

10. Can you lose a crucial item and not freak out?
a. I try to carry spares of everything.
b. As long as there's no bleeding stump, sure.

11. Are you ready to witness clear instances of cheating where your child loses because of it?
a. Sometimes life is throws curves.
b. If I find that kid's shoes in the lobby, I'm gonna need to take them into the bathroom with me.
c. Only if I can berate every coach and official I meet, demanding to speak to the ISU president about this gross injustice.

12. Finally, are you prepared to face your child's massive post-competition ego complex?
a. If I can temper it with a lesson on good sportsmanship.
b. "Ask the nice man for a Shirley Temple. Mommy's gonna get a French 75."
c. Of course! She's earned every moment of it!


Mostly A's: You are probably good to go. Just keep reminding yourself that no matter where your kid places, the sun will rise the next day and he will live to skate again.
Mostly B's: Yes, and when you get there, please sit next to me. Don't forget to take your kid home with you when you leave the rink.
Mostly C's: Competing is probably not good for you or your child, but your pharmacist will love you. Maybe you should find another activity. Try pottery.


  1. Lol this is brilliant!

  2. The hardest one for me is "Watch your child crash and burn and not intervene." That's hard.