Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Skating Toys

Yesterday was lesson day, another shared hour. This is fine by me, really. As much as the Valiums annoy me, I appreciate the friendship the Boys are cultivating, and I know that all of this could serve me very well if they continue to progress at about the same rate. Yes, this is fine. I sat up in the stands with the Other Moms, right at that magic point where we could see over the condensation in the glass yet still get cool air off the rink.

I ran into another Mom who's little girl is competing next weekend. They were doing dress rehearsal, with a pretty little velvet number, swizzles and a spin. The Other Mom was expressing some concern. "Why are they changing the choreography? It's next weekend! Why is the coach doing this?"
"I don't know, but the music is cute." It was a jazzy little number about bugs that had a old-time feel to it.
"Yeah. Is it just me, or is everyone skating to 'Dynamite'?"
"It's not just you. Everyone is skating to 'Dynamite'," I assured her. "Everyone."

Stitch ran his Pink Panther number, scoring four runs with his music thanks to an Ice Monitor change mid-session. "That's her kid," Other Mom pointed out Stitch to Other Grandmother. "What's he at now? Delta?"
"Uh, this is at Freestyle One."
"Oh. He keeps skipping levels on me. Our Coach won't pass Our Kid out of Alpha until her crossovers are clean. How do you get those patches?"
"Talk to Mysteria," my plan to sabotage the Fake it till You Make it culture is starting to take root! "She'll help you get them."

Ms V was all cheery with Gordon's music. "It's so upbeat! Thank you so much!"

And actually, the "Tail Feather" part works really well with "Shoot the Duck." Most importantly, it's not "Dynamite."

"Did you cut Gordon's music?" asked Other Mom.
"Yeah, I think it's gonna look good. It's a popular song," I would have to give Ms V some costume pointers. No blue shirts this time, and might need a black fedora.
"How much do you charge to do that?"
"Um. Ten bucks?" I don't know, it doesn't take me very long.
"Good to know."

Well, okay, sure. Whatever. Ms V was already promising me something in return for my favor. "What should he wear?"
"Black pants, white button down shirt, thin black tie and pin it," I said. "Everyone will recognize him."
"Are you sure?" Ms V was getting nervous already.
"I'm sure." In fact, if Gordon can get up some speed and a smile, he'll bring the house down.

The lesson ended, and I took Stitch's things out to the stifling Lobby. The Rink is on day five I think of no AC in the lobby area, so only the rink itself is cool. I've been going from one temperature extreme to the other, and I'm taking precautions for Stitch's health and mine.
Ms V came out and looked anxiously for Coach. "I guess it's done... is she..."
"She has another kid on the ice, she may not have time today," I was taking off Stitch's skates. I'd left a note for Coach earlier in the week with the comp papers and my decision about Pre-Pre MIF testing.

But Coach came out anyway. "Will you be here tomorrow?" she asked me.
"Planning on it."
"I may have some time for him."

She then moved to Ms V, taking some time with coupons and scheduling. That explains why Ms V had been quizzing me about Stitch's practice habits earlier. "But Stitch can practice on his own? You don't have to tell him anything?"
"No, I tell him what to do," I replied, and she looked crestfallen at this information. No, I don't sit in the stands and read just yet. I'm rinkside with a list of stuff and a stern expression, reveling in my Inner Joan Crawford. I've decided to embrace this role, at least for now.

I hear Other Moms lamenting as their daughters spend an entire hour spinning, "Why doesn't she practice anything else? She says she doesn't know what to practice!" Well, I had that same problem, and I solved it. If Other Moms want to think of me as a tyrant and a Stage mom, so be it.

As Coach lingered too long with Ms V, I watched the clock, knowing that some Other Mom was doing the same thing in the Rink. Coach dismissed herself quickly, with a "See you tomorrow" at me. Sundays are usually the best time to talk with her anyway.

That night, Stitch ran his program a few times, practiced the Kneel Thingie, and was looking much improved. "Work on those backwards edges," I told him. "Those are your weakest point right now, and those are judged. So, take some extra time on those."

Stitch did them, then went to play. He danced, spinning and jumping, and I finally saw the Bunny hop with a hand clap under the knee. His waltz jumps were higher, and I could see he was testing himself. Then he did a two foot hop, full rotation, and then he grinned at me like "did you see that?"
I see you, and you're awesome, but I may have to leave your practices when you start doing that with Coach. Mommy has a weak heart.

Dad and I have discussed Stitch's general negativity towards formal skating instruction. If he just wants to skate for fun, then why do lessons? Couple of reasons: One, Stitch clearly wants to do the cool Big Skater moves, and the only way he can do those safely is with a Coach at his side. Two, he loves to perform, and to learn moves worth performing with, he needs the formal instruction. Three, no matter how much he complains about new moves, the moment they enter his Skating Vocabulary, he will use them. The Three Turn, back crossover, waltz jump, half flip, all of that he now does on his own in his Improv Skating routines. And last night he did the Kneelie Thing, over and over and over again. It got better, every single time. In fact, if this keeps up, he'll have a smash ending to that program. New Skill; New Toy, and the kind that won't take up room in the closet.

I have a feeling that once we get out of this developmental Stage he's in, I'll be reading in the stands more often and spending less time rinkside. But I may keep on scowling, just to keep up appearances.


  1. Scowling is good - it gives Other Moms something to talk about. My mom tried to be the rink side scowling mom, but it didn't work out so well for her, so she went to book-wielding scowling mom. What with her grey jacket and reading glasses, my sister and I took to calling her the "grumpy owl" but I don't think the name caught on.

  2. You know, I can't read at the rink. I've tried, but there's too many distractions; people to talk to, things to look at, Stitch waving "WATCH ME!", a snack to get or something. I need to have my hands busy, so I need a new beading project. Maybe I can be the Crafty Scowling Mom...

  3. I had just assumed the AC had not been turned on since last summer.