Apparently Friday Night Studio sessions have been near abandoned. We arrived to find only Rink Pal, Other Kid, and a newcomer in Hockey skates. We all chatted awhile, got on skates, and I promised Stitch, "An hour of practice, please, and we can go home to the New Kitten."
New Kitten is very new, so Stitch was loathe to leave him. I understood. "Just do some tries at those things Coach showed you Wednesday, do you remember?"
"Uh, spin, I forget that new jump."
So he gets on the ice and Other Kid is immediately on Stitch about the Salchow. "Let me see it! I want to see your Salchow! You probably can't do it right!"
Stitch tries, and of course since it's so new, he barely gets it off the ice.
"That's fine, that's a try," I said. "Four more tries."
"I CAN DO IT!" Other Kid tries one, and frankly it's not much better than Stitch's. I ignore him for the moment.
"Okay, now that spin thing," I'm realizing this is going way past my ability.
"That spin where you hold your leg in front?"
"That's a scratch spin."
"Okay, scratch spin, then. Five tries."
Stitch does five tries, each better than the last. Other Kid has given up on harassing Stitch for the moment and is harassing guards.
I pace Stitch through Waltz Jump, Spiral, Stupid Duck and Flip, then tell him he's done so he can play. He runs off with Other Kid, "arresting" the Rink Guards for various offenses. But whenever a fun song came on the radio, Stitch would bolt to center and give us a show.
I was relieved. He needed time to play, and June had offered none of that, hence the burnout. The skating is getting hard, he tells me that frequently, but I keep my mantra of "Stay with it, practice, and you'll get it. I promise." The impromptu ice show was a good sign right now, I hadn't lost him to incessant lessons.
Rink Pal skated over. "What level is he in now?"
"Coach says Freestyle 3."
"If he tests out of it, did you know he can do a show solo? Maybe for Spring."
"I'll talk to Stitch." Although I saw no reason that The Hamboat himself wouldn't want to do a solo.
At one point I came off the ice to grab a Diet Coke. (I'd been off them all summer, I blame the rink for being my Dealer.) Other Kid was trying to stick a cone to the plexiglass. "What are you doing?"
"STICKING THIS HERE!"
"BECAUSE IT STICKS!"
I just walked away, Other Kid's mom never stepped in to watch.
I came back and did crossovers, only one side of me not remembering how this goes. But I nailed that "gonna fall" voice quiet and threw one foot over the other. One side of me can hold the position, but not the weight shift, and my bad side just wants to get it over with. I'm getting there. I went backwards a lap without looking at my feet, and managed to go backwards on one foot for a few inches.
"Hey, Stitch, watch this!" I tried to get him enthused about my crossovers.
"What," he skated over, "prisoner" in tow.
I tried a crossover and botched it.
"Woooow," Stitch say, heavy on the sarcasm.
Later on, we were doing hops at center. Me just barely getting off the ice and Stitch throwing himself up and hopping on his toepicks.
We stayed an hour, as promised, but Stitch had fun. We came home and let the kitten run all over. Elder Cat is not happy, but for the moment is keeping his distance and wants Kitten to leave his tail alone.
Today I'm at the Old Theatre for a few hours, which means I'll miss the Adult Clinic. Well, there's ice tonight.