Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Curse of The Mummy's Back Spin

Stitch has a really good spin. It's one of his strongest elements, which is good in that it is so good, but bad in that he often relies on that to save him in competition. (And it frequently works. Judges, please look at everything, not just one thing.)

It's also turning out to be bad in that he's so strong in his forward spin, that his Back Spin seems cursed. I watched them work on it for a solid ten agonizing minutes of complete trainwreck before moving on to something else. He and Coach had some kind of chat after all that was done, leaving me wondering what all that was about.

It was a good lesson overall, and a good practice. I was giving directions on the sidelines, Stitch kicking the boards when I took too long. At the end I gave him the eighty cents I could scrounge from my pocket. He came back with a Push Pop, which I knew cost more. "I didn't give you that much."
"The guy behind the counter took a dime from the tip jar to pay for it," Stitch explained.
I immediately got a dollar from my wallet. "Go put that in the tip jar!"
"WHAT?" Stitch's sense of justice is outraged. He wanted the dollar.
"When you work for tips, you'll understand. Now GO!"

I was getting ready to leave Coach a note, thinking she'd gone already, when out of the office she came. We settled business, and I said Stitch was on for Friday. This made her happy. "The back spin," she lamented. "He needs so much work with it."
"We'll get there. In the meantime, he'll be here Friday, but he's yours. The babysitter will be dropping him off and leaving him."

Coach was fine with this, and in fact, this is something she's offered to do for awhile.

"I'll be here as soon as I can be," I continued. "But hopefully this will help that spin a bit."

She agreed and we went our separate ways. I had some other people to speak to about Friday, but I was confident things would be just fine. With a little "looking out for", Stitch would be fine on his own at the rink.

We picked up some frozen Chinese food on the way home, as both of us were famished, and as we walked by the bakery case I noted the fancy cakes and pies.
"Stitch, let's make a deal."
"When you get that Back Spin, I'll buy you whatever cake you want out of that case, and I'll let you eat it whole with a fork."

Stitch was intrigued by this notion, gravitating towards some strawberry lemon affair. We pinky swore on it, and went home.

"What were you and Coach talking about out there?" I aske casually. I didn't really care, I was just curious.
"Oh, just Halloween. What we were going to be."
"Did you tell her about the Mummy Outfit?"
"Yeah, and I was praying the entire time she didn't say to just wrap me in toilet paper. She didn't."

One of the points in the USFSA book on how to be a skating parent is that one about "Sharing your child." I don't know why, but Coach asking about Halloween seemed like some kind of encroachment on my turf, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I know very well that Stitch skates a lot differently for Coach than he does for me, and I know he values her opinions, takes her more seriously, and the two of them have a vibe going on. Even as he's disciplining the cat in her accent, he respects her in a way he doesn't with me. I don't think "Sharing" is the right term. I don't know what is.

Yes, the Mummy outfit is complete. I blew through it in a day and it was an absolute blast to create. Using thin gauzy scraps from the remnants table, I basted on layer after layer of wrappings on the arms, legs and trunk. I did Greek Key decorative stitching around the arms, and while I know Greek is not Egyptian, it's Halloween and Dark, and if anyone challenges it I'm walking away.

Mommytime, I hear what you're saying about the bigger neck and armholes, but I think the size I cut is going to be fine, given that the fabric doesn't stretch. When I basted on the strips, I negated the stretch of the base fabric, so it mimicked a nonstretch fabric pretty well. Actually, the arms may need to be cut a hair larger, as The Mummy's arms are a bit snug. We're going to do a lot of fitting this weekend, just to be absolutely sure before I cut anything. Worse, I may need to learn how to do a buttoned cuff sleeve.

Stitch changed his mind on the music, but the design I have in mind will still work. I set my countdown clock today.

We're eighty days out. Plenty of time.

On an unrelated note, upon trying on his costume for the first time, he immediately began clinging to Dad, moaning and growling. Dad dragged him around, Stitch firmly affixed to his leg, and said, "Mummies don't hang on people!"
"The ones in Legend of Zelda do!" Stitch says defiantly.
It's true. Those Mummies in the Shadow Temple are freakin' terrifying.


  1. I hate to say it, but skaters who stick with it long enough don't become their parents, they become their coaches. Sad, but true. It is more prevalent the earlier you start and the longer you stick with the same coach. All the more reason to make sure you and the kid really like and respect the coach.

  2. That back spin is hard. I've been working on it for something like eight years and counting. (Granted, I'm an adult.) It's hard because you're balancing over an outside edge (scary) on the opposite side of the body from what you're used to (totally new feeling). All that is to say -- don't worry, he'll get it -- it just takes a while.

  3. I'm like Stitch. I have an AWESOME scratch spin and a back spin gives me hell. I've gotten it great, and then it disappears.

    The one thing I've never done is inside edge flipping. When I manage to spin, it is always over my outside edge.

    Right now my problem is crossing my leg. I can spin fast, for 8+ revolutions if I put my leg in a stork position, but you can't do that on a backspin, otherwise there is nowhere to pull your leg for an exit edge. I'm working really hard to get that leg to cross, even if it means only 2 revolutions.

    If I get it- can I have a cake?

  4. "don't become their parents, they become their coaches"

    Normal children do not become their parents either.

    "That back spin is hard"


    "If I get it- can I have a cake?"

    Also this.

  5. *sigh* If I could even just get the forward spin at this point, I'd be happy. Granted, I'm old to be starting at this, but still -- everyone said adults don't do well learning to jump because they are timid, and here I am doing okay at that. But the dizziness of spinning? Oy vey. I don't know how I'll ever get to the point of doing a good spin.

    PS Glad you sorted out the sleeves and neck!

  6. Cake for everyone who does a back spin! Get yourself a good chocolate one, and no plates allowed!

  7. "The ones in Legend of Zelda do!"

    Don't know what the future will bring, as far as whether he'll turn into Coach or not...but for not, he's definitely your kid! ;-P

  8. Some days I wish my daughter respected me as much as her coach. Other days, I'm just glad there are more than just her two parents who make an impact on her. (Other days, I'm more than happy to hand her off to coach to do the parenting. ;-) )

    Back spin. Not easy. Need it for axel. It's a conundrum.

    With new spins/difficult positions, I always challenge to "Just try one revolution, good! now go for two, great!, three and you're done for the day!" Find a lot of little successes and soon they will add up to big ones. :-)