Thursday, November 5, 2009

BEEyond the Hive: Adventures in Ice Skating

Lesson from Motherhood 101: Take your three-year-old ice skating for his first time. This is the best way to toughen up good ole mom early on in her adventures of mothering.

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Last evening I took Hayden to his first ice skating lesson--a parent/tot class at our local rec center. I practically grew up on roller and ice skates and was eager to introduce ice skating to him. But when I signed up for the class, I didn't give much thought to the fact I haven't ice skated in nearly 20 years.

Renting skates from the facility was a comical scene. The teenager at the desk requested our shoe sizes and asked for our shoes. I stared at him for a moment, perplexed at the reasons why he needed our shoes. Isn't the shoe size enough? Does he need a shoe from each of us to make sure the size was correct? I bent down and took a shoe off my foot and then one off of Hayden's and placed them on the counter. The teenager stared at me dumbfounded, and said, "Ma'am, I need both shoes from each of you."

Still, in my mind I was wondering why he needed our shoes, but I bent down once again to retrieve the other shoes. The teenager collected them and returned with two pairs of ice skates for us, but no shoes. It was at that moment a light bulb went on in my head. Ah-ha . . . he needed our shoes as collateral, I thought. I giggled as I walked away from the counter, realizing the teenager probably thought I was ditsy (and I am, sometimes :-)).

After pulling on our ice skates and lacing them up, we joined the instructor and class participants and entered the rink. We lined up, and each parent and child stepped onto the ice. When it was our turn, I almost fell as I stepped on the ice. Did I mention I haven't skated in 20 years? I felt unstable and wobbly as I glided on the ice. I giggled and mumbled under my breath, "Maybe I also need lessons." Fortunately, for the first lesson we barely moved on the ice.

The instructor taught the kids how to march on the ice, get back up on their skates after a fall, and fall without injuring themselves. I must admit, it was tough watching my little guy fall so many times. And the instructor was adamant that parents not help their kids up or allow them to hold onto the parents' hands or legs. After Hayden's first fall, he looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said, "Mommy, the ice is slippery."

As a mom, my natural instinct is to leap forward and help my son up when he falls. It took much restraint on my part not to do this every time he fell on the hard ice. As the lesson progressed, he began to figure out how to balance himself on the ice and pull himself up after a fall. I was amazed at how persistent he was in getting up after each fall.

The lesson was only 30 minutes long, which was plenty of time for preschoolers. At the end of the lesson, Hayden fell hard on the ice and began crying. Then another boy did the same thing. The instructor announced the class was over. I picked up my little guy, wiped away his tears, and told him what a great job he did.

As we walked out to the car, I asked Hayden if he enjoyed ice skating. I wasn't sure how he would respond after his many falls. He nodded and said he liked it, which is good because we have seven more lessons.


  1. I have a Hayden, too. Great mommy minds think alike.

  2. I love it--we both have Haydens! Great name, isn't it? Thanks for following my blogs! :-)