Friday, April 30, 2010

Ice Skate Date

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! Thanks to for "keeping the rink open" for this weekly event.

So last weekend, Big Brother was invited to a birthday party at the local ice skating rink.

Since we were potty training Little Brother (HYPERLINK), the other boys weren't invited, and there wouldn't be much for them to do, we decided that this would be a "date" for just Big Brother and I.

As we're walking in to the ice rink, Big Brother announces that he doesn't want to ice skate.

My stomach starts to drop into my toenail at this point, because I know--even if I don't want to believe it--that all logic and gentle persuasion and threats to leave are futile.

Within 5 minutes, Big Brother is throwing a small fit on the floor about not wanting to even put on his skates.

Both the mother of the birthday boys and the skating instructor (the party includes a lesson) try to "help". Their efforts were very well-intended, but when Big Brother has "made-up his mind" about this kind of thing, this pretty much only make him scream more.

So we're making just a GREAT impression on everyone at this point.

Even Big Brother's school friend, Dann-E, cannot interrupt the pouty fit.

Now I'll admit that I could've handled the situation much better. I know that Big Brother is a little "slow-to-warm" in new situations, and that all of the yelling was his way of telling me that he was scared of skating.

But sometimes amidst the yelling, the searing pain of "all eyes on you" makes it hard for icier heads to prevail.

I asked if I could skate, but it didn't help when the mother of the party told me that the skating was only for the kids.

So we spend the next 20 minutes--meanwhile missing the lesson--yelling, arguing, and talking to Mom-E about not putting our skates.

Finally, right when I'm about ready to bag-it and take him home, he reluctantly puts on the skates.

Surprisingly, he's more than willing to step on the ice. All of the kids are crawling along the wall, holding on for dear life.

Of course, by the time Big Brother steps on to the ice and starts to move, it's now time for birthday cake.

As we're finishing cake, they announce that we are free to skate afterwards.

Assuming that we're homeward-bound, I ask Big Brother if he wants to skate more.

"Yes," he replies to my amazement.

"Do you want me to skate with you?"


$7 and 5 minutes later, we're "racing" to put our skates on.

"Why are your skates so big, Dad-E?"

"Well, Big Brother, someday if you eat something other than granola bars and yogurt, you too might have these gigantic size 8 1/2's." I thought.

But now we have some enthusiasm about skating.

We hold hands. Big Brother holds the wall a lot, but at times is willing to let go.

We're chatting it up and having fun.

We get half-way around the rink!

And then he speaks the dreaded words, "Dad-E, I have to pee...BAD!"

Murphy's Law, I loathe thee. We would have to be at the point in the ice rink, PHYSICALLY FARTHEST AWAY FROM THE BATHROOM, with a 5 year-old who's skated a grand total of 100 ft in his career and has the bladder capacity of a toe pick.

Let me just say that there's nothing like the fear of making yellow ice to inspire you to learn how to ice skate VERY QUICKLY.

Amazingly, we made it to the bathroom IN TIME.

I mean, Big Brother is funny in street shoes when he's hustling (and dancing) his way to the potty.

But add ice skates to the mix, and he's pretty much like Lightning McQueen with 2 blown tires hopping his way to the finish line.

We skate another couple of laps after the potty break before deciding to head home.

As we're leaving, Big Brother starts a sentence with, "Dad-E, that was fun. The next time we go ice-skating..."

Big Brother, I love you. I promise to be more patient with you in new situations, if you promise to just try some new foods, because in 20 years you're going to decide you like them. Save yourself the time.

Have a good weekend,


  1. You should really look into getting an external catheter for that kid.

  2. I love the analogy to, "Lightning McQueen with 2 blown tires hopping his way to the finish line." Awesome.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. As a father with a daughter roughly the same age, I am taking notes. "Slow to warm up"...I like it. I think my daughter is the same way and if get into this situation I will do my best to make it seem like it is her idea to put on the skates. Thanks again for sharing.

  4. Reminds me of the time I tried to get Big Sister to join a soccer team at the age of 4. After one run up the field, her shoes came untied. It was game over during the warm up. And I wanted her to like it so bad. The ball they gave her exploded in the sun after we got home.

    Make little pink skirts part of the uniform and I guarantee there wouldn't have been a problem.

  5. What a great story. I am impressed that Big Brother has gone ice skating! What fun! What is next for the adventures of big brother?

  6. I am glad Big Brother finally did try ice skating. I grew up skating a lot during the winters with my siblings and cousins. It was one of our favorite things to do. We would ask my dad if it had been cold enough for long enough for us to get out on the ice...couldn't wait. Sometimes we even had night time skating parties with a bonfire, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Great memories!

  7. I don't blame the little guy. 5 year-old birthday parties overwhelm me too!

  8. @WM: We'll blame it on all of the sugary drinks that were infused immediately prior to skating.

    @twistedxtian: Thanks. He really was hopping like McQueen.

    @O'Shea: That's interesting. From all of your pictures, I wouldn't think that, but obviously once she warms up she has a ball.

    @james: I coached Big Brother's soccer team last spring. It was fodder for several entertaining posts. Just search "soccer" on my blog.

    @Aunt-E: He's ready for summer swimming.

    @Gramm-E: Big Brother would try most anything if he knew there was hot chocolate waiting at the end.

    @seashore subjects: Yeah, talk about a sugar-rush.

  9. I remember an outing like this, except it involved roller skates. It went down pretty much like this, except in the end the daughter still hated roller skating. Kids! Have your gray hairs started coming in yet?