Sunday, February 06, 2005


My hubby is out of town. Matter of fact, he's out of town a lot. Sometimes I feel like a single parent, and that can get discouraging. But it's his job, and we knew going in, that it would be like this.
That said, whenever Hubby is IN town, we usually exhaust ourselves on weekends, taking the kids here and there, and there's always a movie and dinner.
My problem is getting over the urge to stay home and do absolutely nothing (while the kids run wild) on Saturdays without Hubby. So, since I am very proud of myself, I'll state in my defense that I actually attempted to do a "family outing" yesterday, and dragged the kids to the Pettit Ice Arena.
I didn't have to drag my daughter and youngest son. They were enthused about the idea of going iceskating from the get go. My daughter's brownie troop would be there, so it was a good opportunity. My middle son, who is more inclined towards "intellectual pursuits" rather than athletic, promptly fell to the carpet and started groaning the moment I made the announcement. I didn't care. My kids are 7, 5, and 4, and NONE of them have ever been iceskating. So I decided it was time.
During our journey to the Ice Arena (in which my daughter felt compelled to pray at one point that "Mommy wouldn't get lost again on the freeway") I tried to formulate a plan as to how to go about supervising six pairs of arms and legs while only posessing two of my own. This was going to be interesting, to be sure.
We got to the arena, and there wasn't even one place to park. I am not joking when I say this. There was one parking spot, but it was several miles away from the main door and buried in four solid inches of slush. So I sat in my car and waited, until by some miracle a lady came out and pulled out of a parking spot only about a mile away, and I promptly pulled in.
We got inside, paid for our tickets, and in the course of the next 30 minutes we ran back and forth exchanging pairs of iceskates for bigger iceskates (note to self: figure skates run SMALL) and I had to lace up about 10 pairs total before we all had what we wanted.

We were ready to hit the ice. Little did I know that we would literally be hitting the ice, for the next two hours.
The next two hours were, without doubt, the longest of my life to date. I spent 10 minutes alone, just coaxing my middle son onto the ice, reassuring him that it wouldn't crack--and even if it did, it would not open up and swallow him into deep dark water.
My daughter, thankfully, had about a half dozen of her Brownie Troop girlfriends, willing to help out and determined that she would learn to skate. They were holding onto her arms, jacket, braids, etc., steadying her until she got the hang of it.
So I left her alone and focused on my two sons, who were doing literally everything on the ice except skating: Falling, twisting, crying, scrambling, beating the ice tearfully from a sitting position, etc..
Thankfully I have had some experience on the ice (just not since College-eek) and I didn't fall down. My chore was to crawl along at a snail's pace, holding up the collective weight of my two sons as they flailed their arms and legs. (I'm sure to onlookers it looked somewhat painfully like I was a fisherwoman clutching a dying octopus in each hand.)
After getting only halfway around the circle, my arms hurt, my legs hurt, my ankles really hurt, and my youngest son was so boiling mad that he couldn't get the hang of it, that he wanted nothing to do with me, and preferred to cling desperately to the side bumpers and hitch himself along.
My other son had me in a death-grip, wailing whenever I made any sudden movements. I was beginning to actually sweat from the exertion of holding him up, and cursing the fact that I had ever come here without my hubby, who would have been extremely useful to have on hand for this particular situation.
In the end, we made it twice around (I was beginning to get VERY mad at Red Jacket Man, who, while on hockey skates, started at one point skating in circles around us and smiling gleefully, as if rubbing in the fact that yes, he had passed us at least three dozen times already) and by the time we were finished, my children were sobbing, I was practically sobbing, and I had to fight the urge to rip my skates off and march off the ice with my hands in the air.

Of course in the car, on the way home, I heard the dreaded words:

Mom, that was fun, can we do it again next Saturday?



Ann said...

Hee, hee! And the ending to this was classic!

Michelle Miles said...

ROFL! Lara, your kid stories crack me up. :)