I read somewhere that parents with children under the age of five are some of the unhappiest people in a population. This is one of those stats that can go either way for me. Tonight it teetered close to truth. Because I don’t know what I was thinking signing Deaglan up for skating lessons on a week night at 5:30 PM.
Me still in work clothes and heels, a bag stuffed with skates, helmet, and two happy meals slung over one shoulder, the camera over the other. A snotty faced Naveen squirming in my arms while I struggle to grip Deaglan’s hand as we bob and weave through an unlit, busy arena parking lot. When we get into the building it’s complete mayhem. There are families everywhere, the early-birds lucky enough to be lacing skates on kids who are sitting on the coveted benches, while latecomers like me stoop over a patch of floor, attempting to do the same and corral a runaway baby.
By this point I’m grouchy and overheated, irritated that Deaglan’s only focus is the happy meal toy. Naveen goes between running wild through the arena and demanding that I pick him up. When Shaune shows up, I’m overwhelmed with relief and the need to share my misery.
For the next forty-five minutes I cringe, recoil as my almost four year old with the help of a skating coach struggles to rise to his feet, on the ice for the first time, slipping down each time. I feel every fall, every thump. And when I don’t think I can watch anymore, convinced that in the next minute he will begin sobbing, beg to be taken to his parents, he starts getting the hang of it.
I watch as he takes tiny skatey steps, gets up without the help of the coach. And my mind changes. This isn’t so bad, I think. Maybe next week, since Shaune won't be able to come, I’ll try to find a sitter for Naveen.
Slipping and falling aside, you've never seen such adorable tiny skates and helmet.
This is the kind of shenanigans we're dealing with everyday since the tree went up.