Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Middle-class? Me?

WHAT was I thinking? What? In the name of all that is precious and chocolate-based, what the hell was I thinking signing Boy #1 up for - wait for it - skating lessons?

Pre-child me would never have considered such a crazy thing. Willingly put a not particularly sporty 5 year old on a cold, hard, extremely slippery surface, wearing the equivalent of a pair of bread knives on his feet, take him to the edge of a busy rink populated by the sporty equivalent of drama queens and quite simply, push him off?

Are you off your rocker, Potty Mummy?

Well, quite clearly, yes, yes I am.

In my defence, it seemed like such a good idea at the time. The text came through a couple of weeks before Christmas from one of my mummy friends: 'D starts ice-skating lessons in the New Year' it read. 'It would be great if Boy #1 could join her; her sisters do it already, they love it; A, K and J (friends of my son's) are all coming, so would you like to sign him up?' Does she know my son at all? Do I?

Admittedly my first instinct was to reply; are you crazy? Do you know how rubbish I am at skating? Do you realise that despite being Dutch, Husband is only slightly less rubbish? I hate it, why shouldn't Boy #1 have the same opportunity to be physically inept, unable to stand up on shiny white stuff, and unreasonably prejudiced against anyone who can?

But then, I began to ask myself, why not? I never had the chance to learn to skate; ice-rinks were few and far between in my part of the Cotwolds 35 years ago, and those that were there were a) too far away, b) too expensive, and c) populated by scary trendy teenagers who would skate over your fingers in their swanky ice-hockey boots as soon as look at you, then loop the loop and do a triple salko just to rub in how crap you were compared to them... But just because I have the grace of an elephant on roller-skates, what law is there to say that my sons should be the same?

So, after discussions with Husband - who's attitude and prejudices are much the same as mine - we decided; actually, why not? It's not that expensive, it's not far from us, and Boy #1 would be surrounded by his friends. Plus, he will have the chance to learn a skill that is something we will never be able to master. (And let's just ignore the fact that we will never be able to hold up our heads at family gatherings again if this one ever comes out...)

So, after some fast-talking from me to Boy #1 to persuade him it was a good idea - mummy never learnt, she wishes she had done, and Daddy used to skate on the canals in Holland during the winter (not true I'm afraid, but lots of people did, so I used poetic licence), - we signed him up.

The first lesson was yesterday.

It was not what you might call a great success. But I'm hopeful. Boy #1 didn't actually cry. He even found it all quite cool. Granted, he couldn't stand unsupported, but that may have had something to do with his attention being caught by the pretty girls in the next group up in their sparkly dresses rather than spending the time listening to his teacher. Also? His fingers are all still intact. The teachers don't appear to be child-hating psycopaths. The rink was closed to ice-hockey skate wearing teenagers during lesson time. And the clincher for his brother and I? There's an ice-cream counter right next to the boot room.

What's not to like?

So he's going back next week, when he hopes to master the complicated art of standing up on the ice...

(What do you mean, it's not complicated? I never managed it...)

PS: I know you're desparate for an update on the potty training situation. But today I am too bored with the poo and the wee to write about it - which should give a pretty good indication of where we're at...


  1. Fantastic. Please please tell me that he is also signed up for Saxophone and Conversational Latin?

  2. More than; and not forgetting recreational Chinese (Mandarin, obviously - if you're going to speak it, you might as well speak the original...)

  3. I still havent taken my boys ice skating, it may have something to do with the fact that my Dad DID skate over my finger when I was 5....
    When we lived in Holland we DID skate on the canals and occasionally my dad actually commuted to work by skate - how cool is that??

  4. My daughter would love to go skating. I would love to take her skating. We have two obstacles, the first being the lack of ice-skating rink within easy public-tranport reach and the second being her father who said, 'Skating? Are you actually joking? She's two and a half. She'd break her neck or something. Maybe when she's twenty-two and a half.'

  5. I thought I'd heard it all but ... ice skating lessons almost made me spray my tea across the office.

  6. Are you planning to sign him up for Dancing on Ice?
    Next thing you know it will be ballroom dancing . . .

  7. Well, I suppose the next Christopher Dean has to start somewhere...and, if we're being middle class about it, ice skating prowess would look so good on that Oxbridge entry form, wouldn't it?

  8. Sam, that really is cool. Though a shame about the finger incident, I agree!

    Tasha, wow, you guys clearly watch more Dancing on ice than we do.

    Laura, I know. I am quite embarrassed about it all, actually. It's turning into one of those; what on earth has happened to my life? situations... (God help me when my family find out!)

    Tara, well of course I would, but they already covered that in school... (Just kidding - I think)

    NVG, I suppose if I think that far ahead I would prefer that his ice-skating prowess go more in the direction of macho speed skating than in being the next Christopher Dean (no offence, Chris...).

  9. You're worrying about his fingers? Mwa ha ha. Just wait till he realises that you have ideally equipped him with the skills to take up ice hockey. Have you seen the kit they wear for that? Looks tough enough to withstand the charge of the light brigade. What does that tell you about the game?

  10. Iota, you're right. Another reason to regret this. Though you are the first person to throw me a life-belt that I'm not condemning him to a life of sequins and spray-on tan, so for that if nothing else, THANKYOU!

  11. I still cringe remembering that I signed my boy up for ballet.... good posture, rhythm, thinking beyond stereotypes yada yada. He hated it and left after 1 term, (" I've paid so you're going", which is not necessarily reasoning a 3 year old takes on board )but I did make some great friends
    Bad Mummy, bad, bad mummy.

  12. tiger takes skating lessons ... and there's me, thinking we were being working class there. damn.

  13. I'm with Iota - everyone can ice skate here, and although I can get round a rink, I might as well have "Pillock" tattoed on my forehead. So once he's mastered the hockey stop, find the nearest ice hockey team. Just make sure you don't put him in goal - the kit costs a fortune.

  14. LOL PM! Oh dear, better than potty training though...MH

  15. I sooo want to here how this goes! Daughter wants to learn to skate and we have a rink close by that does lessons. I used to go occasionally, but I always wished I'd learned properly so I've been umming and ahhing about whether to take daughter for lessons. I shall learn from your experience!

  16. Oh well, it will give him another weapon in his furture arsenal of Impressing The Ladies.

    He'll be thanking you in years to come!

  17. Well, I hope for your sake Captain Adorable doesn't go the Christopher Dean route! Sewing sequins onto that stretchy lycra stuff is a bugger of a job you know... Far better to be Captain Courageous (or possibly Totally Reckless)in that very expensive kit.

  18. That's wonderful. Been thinking about signing Cheeky up for skate lessons. Seems the done thing to do in snowy Michigan, but sounds like I have the same prowess as you on the ice! I fear he'd take one step and go 'splat'!
    Been catching up on all your recent poasts and they've made me alugh a lot as usual.
    Congrats you on the magazine commission.
    Happy New year! x

  19. I'm sure it must be safer than rugby. Even hockey must be safer than rugby. Just don't go for sequins.

  20. TR, oh dear. That reasoning sounds far too familiar. However, he doesn't hate it - not yet, anyway - and we only signed him up for 6 lessons so will see how we go...

    Grit, I hate to think what posh is in your part of the world then...

    EPM, good advice, will bear it in mind, Though I don't think ice hockey will be appearing on his school curriculum just yet. Or at least, I hope not.

    MH, aren't most things?

    WM, will keep you posted (ha!) in that case.

    Mud, do you think I should stop then? I mean, got to give them a fighting chance...

    Sharon, between you and I, I think the chances of Boy #1 willingly putting himself in a situation where he might get hurt are pretty low. And since he's already showing a healthy disdain for all things girl, I'm not too concerned. yet.

    M/M, thankyou, and I think you should sign Cheeky up. Just because the mums can't do it, no reason why are kids can't, right?

    GPM, you're right. Ice hockey it is then...

  21. I think that's a great idea - you should learn too!! Really good for balance and co-ordination. I've just signed my 8 year old up for skate-boarding lessons - not quite so traumatic I hope! Lx

  22. FA, you know, the thought did cross my mind. Until I remembered my dodgy knee, lack of coordination, and realised that it will hurt even more to fall on ice than on snow. So I've put it on hold for the moment...


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