Ice Princess

A few weeks ago, Paige started taking ice skating lessons. She got them from her Susu for her 5th birthday, and she was VERY ready for them to start. Like, she asked every day (often multiple times a day) when her first lesson was going to happen. Every day from January 11th until the first lesson on February 4th. Needless to say, it was a LOOOOONG month.

Shopping for the skates was an, um, adventure – the girls and I hit Dick’s Sporting Goods on a Friday afternoon, and let’s just say the journey involved trying on lots of skates, included sweating and swearing on my part, and whining and crying on the girls’  parts, and ended with one of Blair’s signature fits.

Sidenote here: these fits aren’t always a bad thing. Other shoppers often let us get in front of them in line, checkout people work extra fast, and we rarely have any wait when we need issues resolved. If you need to borrow her, let me know.

We had a LONG talk about how tight skates have to be. Let me remind you that I grew up in a house o’ hockey. My dad grew up playing hockey. My older brother played hockey for … well, forever. And my little brother played hockey. I told Paige that her Botsie’s motto always was “if you can’t feel your toes, your skates are just tight enough.” And trust me, he meant it.

We also had to have a LONG talk about how tall her socks were going to be. This is a girl who doesn’t like to wear tights because “these socks are too tall!” So, the sports socks took a lot of getting used to.

We also talked about how we’d have to get her skates sharpened, about how sharps skate blades were, about how ice is slick and she might fall down and that’s okay, about how she needed to listen to her instructor, about how she was going to wear her bike helmet even though she wasn’t going to be on her bike, about … well, you get the idea. Talking about ice skating took A LOT of time and effort. Almost as much as waiting the three weeks for ice skating lessons to start.

She did really well! She seems to really like it, although she liked the part OFF the ice (practicing feet and arm placement, and falling) better than the part ON the ice (actually skating). She was scared to take her first few steps out there, but she was so brave, and has gotten a little braver every week. And, she hasn’t yet said she doesn’t want to go back – which is huge. This is what usually happens after we try something once – she always says she doesn’t want to go, I try to convince her she does want to go, I end up finally forcing her to go, and then she has fun once she gets there. This includes school, people. Every. Single. Day.

It was a surreal moment – watching Paige and my nieces out on the ice while Blair ran around on the bleachers was like an instant flashback for me. I spent almost every ‘Dad and Nan’ weekend growing up at the Skadium watching Rob play. Jay and I knew all the ins and outs of the bleachers, bathrooms, snack bar and back hallways. When I moved home from Chicago (and even before then), I attended almost all of Jonathan’s hockey tournaments. In fact, the last time I was at this particular ice rink was at one of his games. I always say I hate being cold, but I never have stood up in the headed seating area to watch any of the games because I loved the sounds of skates and sticks hitting the ice, players yelling out to each other, and the other parents talking and gossiping. And the hot chocolate. Obviously.

So I stood out there while Blair explored with her cousin Gracie, and I froze. But it was awesome. Watching your child try something new for the first time, something you know they are nervous and maybe even a little scared about, is like running a marathon (in my head, folks. I’ve clearly never ran a marathon – thinking that watching someone else do an activity is like running a marathon is why I will NEVER run a marathon). I think I held my breath the entire time. I stood far away so I wasn’t at all tempted to remind her to listen to the teacher. Letting her stand on her own, make her own friends, and find her own comfort zone is terrifying for me .. and I know this is only the beginning.

I could hear she and her cousin Addison giggling, and I could see my niece Natalie shaking her booty and skating backwards. I took a deep breath. Fun was being had. Fears were being conquered. All was right with the world.

Rob was there watching the first lesson, and we never talked about it. But I’m sure he must have thought the same thing –  I have no doubt that JoBear was there somewhere, watching it all and cheering them on. And laughing about what a nervous wreck I was, making a huge deal about something as simple as a first ice skating lesson. He wasn’t surprised. And I’m sure none of you are either.

This is what was happening when we got there - first time on skates for NateDogg. And, yes - those are real hockey skates from Bots.

This is what was happening when we got there – first time on skates for NateDogg. And, yes – those are real hockey skates from Bots.

This is what the drive to her first lesson looked like. I'm not going to lie - I didn't have high hopes for her mood when I saw this...

This is what the drive to her first lesson looked like. I’m not going to lie – I didn’t have high hopes for her mood when I saw this…

First time on skates! Mood is MUCH better than expected, as is her balance! Plus, look how freaking cute she looks.

First time on skates! Mood is MUCH better than expected, as is her balance! Plus, look how freaking cute she is. I made that, folks.

With her cousin, Addie Honey. Here, Addison looks more nervous than Paige. Once they were on the ice, this dynamic swapped.

With her cousin, Addie Honey. Here, Addison looks more nervous than Paige. Once they were on the ice, this dynamic swapped.

Here we go...

Here we go…

Hesitating just a bit ...

Hesitating just a bit …

Contact made! Woo-hoo!!

Contact made! Woo-hoo!!

A short video of she and Addison’s first few steps on the ice:

Rink Rat

Rink Rat

Blair’s Side of the Story

I’ve been trying to upload a few new posts for the past week, but they all have pictures included. And, for some reason, my laptop is stupid, hates me and refuses to allow me to upload anything from iPhoto. Seriously – it’s almost been ‘toss-the-laptop-out-window’ angry. Like, if Derrick hadn’t been here, it would have happened.

I digress.

Instead, I’ll tell you a little story about our favorite 2-year old, Blair. There are two versions: her’s and mine. I don’t want to try to persuade you one way or the other as to which one is true. Let’s just all try to remember who the grown-up is here. Okay, let’s at least all try to remember who the mommy is. Which means I’m always right. Right?

My Version:

Blair has been working on perfecting her “Terrible Twos” act lately. I can’t be sure, but it seems like she’s in the “focusing on perfecting her fits” stage right now. There’s the “super loud” fit. The “über loud” fit. The “I’m screaming so loudly and high-pitched that only dogs who are very far away can hear me right now” fit. And, all of the above also are part of the contest for “longest fit ever.”

This morning was one of those days. I carefully asked Blair what she wanted to wear today. We have learned it’s just not worth the battle to try to pick something out and then argue with her for the next 10 minutes or so.  Plus, her answer is always one of two things: pants, a shirt and a tutu or dress and a tutu.

This particular morning she chose a dress, a tutu and pants (since, you know, it’s cold outside). We quickly agreed on the dress. I then made the fatal error of choosing jeggings (jeggings, which, by the way, she wore just last week). I sat on the floor with her and put her dress on. Then came the pants. She saw them and immediately began screaming that they were too tight. She “NO LIKE THEM PANTS!” I got them over her little feet, and up to her knees. And then all hell broke loose. I tried to stand her up to pull the pants all the way up, and she proceeded to scream, “Deez is TOO TIGHT!!! I. NO. LIKE. THESE. PANTS!!!!!” After being hit in the face and kicked the second time, I stood up and left her on the floor in her room.

I proceeded to take a shower, get Paige ready for school, get myself dressed and ready … all the while trying to ignore the high-pitched, constant screaming was coming from Miss Blair. When I was ready to go downstairs I went into her room and told her that she could either stop or go back to bed.

She chose bed (by default, as she did NOT stop screaming).

I did notice, during this standoff, that her jeggings were wadded up on the floor and she was wearing a new pair of pants: red sweatpants, which were actually put on completely correctly (as in, not inside out or backwards – ala her sister Paige’s favorite style). I silently admired her wherewithal, and decided to leave this part of the battle un-won on my part. She was wearing pants, and a quick stint in her crib ended the fit.

Blair’s Version

Cut to earlier this afternoon, when I dropped Blair off at her Aunt EJ’s to play while I went to Paige’s Valentine’s Day party at preschool (more on that later this week).

I pulled out of her driveway, and about 2 minutes later received a message from EJ alerting me to my daughter, ahem … less than delightful demeanor. Apparently Aunt EJ had made the fatal mistake of daring to ask Blair what she would like for lunch, then proceeded to be rude enough to follow-up that question with actual lunch options.

And, at that point Blair was sitting against a hallway wall shooting her Aunt EJ death looks.

At some point during the party the two of them must have made up, because when I got back into my car and listened to my messages, the following commentary was waiting (via HeyTell messages; here is a loose transcript of our conversation):

EJ: Okay, all is right with your daughter – she is feeling much better, and is so stinking cute. Although, she keeps telling me she doesn’t like the color red. So I asked her why she was wearing red sweatpants.


Me: Did she tell you why?

EJ: Well, she said you wanted her to wear her jeggings. But then you wouldn’t pull them up over her knees. And she couldn’t walk. And she was so, so sad. I’m inclined to believe her – mostly because she’s so cute, and that little voice? I can’t get enough of it.

Um, what?!?! Is that a joke?

Well-played, Miss Blair. Well-played.

This? Is why I am almost positive my girls will someday either be high-powered CEOs or dictators of small countries.

Probably the latter.