That’s about right.
That’s also the perfect lead-in to my story about how ice skating went yesterday. It’s shaping up to be quite a spring break.
This isn’t the first time I’ve referenced Thunderdome in regards to taking my family skating. It probably won’t be the last.
So, this friend of mine was all, “Hey! My kids love to skate and it’s a great workout! Wanna come skating with us one day over spring break?” Well, she didn’t say that verbatim, but it was something equally perky and the result was the same.
I got my kiddos dressed in socks and coats—coats that are desperately in need of a washing, as I noticed yesterday—and we headed off for the 4:30-6:30 public skate. We arrived before my friend, which turned out to be lucky as each of us had to try on at least two pairs of skates before we found any that fit. Jack even had to rent skates, because his were in the back of our car, which was up on a lift at the mechanic.
Ten pairs of skates and one sensory tantrum by Quinn (“The skates are too tight! I don’t like things that are tight! My foot ITCHES!!!!”) later, we were booted up and ready to head out on the ice.
“This is the worst idea ever,” I muttered to no one in particular as we waited for my friend. Little did I know.
Jack of course is a rock star on the ice. This part of the post is not about him.
Sam set off in a valiant attempt to skate. It looked a little bit more like he was stamping around the ice than skating, but he was doing it. He kept falling and he kept getting up and he was a hero.
You may wonder why that photo above was obviously taken from the bench. Well, I can answer that in five letters: Q-B-E-R-T.
Quinn was not having an easy time of it. It took us probably 15 minutes to get halfway around the rink. He kept falling, but he was not as perky about it as Sam was. He started crying and screaming and then he would recover and he would fall again. We sat on the bench for a while and then we tried again and there was more screaming and crying and clinging to me and my friend was all, “I won’t be offended if you just pack it in and go home,” but I was $37 into this motherfucking endeavor and we were going to skate, goddammit.
One man down.
At some point, Quinn’s nose started to spontaneously bleed. My friend tried to ask about it and I hissed at her, “NO! NO! DON’T MENTION IT! HE CAN’T KNOW!” because if Quinn becomes aware of blood coming out of ANYWHERE on his person, he loses his mind entirely. I was too afraid of the freakout to try to staunch the slow flow of blood.
I just crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t start dripping on the ice and call his attention to it.
Turns out that Quinn wasn’t the only one with issues. I was across the rink from Sam when I saw him fall down and crash the back of his head on the ice.
Two men down.
After Sam retreated to the bench, Quinn decided he was going to try to skate. For someone who, 20 minutes earlier, couldn’t skate two feet without falling down and screaming, he kind of rocked the skating rink.
At one point, he smoothly reached down, while in motion, to grab a chunk of ice he was passing. And then he ate it. I give up. I just give up.
Three men down. (Me.)
It was shortly after this that I noticed Jack was missing. For the second time. He spent the whole hour or so that we skated, zooming around the rink, happy to be awesome at something the rest of us so clearly sucked at, but he had disappeared once already. I had found him rink side, ripping off the paper bracelet that identified him as a paying customer.
This time he was not so easy to locate. Fortunately he had only wandered out to the lobby, where he had found a string and was busy cutting it into pieces with his skate blade. That kid, man. He cracks me the fuck up. It seemed he was done skating. The rest of Team Stimey was too, so we headed over to the snack bar to wait out our friends, who were skating in happy little perfect family circles.
By the time my friend made it to the snack bar, my kids were done with even that. It was time to bail. I don’t really remember the next ten or so minutes, but I do remember Jack lying on the ground in a purposeful act of nonviolent resistance. My friend says she has never seen anyone so limp before. I say that Jack has civil disobedience down to a science.
Four men down.
Wait. Wasn’t someone supposed to leave Thunderdome unscathed?
In addition to spreading all kinds of autism awareness at the ice rink yesterday, I also put together a post for White Knuckle Parenting about why I think autism awareness still matters. It is a version of something I published elsewhere last year, and it is still very, very true for me.