Saturday, February 21, 2009

In Which Connor And I Almost Murder Many Small Children, Especially Eight Year Old Boys

See that facial expression? I believe the thought running through my son's mind at that particular moment was probably something along the lines of "Oh boy. What has my crazy mom gotten us into?" Connor and I took a trip today with baby E and her mom down to our local roller skating rink for a little stroller skating.

That's right. Stroller skating.

I wasn't even aware that such a thing existed until E's mom gave me a call earlier in the week. The general idea, as it was explained to me, is that you take a large, heavy object with tiny little wheels and a baby inside, give it a driver, also on tiny little wheels, who hasn't been skating since well before she had the aforementioned baby, and then watch her attempt to maneuver through masses of unsteady giggling preteen girls and eight year old boys who deliberately shove each other into the path of said driver. The goal is for the driver to seriously injure or kill the fewest number of other people's kids before either the stroller skating time closes or she drops dead of exhaustion and sustained injuries, whichever comes first. They had a two hour time-slot devoted to this dubious pastime down at our local rink. Was I interested? "Sure!" I told E's mom, mentally reviewing my will and next of kin information just in case it was needed. "Sounds great!"

We walked into the place and it was like being transported back to junior high school. Skating rinks all over the country seem to be decorated by the same designer. They still have the decor centered largely around whatever upholstery glows in the most day-glo colors under black light. They still have the big padded walls that all of the little kids cling to while they try and walk in their skates. They still have an overly jovial DJ and blare music over the speakers-- and they even still play some of the same songs. The Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance are apparently classics for the ages. The stroller skaters were new, however. There was one lady already out on the floor, weaving in and out of the little kids like a pro, her toddler leaning forward into the wind. He needed goggles and an aviator cap.

The last time I'd skated was maybe six or seven years ago, so I asked E's mom to watch Connor while I tried a practice round to make sure I wasn't going to kill the both of us and whoever else got in the way. I wobbled a couple of shaky circuits around the rink, my knees at odd angles and my ankles periodically shooting out in unintended directions. The eight year old boys were laughing at me as they glided by. Things were not off to a good start. I stumbled back on to the carpet and told E's mom that maybe this wasn't such a good idea. After a second practice round, however, my feet began to remember the rhythm needed, and I felt a little more confident. Throwing caution to the winds, Connor and I took to the rink together.

You know what? Skating with something to hold on to is a lot easier than skating with your hands free. E's mom and I skated for an hour and a half, and we both didn't have a single wipe-out on the rink. As an added bonus we didn't shuffle any small children off this mortal coil either! There were a couple of eight year old boys I seriously considered offing, though. They kept skating in front of us and deliberately wiping out in dramatic fashions to see us swerve. That would have been a big mess to clean off the stroller wheels, however, so I restrained myself. Connor and E didn't know quite what to make of the whole situation, but they weren't upset about it either, so that was good. It ended up being a lot of fun for E's mom and me, not to mention a heck of a workout, and we've made plans to do it again. One of the managers stopped by to chat as we were peeling our feet out of our skates and attempting to breathe, and she said that they also allow wheelchair skating. I think Connor and I have found a new sport. All the eight year old boys better watch out.

And now, visual proof that I didn't just make this up. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is actual video footage of Connor and I stroller skating and waving at the camera. Enjoy.



Mary Lorraine said...

Something about seeing Connor waving at the camera as he zooms forward propelled by also-waving momma just makes me so indescribably happy. :]

Greymare said...

That is totally awesome!

Princess Abigail said...

That is SOOOOOOOO cool! I would LOVE to do something like that with Abigail! You guys had SO much fun!!! Why don't they do cool things like that in France? Watch out folks ... here we come!!!

Connor's Mom said...

Mary: You can try your hand at it in a couple of weeks if you want to!

Ellen: Next up: chariot races. Bring it on.

Princess Abigail: On the other hand, you guys have really, really good bread. Also the Louvre.


*Tasha* said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Hahaha.

Fun! Even though I kept having the image of an unlucky mother falling backwards and WHOOMP, pulling her stroller backwards too!

Glad you got the hang of it and had fun!!

Confucious say life is too short for sadness...and vegetarianism said...

I do not comment often on any blogs ma'm but I must let the world know my love of your blogging! I am a speech pathologist in training, and stumbled across your blog while searching for information regarding brain anatomy. THAT WAS A DAY OF LEGEND. Your son's story and your upbeat recording of everyday life is not only inspirational but genuinely entertaining; I have turned to your blog when I feel as if I don't know why I'm at university and it cheers me up and inspires me to keep going so I can meet and assist amazing people like your family!! Keep it up and stay as wonderful as you sound, and just thankyou - thankyou so much!

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