As a mom of three children, I have found that by the last child, you have a pretty darn good idea of what will work and what won't.
I use the example of rollerskating for this. My oldest girls first experience roller skating was at a friend from school's party. She was 8 and my son was 5. I knew the mother and she had insisted that not only could I bring him, I could skate myself.
Win, win right? I had such high hopes.
Once we arrived, all three of us, took off shoes, got skates, got laced and got out there, it really seemed like the party guests had been there for ages. None of the girls had any sort of issues skating and, most parents, had just dropped their children off, then left.
Don't think I didn't regret that one.
So we get to the floor and my girl immediately falls. I probably could have caught her IF I wasn't already trying to keep my son from falling as well. I definitely fell over him at some point because I remember thinking I broke both my hands from slapping them on the hardwood floor. They stung for days. (and I wore wrist splints at night for months) We may have managed to get around the floor a whopping second time before both of them were done. completely.
Skates off = happy children.
Earlier this week, one of Mom's suggested taking the girls (there are two others girls the same age as my daughter) rollerskating. Wouldn't it be cute. Wouldn't they have fun.
Yeah, wouldn't it.
I didn't want to go. Really. Why would my youngest be any different from my older kids. It has to be genetic, this anti-skate gene right? What I really wanted was a play date for my girl. Who spends oodles of time playing dolls and barbies by herself. Granted daycare fills her weeks with lots of structure, outdoor time and art projects. But we all have our things to do and this morning it was our time.
A teeny bit of fun time.
So let's just say, I wasn't disappointed. She loves the idea of going. She was so excited to be with her friends. I put on the skates and suddenly everything was less fun. Her friends, got their skates on much faster (what can I say, I lace tight ...) and were already too far ahead for us to catch up (which made me secretly curse their fast parents).
We sort of cut across to catch up, meeting in the middle. Just in time for the chicken dance. Who doesn't like a chicken dance their first 30-seconds on skates? That's right. My girl. Which was fine, it was over quick. Before long I skated backwards, while she marched half way around. When we got to the sitting area, she. wanted. those. skates. off.
Cried for it.
After much convincing (not the way you think) I took them off. Socks and all, she ran over to her friends. In complete disregard for the other skaters, who unbelievably managed to get around her. I think due to the fact that they were pint-size themselves. I used the mean mom voice and told her that she can't do that. We went back to her skates.
Finally she agreed to put her skates BACK ON again. (see above tight lace reference) This time we went around to the side where there's a carpeted ledge. Sort of like a break area. Her little friends were there and all sat together for a picture. Which was great, except I forgot my camera. Go me.
Before long it was Hokey Pokey Time!!!! But my girl was very interested in participating. That was hugely fun. Left foot in ... left foot out ... shakie, shakie. She clutched my hand the whole time, which was very, very sweet. After we skated around one more time and she was done. The other girls were too. The Referee took a moment to talk to us about how they hold a weekly lesson for the little ones at noontime (it was barely eleven at this point) if we wanted to stick around.
So little is free these days. Okay really it's not free, it costs $6 for both of us. Super cheap in my opinion and includes the skate rental.
The rest of the outing entailed a super fun lunch with ice cream (them not me) and plans to skate again next week, this time going later for some skating before the lesson.