Willy Wonka was wrong, we were meant to walk

My dear boy, if God had intended for us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented roller skates.”      Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I think the morning might have been doomed from the minute I missed the turn for Highway 26 and that sneaking suspicion that the exit we needed was now in the rear view. Merging onto I-5 there isn’t another exit for a couple of miles and at 8:30 in the morning everyone is on their way into the city while we are mistakeningly  heading out. Through a series of terrible turns due to traffic, fog, and ignorance I ended up right back on I-5 heading south, missing my turn again. We had plenty of time so I wasn’t worried about being late but this wrong turn silliness was increasing “the likelihood of a swear” meter to the point where is was now blinking. I made it to the park where the Pre-school field trip was being held but no one was there. It was still before 9 so I thought I was a little early but should still see some other cars. We went inside and found out the outing starts at 10 not 9 and I just laughed. Of course it does.

The field trip today was at Oaks Park Amusement Park where we would be roller skating. Both boys were excited about strapping wheels to their feet and hurling around the rink but I was less than enthused. I am no good on skates, be they roller or ice. I’ve tried many times but it always ends badly for me while my friends and family wet themselves from laughing. I think this is a stupid activity and I can’t help thinking that as I get the right size ass bruisers, I mean shoes, for the boys. I got them laced up and they did a fair job scooting on the carpet but both wanted to go out on the polished wood floor and give it a go. Segundo got out there and stayed up but Primo was flailing around and crashing every 3 inches and getting more and more manic in his cries for daddy. I couldn’t hold both boys up without pulling one of their arms out of the socket so I left Segundo standing there and brought Primo to the side. He was now screaming and slipping and arching his back and generally losing his shit while some polka tune played us off. I tried to sit him on the bench but he was throwing such a fit that he would launch himself off the seat and on to his skates and then violently on to the floor. I had to pick him all the way up to my face and tell him to calm down and sit on his bottom so I could take these skates off.

I got Primo calmed down and his skates off and then went back out to Segundo who was still standing where I left him just watching people skate by. He seemed to have the balance but I later found out that his wheels were just tighter and didn’t roll out from under him as quickly as Primo’s did. I don’t know anything about skating or how to teach the boys what to do to stay up or move or not crack their head open and bleed out on this beautiful wood floor that would be much better utilized as a basketball court. I knew that I should be doing more to encourage, to help them work through this initial fear and break through. I should have been teaching them that things like skating are hard but you don’t give up just because something is hard. You try and try again because life is about trying and trying again even when it’s hard, and it’s going to be hard a lot. I couldn’t do any of that because I didn’t think this was something that was worth trying. I couldn’t get over my attitude about skating long enough to be present in this teachable moment.

So how do you teach something you think is stupid? For me it’s not just skating, there is also this love of animals that my kids and Beautiful have that I just don’t have. It’s not like I want to hurt animals I just don’t want to take care of them. The whole being bit 7 times may have something to do with that I admit but how do I teach my kids to be caring and nurturing and responsible for some animal when I think it’s a waste of time. Finding those connecting moments where you share what you love with your kids is all sweet and roses but there is also going to be a whole lot of stuff that you don’t love and you’re going to need to share in that just as much. I want to be better at that but today I was not. Today I was cranky and dismissive and we left early. Tomorrow I will be better.

  10 comments for “Willy Wonka was wrong, we were meant to walk

  1. 01/26/2011 at 8:14 pm

    ya know, you don’t have to teach your kids everything. there are a lot of things out there and lots of different sources for them to learn over the years. there are lots of things my parents taught me, but tons more they didn’t. it’s okay if they don’t roller skate, or if you wait for someone else to teach them. you’re doing okay so don’t be hard on yourself.
    andygirl´s last blog post ..Photo of the Day- Stacey

    Portlanddad Reply:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I know that I don’t have to teach them everything and that there will be a whole lot of people in their life that share what they love with them. I think the biggest thing for me was being a hinderance by my bad attitude and not going a little farther to turn this frustrating morning around. I always want to be getting better at what I do and today was mostly about recognizing and area where I can be better. Thanks again for the comment, you know as well as anyone how great and encouraging these comments are on the things we write and you continually encourage.

  2. 01/26/2011 at 9:34 pm

    Realizing in retrospect that you handled a situation inappropriately, or atleast below the standard you’ve set can be beyond frustrating. The important thing is recognizing where improvements should be made and making sure they are implemented next time. We all have those days.
    marclimon´s last blog post ..Relationship ROI

    Portlanddad Reply:

    We do all have those days and wanting to be better will always be a good thing

  3. 01/26/2011 at 9:54 pm

    Brother, when you tweeted this earlier today I wanted to respond with a quip about ice skating in Yosemite. Or back in the day when I was rollerblading and you couldn’t. Great story, it made Kendra and I laugh a lot and remember the good ol days of Yosemite. I will make you a deal, I will teach the kids how to skate if you teach Tobs about politics, something I think is stupid.
    Mark´s last blog post ..DesignedByLove

    Portlanddad Reply:

    That sounds like a deal.

  4. 01/27/2011 at 8:59 am

    Oh, dear. I think it’s fine to give up on a situation like this. And if they really, really want to try skating later, it will be easier on you when they are older.

    I had a difficult experience skating a while ago, too, but my daughter was older, so she could handle staggering around along the while by herself just fine. 🙂

    Kathleen McDade´s last blog post ..Teach a Kid to Cook- and…

  5. 01/28/2011 at 7:14 pm

    Don’t beat yourself up. It’s skating and skating sucks. You hate it and that’s fine, and it’s fine that they know you hate it, but what’s important is that they know it’s okay for them to like it and/or try it. That’s the balance.

    It’s like finding those connecting moments where you share what your musical interests are with someone on twitter and its all sweet and roses but then they take their wife to the concert that you should be at. That’s a loose analogy, but it ties in. Read it again and you’ll see.
    writtendad´s last blog post ..And It Will All Change

  6. 01/31/2011 at 2:31 pm

    That’s a tough one. Not sure I have an answer other than to realize that it is not for you, but for them and perhaps skating is going to be thier thing if you give it the opportunity.

    That would be tough for me to overcome as well though so Just do your best everyday and when it comes call it a win.
    Seattledad´s last blog post ..The Very Hungry Three Year Old

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