This is the child you’ve got.

Hi everyone! I’m back (again). For those who don’t know me personally, my family now lives in Vermont and we have 2 boys, ages almost-4 and almost-2. Astoria, in the “boro” of Queens, will always be in our hearts.

I decided to start blogging again for one million reasons, not the least of which was a delightful email from wordpress suggesting that I do so. So, here I am. You may recall the look & categories of the old site – they are updated now for this new world.

This is the child you’ve got. Recently, I got a serious dose of this lesson when I tried to take Marley (almost-4) for his first ski lesson last weekend. This is a child who loves the snow and isn’t afraid of getting hurt. I feel strongly that, living in Vermont, the children need to learn winter sports as early as possible so that (a) they don’t get bored and become heroin addicts and (b) they don’t try to learn at age 26 and look like a buffoon on wheels, as I did. So there to the mountain we went for Saturday 1 of 4 for “Ski Tots” Ski Lessons.

I should have known. We went the day before to pick out our rental equipment and Marley immediately started panicking and shutting down the second he saw the ski boots and helmet. Never mind the skis. While I sat there with my neighbor (my poor, dear, understanding neighbor) trying everything to get him into the boots, I eventually just forced him in through sobs and jerking limbs. We all agreed he was tired that afternoon and would do better come the morning for the actual lesson. No such luck. He was petrified of those stupid boots, and he’s always hated helmets (awesome, right?). A chocolate cookie got us through the boots and helmet going on. Here was Marley sobbing “Please help me, mama” with chocolate all over his face while the other kids sat attentively or delighted in the sound their ski boots made as they ran in circles around the lodge. WTF, right?

At the base of the mountain, while the kids were learning to fall into their “magic circles,” Marley was face-planted in the snow refusing to move. And while every single other family began to smile and cheer as the children started skiing between mom or dad’s legs, there we were – face-planted in the snow and not moving. Ever. And it was 5 degrees that morning. WTF again and for realz. A wonderful man, one of the instructors, agreed we shouldn’t force anything on him, lest we ensure he will actually NEVER want to ski. He also suggested Marley might just not be ready this year. If it weren’t for this instructor, I would have felt like a complete failure as a parent that day. Oh, these children, our little zen masters. My lesson in acceptance that morning was a memorable one. This is the child you’ve got.

The child I’ve got does things as his own unique pace. I know he doesn’t give a flying hoot what any of the other kids are doing – peer pressure does not motivate him. This is not great for, say, potty training, but I know it will serve him very well in life. The child I’ve got is sensitive. The child I’ve got trusts his family to respect who he is, even if he can’t put it that way just yet. The child I’ve got damn well didn’t want to wear those ski boots that day, and that is okay. It has to be okay. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “This is the child you’ve got.

  1. Love the blog! We had a similar incident when we took Liam to go ice skating. He refused to stand up on his own if he fell and actually preferred to lay on the ice and make ice angels! Luckily he didn’t cry and he stuck with it through the lessons. But he still prefers to make ice angels 🙂

  2. Welcome back! Great story, and a great lesson. I always hated ski boots too 😉 I only wanted to take ski lessons so I could play with the Lego table. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the child who would just say that. that would have been too easy and straighforward. And my mom was the mom who always arrived early to pick me up, so, in this case, that meant that I would not get to play with the Lego table. I also took ballet lessons (which I conveiniently blocked out for years) only to get the rainbow candy cane that my friends had. Alas, no candy canes either.

    Best to the Boro clan!

  3. The child you’ve got is magical! And great job pushing him, too. We do need to help them up to and beyond their boundaries, this is also our job as parents. And then back away when we’ve gone too far 🙂

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