I took Middle, Little, and 4 of their martial arts friends roller skating tonight. I was looking forward to it - I really enjoyed skating with them last year - but last year, we didn't have Little along.
Poor Little. I've been trying to teach him to skate on ice or wheels since he was two. This fearless little bear will try anything - but attempt to make his feet slippery and he's done. Every time we've tried, he's transformed into a flopping, flying mass of arms and legs that repeatedly hits the ground (or ice) hard - until he says "Forget this noise" and sits down to watch everyone else's slippery fun.
Tonight was no exception. We gave it about an hour - just in the snack bar / arcade area with me right there with him (in my shoes) - but it was clear that it just wasn't going to happen.
Meanwhile, Middle and his pals were zipping and dancing and zooming all over the place with ease.
We took Little's skates off and he was wandering around the snack bar in his socks - when The Man came over and told us he had to have skates on. Figuring there was a rule against stocking feet, I asked if we went to get his shoes, would be able to get the skates back later for him to try again? -and The Man explained that if he put shoes on, he would have to leave.
"I'm here and I have shoes on. Why don't I have to leave?"
"You're a parent. The kids have to be wearing skates."
"But he's falling all over the place. Skating's just not his thing."
"Then he'll have to sit here in his skates. I can't have a hundred kids hanging around without skates on. No exceptions."
Rules are rules. We put the skates back on. He sat. And sat. And got bored. And got up to stumble around and watch his brother and friends skate. Then he stumbled over to play Skee Ball. Then he stumbled to the water fountain. Then he stumbled to the arcade games.
While I'd like to say that he ended up finally learning to skate tonight... he didn't.
But he's a little better at stumbling around on wheels than he was when he got there. He learned to slow down quite a bit, for starters. And hold on to stuff.
Sigh... glad it will be a while before we try this again.