Introducing: Role Daddy!
This column has been a long time coming and I am so proud to announce that we have just added a fabulous guest columnist to Role Mommy and it's none other than Eric Ruhalter, the author of TheKidDictionary.com, contributor to NJ.com and all around hilarious writer. Eric and I go way back - we met before we had kids when we both worked at CBS and we re-connected last year when I found out about his foray into the world of humor writing. So without further ado, let's get right to Eric's first post!
BIG MISSKATE by Eric Ruhalter
I want to apologize to any and everyone who attended the 10 AM open skating session at Morristown's Mennen Arena two weeks ago last Sunday. I was there with my kids on our first-ever ice skating expedition. It had the makings of a wonderful and beautiful start to our post-holiday winter season. And that should've been evidence enough that this was going to be a disaster. It was. My son Crosby, for whatever he lacks in speed and agility thus far in his development, he makes up for in determination, always striving for excellence.
However, in the rink, and elsewhere, when striving for excellence, Crosby often takes the shortcut of blaming his shortcomings or failures on others. Ice skating the first time is extremely challenging. Evidently that's my fault.
"WHY'D YOU MAKE ME FALL"
"I didn't make you fall. I didn't even touch you.
"WHY'S IT SO HARD TO SKATE!?!?"
"A great many things in life are difficult at first but if you stick with it, you'll...."
"I DID STICK WITH IT, AND I STILL CAN'T SKATE!!!"
"well, we've really only been here for 10 minutes..."
"THIS ICE IS TOO SLIPPERY!!!
"Well, ... yeah..."
But you have to celebrate small victories. And in this instance, unfortunately, it was my own small victory. I managed not to get upset with him for being so impossible and so flippant. After all, I wanted to set a good example. I wanted to make this a positive experience for him. Not to mention there were any number of grownups in the rink who may well have DYFYS on their cell phone's speed dial.
So Crosby kept trying to skate and kept wiping out with all the grace and composure of a drunken rodeo clown. At one point he was sitting there on the ice, seething so hard I thought he was going to melt the rink and we were all going to drown, The skate guard with his hockey player haircut and his fancy black skates comes careening over with a shooshing snowplow stop right beside us to check on young Crosby. "Are you okay there little man?"
To which Crosby replied very succinctly and very loudly and without a trace of thanks for his concern, "GET AWAY FROM ME YA STUPID !!!!"
The guard skated off, I helped Crosby up yet again, wiped some of the snow off his back, and we had it again.
And I reminded him again, "It's really really hard to skate!" It can take a long time to learn to do it at all And just as I imparted that little bit of wisdom, suddenly we hear from the center of the rink, "Look Dad!" As Crosby's twin sister, also a first-timer, is skating backwards.
It was a maddening experience there for a while, but I appreciate young Crosby's determination. I think once he learns a little patience he'll be able to achieve anything he sets out to achieve on the rink and in his life. But man does my back hurt.
Eric Ruhalter lives in Morristown, New Jersey with his wife, Kara & 3 rambunctious children. Eric is the creator of The KidDicitonary - A Book of Words Parents Need To Describe Their Kids. For more of his wit and wisdom, except for wisdom, amuse yourself at www.TheKidDictionary.com.