Thomas is on his fourth week of skating lessons, so I figured I'd bring the camera along again to show his progress. It's still a frustrating 45 minutes for us to be stuck on the sidelines, but Thomas seems to be making incremental steps in the right direction.
He's got his new jersey and it's not much smaller than the temporary one he had the first day. But it does have his name on it! We had to pick a number for it and that was way more stressful than it should have been. We ended up going with 76 - it's his dad's birth year and coincidentally America's. When we were discussing it was the first time I realized my husband is a bicentennial baby - ha!
Back to skating lessons! He can get on the ice without falling now, but his progress is slow enough that most of the time someone helps him get over to the group for warm-up. You can see the older / more skilled kids are super into it and ready to go! Thomas is keeping his safe distance from them...
Coach Allen is trying to convince Thomas to get down on the ice to practice standing up. Thomas was not convinced falling down on purpose was in his goals for the day and ended up having to be pulled down to the ice. But Coach got him down, gave him a pep talk and coached him through standing back up.
Thomas doesn't do a great job in following along with team activities, so Coach Allen gives Thomas his own "missions" to focus on. This involves giving him a ring and telling him to put the ring on a cone that is situated by Matt or I. It's a mostly guaranteed way to make him sloooooooowly skate to a target. You can see Matt is giving him a pep talk as Thomas is coming towards him.
Then it was my turn to have the cone! You can tell how thrilled he is about this mission, but he's doing it anyway. The lessons are on the rink in the bottom floor of the mall and it is super distracting for Thomas with all the lights, the bigger kids skating all crazy and the crowd of spectators that always show up.
Watching kids learning to skate is incredibly entertaining in case you haven't seen it - which is why it always draws a crowd on the upper levels of the mall. The older kids have a game where they furiously skate around and the coaches throw their hockey gloves at the kid's skates to try and make them fall. It is hilarious and I have a hard time not watching it as well!
He made it!!! I get all excited and bounce the ring up and down off the cone and his hemet to cheer him on! So he's all smiles while I do that. But then wants to leave... Then the coach pulls him across the rink and we start over.
He's been making slow progress, but it's progress! Matt and I found an outdoor rink at a nearby elementary school, so Matt has been taking him to practice. The deal is that Thomas has to "try hard" and then they go get hot chocolate and read books at Starbucks. As a side note - my negotiating skills have improved since my oldest turned 3...
Finally the lesson is done for the day and they meet to have one last "Go team"! Of course, this is just the littles of the skating program - there are at least twice as many on the other side. Thomas told me one night before bed that he wanted to skate with his friends on the other side of the ice. I told him if he keeps trying hard, he will make it over there!