Party Time

Took the five year old to a classmate’s birthday party at a skating rink/fun center today. He’d certainly never been skating, and I’d not gone since I was a kid. My father skated all the time, and we’d go with him sometimes. For him it even went as far as roller skating dance competitions. There were rinks everywhere, then. Along the line, most of them disappeared. Was it because of the advent of rollerblades? Anyway…

We walked in and he went all shy, and was taken aback by the blaring music. Which was, in my opinion, a fair bit too loud, and nothing I’d have chosen to listen to myself. He refused to try skating, which would have been easy because they had nifty 3-wheeled supports for kids to use while learning. Plus almost everyone skating was around his age. He turned 5 in August, young for his kindergarten class, while the girl whose birthday it was turned 6 this week, old for her class. Not many were older kids.

He hid behind me when the classmate’s dad introduced himself. We spent most of the time there sitting in one spot at a table, where he ate fries, since he still can’t (as far as we know, and at any rate won’t) eat pizza (dairy allergy in the process of fading), which was what was being served. Everyone else went back to skating or the arcade. He kept eating fries and refusing to try skating. He refused to sit at the table with the other kids for the food. He then refused to sit at the table with the other kids to sing happy birthday and have cake. He refused to try the cake, except a tiny taste of frosting from my piece.

Eventually, not that long before the end, when few people were in the arcade, he was willing to go try games. Turned out a lot of them were broken or had issues. Air hockey lacked pucks. Ms. Pac Man had a screen too dim to see. The claw crane for stuffed animals game didn’t work right, in the form of running for a matter of a couple seconds and only moving side to side, not back to front. He had the most fun riding a little 4-horse carousel.

They were announcing the end of the party, having people turn in their free skates, and after that, when it was time to leave, he points at the rink, wanting to try that. Doh! I told him it was time to leave, that we weren’t going to pay to rent skates now, and he should have gotten comfortable sooner. I suspect it helped that there were just two people skating at that point.

I’m not sure even his shy and overly emotional older sister, the middle child and 6 year old, has exhibited that much shyness. She’d have sat with the other kids and maybe even been forward with them. Or at least she’d have gotten past it sooner. Oh well. And he’s so charming! Other kids seem crazy about him. Much like me at the same age, when I was possibly just as shy, unless I was in the right element. I lost the charming more than the shyness. Though I managed to charm the nurses in the hospital a couple weeks ago, which made me think that if I’d had that in me when I was younger and it mattered, I’d be talking about the antics of adult children and even grandchildren now, not children in kindergarten, first and second grades.

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