Sunday, December 28, 2008
How do you spell fun? We spell it S.K.A.T.E.
“She certainly knows what she wants,” said the manager of the Skate Factory. Ittybit was standing in front of her, rearranging the order of the games.
“No … I don’t think we should do the lesson just yet. … Let’s play some games first,” she told the woman, the roller rink’s manager and MC, who was standing in front of her holding a microphone, bemused.
It seemed appropriate to me: we’re always going ’round in circles but Ittybit is nothing if not decisive.
She’s known for a year that she wanted to have a roller skating party to celebrate the big F.I.V.E.
No manner of reason (or deflection) could dissuade her. It didn’t matter that she’s not a terribly agile skater or even generally interested in the sport.
All that mattered was that she attended a skate party at this place the year before and decided it had to be spelled F. U. N.
And spelling is big on her list of all-important things these days, as are playing games set to music and walking around on shoes that could cause her untimely demise.
What five-year-old wouldn’t love to strap on a pair (or four) of wheels and take a spin around the floor?
Well ... Me. I’d have rather gone bowling. But I’m not five. Neither is The Champ, but he was happy with her choice. Although his feet were a tad too small for the toddler skates, he was thrilled to walk around with the big kids and climb on the lap of anyone who sat down at an arcade game.
From his joyful squeals, I could deduce that he’ll like driving fast. (Not going to worry about that right now ... I’ll give it another year or 14 before I panic).
Where was I?
Oh yes, a roller skating party.
I said it over and over in my mind.
“What were we thinking?”
“Ice storm. Christmas. Looming nor’easter.
“No one is going to come.
“We’ll be like a handful of loose marbles, rolling around a big empty tin can all by ourselves.”
To be honest, my husband was a little more concerned about this than I was. I knew Ittybit only needs a party of one to be happy. Still, we thought we should prepare her for the worst just in case no one showed up.
We let her know that even if it was only the four of us, it was going to be the best birthday ever.
She looked at us like we’d grown a third head.
“Don’t worry. People will come ... it’s a S-C-R-J-F-P party.”
“You mean S-K-A-T-E.”
Of course she was right. People did roll in, some even came from considerable distances. Others brought their own skates. From the moment the music started, the hours just glided by. We cruised the floor like it was 1984. We did the Limbo and the Funky Chicken. No egos were bruised even though everyone fell. ... They got up ... and then they fell again.
Another thing we fell for, looming large and well lit in the arcade, was The Claw.
No matter what you call the thing (my favorite term is “Brother, Can I Have All Your Quarters” machine) it is more addictive than sugar to the kids.
My husband, trend-spotter that he is, had seen it coming when we’d preemptively gone to check out the place the previous week, and had brought a roll of quarters to keep their addictions fed.
The screams of delight when the fuzzy blue panda got snagged, and then the silly poodle with the purple hat, were deafening.
I’m sensing next year we might just as well rent one of those things and let the kids take turns trying to hook some stuffed animals.
Of course, with our luck, The Champ would be one of those kids; the kind who climb through the collection flap and get stuck inside the box with the toys. Then we’d be getting our own visit from the fire department.
Now THAT would be F.U.N.
Posted by toyfoto at 7:51 AM