*Please note the heavy use of sarcasm in this post. There is absolutely nothing easy about getting any kid (or kids) to a hockey rink at any time of the day. I speak from experience.
So here’s the deal, every weekend from the beginning of September to the beginning of April (give or take a week depending on how playoffs go) I have to get, at minimum, one boy to the rink and on the ice. Ok, let’s be honest, I’m laughing if it’s only one boy. Frankly, back to back practices are considered an easy day.
What that means is I need to get at least three of us, with two hockey bags, two hockey sticks and at least one water bottle to the rink.
And it’s winter.
Usually it’s early in the morning.
Step 1: Wake up cranky boys. They are morning people so long as we don’t actually have to leave the house. Some days I have more patience for this than others. A lot of the time it comes down to “Hey, I would rather be sleeping too, but you wanted to play hockey.” Momma don’t mess around, folks.
Step 2: Decide whether this morning warrants the argument over what to wear or not. There are days where they all show up to the rink in pjs with their breakfast in hand. The one on the ice first has to eat while we drive to the rink which gives them about five minutes to scarf something down.
Step 3: Beg small people to get their coats and boots on. If I really push my luck, I’ll get them to grab hats and mitts. I don’t often push my luck.
Step 4: Realize that I’ve forgotten to fill the water bottle. So tell boys to wait and find a water bottle.
Step 5: Rinse out the water bottle because God only knows what it touched at the rink the week before.
Step 6: Realize that I haven’t started the van and my delicate petals will revolt to a subzero minivan the entire drive to the rink. Have Boy #1 start the minivan (using the remote starter because I may be pressed for time but I haven’t totally lost my mind) and pray that the five seconds I’ve given it makes a difference.
Step 7: Fill water bottle with water that is cold but not too cold. Try to figure out whether I need a second bottle or if I can make do with one. I almost always can get by with one. It requires a little running around like a crazy person, but really, when don’t I do that?
Step 8: Assign one hockey bag to Boy #1. Strap another bag to Boy #2. Hand the water bottle to Boy#3. Take water bottle back from Boy #3 because “it’s too heavy”. Throw the remaining bag on my back, grab the bag with the iPad and my book, wallet and cell phone. Grab the water bottle and any hockey sticks that might not be in the van as yet.
Step 9: Check to be sure we have everything and that everyone is buckled in.
Step 10: Back out of the driveway and head to the rink. On a good day, there is only a 4 minute drive to the rink. On a day meant to test my sanity, the ride is longer necessitating an additional 5-10 steps for “far away arenas” that includes a stop at Tim Horton’s, a movie and possibly a game of “Please be quiet for five seconds so Mommy can think”.
I write this out now because I am missing the structure of hockey season. I’m waiting for cottage season to start. We have wrapped up our winter. I needed to remind myself what I was actually missing.
And depending on how you look at it, it’s either really sad or really funny to think that there will come a day where my boys don’t need me to get them to a rink. They wont want to play or they will be able to drive themselves.
Maybe then they’ll take their momma to the rink, get her a tea and let her sit in the stands and watch them play still.
See you at the rink.