Opinion

A 3-year-old’s love of ice hockey is scary

I’ve created a monster. Actually, it’s always been a monster, but now it’s a different kind of monster.

My child — my sweet, wonderful, fair-skinned Joshua with eyes as pure as gold — insists he wants to play ice hockey. It really is my fault.

Last Friday, thinking it would be a fun experience, I took Joshua to the Bremerton Ice Arena to see his first-ever ice hockey game. It was B-league hockey, which is my favorite because these guys are on the ice because they want to be, not because they are after corporate sponsorships. The Puget Sound Tomahawks took on the Somebody Elses from Somewhere Else.

First, I had the Mommy-Joshua, Come-to-Jesus talk, in which I informed him that if he isn’t good, we will leave ice hockey immediately.

“OK, Momma, I want to be good,” he assured me in all the sincerity a 3-year-old could muster.

When we arrived at the arena, I let him run around and play video games for a bit, then we took a seat in the front row.

So far, so good.

The teams were warming up and Joshua was absolutely enraptured. He watched, mouth agape, head twisting and turning to keep up with the action, while a couple dozen of the ice hockey players glided over the ice and gave the false impression that what they were doing was easy.

He was into it. Really, really into it.

The players left the ice and the zamboni came on. I taught Joshua to say “zamboni,” then he began to cheer for said zamboni.

When the zamboni left, he was convinced it was, and I quote, “my turn.”

“Is it my turn?” Joshua asked me, giving me a warm fuzzy that he was learning to take turns. Until, of course, he told me what he wanted to do.

“I want to ice skate,” he said.

“Not a chance,” I said, settling the matter in my mind.

It wasn’t so much settled in his.

“Momma, please? Please? Momma, I said please??”

“No. Not until you’re 5. Right now you’re 3.”

“I’m 8,” he said.

After that, I had to regroup. Where in the world does he learn this stuff? I realized I was arguing with him, which was ridiculous. I also realized he wanted to be out on the ice with the big boys, the mere thought of which gave me heinous nightmares.

Yes, I will eventually let him try out the wonderful world of ice hockey, but not RIGHT NOW. Like I said: when he’s 5.

Much to my relief, the game started and there was no longer room on the ice for him.

Whew!

He sat on my lap watching the game like a dog stares at a meaty bone — with intense interest. During breaks in the game, he would stand in front of me and dance, then scream “MUUUUUUUZIK!” when the music stopped.

He also kept going to the plexiglass, telling me he wanted to watch from there. I had to fetch him a few times.

After about half an hour, he decided it was time to go.

He came up to me, tugged my arm and said, “I’m finished with ice hockey.”

Then he turned to everyone in the stands, waved exuberantly and yelled: “Bye everybodeee!”

Now, a week later, he still tells me he wants to ice skate.

Not until he’s 5. Even though he thinks he’s 8.

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