Sunday, November 20, 2011

Psycho Parent Syndrome at the Rink

Yesterday at the ice skating rink, an incident of Pyscho Parent Syndrome did occur. But Ryan and I weren't the culprits.

When we arrived at the rink, Katelyn recognized the building from our test run the weekend before. "I want to do spins," she said. (We have a figure skating competition on the DVR at home.) So far, so good.

Rink 1 and the area surrounding bustled with pint-sized people wearing snowsuits and wobbling on their skates. Katelyn took her cue from them and allowed Ryan to put on her skates and helmet. He held her near the edge of the rink, and she asked him to put her down on the ice.

She "walked" across the ice with Ryan. Big stuff!

The instructor checked off Katelyn on her registration sheet and asked, in her Russian accent, how old Katelyn was. Ryan responded that she was two.

The instructor replied, "Wow."

From her tone, I'm guessing "wow" in Russian means, "These two must be Psycho Parents."

Katelyn had a great time. The instructor brought out a basket of stuffed animals and spread them out on the ice. The children, held upright by a parent, walk-skated to an animal, picked it up, and returned it to the basket. This game delighted Katelyn, so much that she asked to do it again and again.

Two-thirds of the way through the lesson, she announced she was done, so Ryan brought her to the side. (Psycho Parents would never let their child quit before a lesson had ended.) Ryan and she sat on the ground to take off their skates.

The screaming began as I was unfastening the Velcro on Katelyn's second skate.

A 12-year-old boys' hockey team must have just finished a game on Rink 2. They were walking past Rink 1 on their way to the locker room. A father pulled one of the boys aside. The team must have lost, and the boy must have snapped his hockey stick in frustration, for the father was threatening the boy about what he would do to him if the boy ever broke another stick.

Katelyn had never heard someone scream like that. (I'm not sure I had either, though I'd heard on the news about angry hockey dads a few years back.) If it weren't for the shoes, skates, helmet, mittens, and jackets spread out on the floor around us, I would have hustled her away from the berating. Instead, she watched with curiosity. Fortunately--for both our sake and the boy's--the boy stormed away from his father.

He shouldn't have broken his stick. That's obvious. If A) it were any of my business and B) I were wearing a full set of hockey goalie protective equipment, including the mouth guard, I would have pointed out to this Hockey Dad that losing his temper over his son losing his temper is just a tad ironic.

Maybe the father was only upset about the broken stick, or maybe he was as unhappy as his son about the team's loss. Either way, he exhibited Psycho Parent Syndrome. Katelyn left the rink talking about skating again next Saturday. I doubt that boy was looking forward to his next game with Katelyn's same enthusiasm. No, Ryan and I are not psycho parents. We are having a lot of fun with the one daughter we are blessed to have.