My husband plays hockey once a week and most of the time it’s a “late” game. Often not starting till 9:30pm or later obviously because of this, I never take the kids to go and watch him play. Last week however, his game was nice and early, a 6:15pm start so I thought it would be nice for the kids to go and see their daddy all decked out in his hockey equipment playing Canada’s game.
When I picked up my daughter from school and told her we were going to watch daddy play hockey she was so excited and told everyone we walked by that she was going to get to see her dad’s game that night. I was so happy to see her over the moon about the surprise trip to the arena.
The rink he plays at has a nice viewing area. It’s more of a bar/restaurant really with floor to ceiling windows over looking the rinks. I lined some chairs up nicely along the window and thought this will be a nice evening for the kids. I went over to the snack bar, got them some popcorn and waited for the game to start.
It went ok for about, I dunno, 3 minutes.
Minute 1: The kids sat in the chairs and asked which number dad was wearing.
Minute 2: Stood up with their noses pressed against the glass trying to get dad’s attention.
Minute 3: Ate some popcorn.
Minutes 4-the end of the game: Got up and started running around the chairs, under the tables, after each other, a few popcorn breaks, 2 potty breaks, climbing on chairs, squealing and cheering for “Canada” (their only really hockey watching so far has been the Olympics), more running and climbing…
On the plus side, other then what I am assuming was the wife of one of the players, there was no one else watching the game. The staff thought the kids were cute and tolerated their high pitched squeals of delight while asking every few minutes if I needed another drink. Honestly, thank goodness there really no one else there, because I had just given up on trying to convince a 4 yr old, 3 yr old and a 21month old that they really should be sitting in a chair watching daddy. I sipped on a cold one trying to watch the game as much as I could while playing referee for my children.
Eventually they got
tired bored, which was right around the time the Zamboni came out to clear the ice. Now if only a Zamboni could be on the ice at all times, then I would have had 3 super attentive kids with me that night. They LOVED the Zamboni.
After all that
excitement salty buttery popcorn and running around like wild things, of course they were thirsty. I did manage to convince them to sit at the table to enjoy their ice water while we waited for my husband to change and meet us up there. My oldest two, sat nicely side by side and sipped their water. If anyone had seen them at the particular moment I would have appeared to have 2 very ladylike little girls with me (little would they have known). My cute little guy wanted to sit with his big sisters and started to climb into the chair at the end. Poor thing. His pants must have been a bit slippery and he landed on his bum. And so began the waterworks. Being a concerned big sister, Anna looked over at him and as if taken out of a sitcom, poured her mostly full glass of ice water right on his head. Honestly, at that moment I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. It was just that kind of evening and that was just the “ice”-ing on the cake. I was spent by the time we left.
Moments like these are bound to happen every now and again and sometimes I think it would just be easier to always stay home. I would probably go crazy but at least the chaos would be somewhat contained. But I enjoy going out and usually I also enjoy taking my kids out this won’t stop because they are sometimes more rowdy then I would like them to be. Sure sometimes it’s really hard to control my stress level when they are particularly energetic and I am no stranger to judgmental looks when they get a bit loud, but it’s a risk I will continue to take. At least they enjoy each other company and can make fun wherever they go…right?
Once we got out of there, all three were fast asleep quickly in the car and transferred nicely into bed that night. Any bit of energy their little bodies had was used up in the arena that night and not one babe stirred until morning. That in itself made up for
tolerating surviving that hockey game.
I know I would not have gotten a “well-behaved kids” discount that evening, but I am ok with that, I know my kids are good. If there had been more people in the restaurant, my kids would have been buckled into highchairs or booster seats (likely protesting the buckles most of the time) and honestly, I probably would have just packed them up and left but if they can’t be a little loud and a tad bit rambunctious at an empty hockey arena where can they be?