(Originally published on I Still Hate Pickles on June 25, 2011.)
Since both my boys were tiny babies, they have been a part of roller derby with me. Lincoln slept through a whole bout in my sling when he was three weeks old. Sawyer started coming when he was maybe two months, and hit every game my first season. Actually, since I skated with both of them before I knew I was pregnant, they’ve been a part of derby since they were first conceived.
Sawyer spent his whole first year on the sidelines with Rob, but he was really too young to know what was going on. This season, he’s been able to see me a few times I loved having him there. The first time, when I came home from the bout, he gave me a huge hug like I was a rock star and said, “I’m so proud of you, Mommy!” Greatest fan ever. But this week, the day after my bout (which he didn’t get to attend), he asked me if I knocked people down, and then told me that wasn’t nice.
It’s pretty tough to explain roller derby to a three-year-old. While he definitely gets some degree of reasoning, he is THREE. I worry a bit that he will see what I do on the track and question me when I tell him not to steal toys or push his little brother down.
I did the best I could, letting him know that when I knock people down, it’s part of the rules. Roller derby is a sport like football, I told him. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like people or that I am being mean, but only that I am playing a game.
|That’s me: the vertically-challenged blocker in black, taking on the jammer.|
Did he understand? I’m not sure. I hope so, but it’s hard to know how the brain of a three-year-old works. The connections he makes don’t always make sense to me. (Like when he said my tights were like camels because I was “humping” into them.) Sometimes they are wild and weird, and sometimes they are very direct. I always try to find the teachable moments, but hope that seeing Mommy knock someone down doesn’t translate into him knocking Linc down at home, or other kids at school. So far so good.