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Mother Puckers

In the book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell claims that to become a success at something you must complete 10,000 hours of practice; whether its music (the Beatles) golf (Tiger Woods) or computer programming (Bill Gates.)

Let’s just say, I think a lot of parents in my town have read this book and are frantically having their kids bang out some hours.

Let’s just say, I too, am a little competitive, and have been known to hate losing.  

I mean let’s be real people – who wouldn’t want a little Justin Beiber running around their huge mansion that he buys for me house.

So I sometimes get nervous that over here in the Gaga household we really haven’t started chipping away at the old 10,000 hours yet.

We have to find something first.

Tick – tock.

I mean these kids aren’t spring chickens……Michael is already 6. 

I think Michael Jackson already had a gold record by then – and McCauley Culkin was probably already nailing his audition for “Home Alone.”

Just sayin…..

I mean the streets of gold aren’t going to pave themselves…..

So last year – when my then 5-year-old announced that he would like to play hockey  – I thought it was a great idea.  We signed up for a “learn to skate” program. 

Some people said “You are nuts! It’s so expensive! It’s so much travel and you have to wake up at 5 am and go to games!”

I would just look at them knowingly – and explain that it was something that Michael wanted to do – so we were willing to try it out.

(In my head I thought – I am a super-awesome mom and you aren’t! I am willing to sacrifice so that my son can start his 10,000 hours and you are selfish.  5 am game time is no problem for my husband us – because we are great parents ……and you are assholes.   Have fun waiting for your short little white kid to get drafted for basketball…..losers….)

So that first day of hockey – my son fell 500 times.  It was absolutely heart-breaking to watch him flail about on the ice like a sea-lion.
God love him – he kept trying and he wanted to go back the next time, and so we kept going and he started to learn to skate.

But then I met …….the HOCKEY MOMS.   You have heard of the “soccer mom?” These women blow them out of the water…….(possibly with a rifle if it’s Sarah Palin we are talking about.)

It's probably not good that this is America's self-proclaimed "Hockey Mom".......

I quickly found out I wasn’t the awesome, superior mother I thought I was…….the “hockey moms” let me know that – real quick.
“Ooohhh – he’s just starting now?”  one mom said with a sad face watching Michael flail about on the ice on his belly like a beached whale.  “My son started when he was 3.”
“Hunter started when he was 2,” another mom said knowingly as her son zipped by us at the speed of light (backwards.)
“Well – Corey started when he was 3 months and now he’s 6 and looking to get drafted,” another mother added.
Ok – I made up the last one – but I think she was thinking it…..

This kid kept taking breaks to lay down - what a slacker. At least Michael did better than him......

So basically what they all wanted me to know was that at the early age of 5 years old – Michael was too late to start his 10, 000 hours.   Not only was I not the best mother in America like I had originally believed I was a horrible mother!!
So as usual – this is what I am up against in this crazy world of parenthood.   We ended up doing 20 weeks of skating last year and we were happy with our choice.
This year a lot of parents with kids Michael’s age (who by the way weren’t any better than Michael) – were going to put them on the town team.  This meant paying $500, and going every Saturday and Sunday at 8 am from early October until April. 
Michael was playing soccer until November and we thought he really wasn’t ready to play on the team (skill-wise.)
“Oh Tucker wasn’t ready either – so I hired Oksana Baiul’s coach.  We have private lessons 4 times a week.” one mother told me when I voiced my concerns.
WTF?  The only thing I do 4 times a week is laundry and who am I kidding I don’t even do  that.  If I spent the time and money for those lessons – my son better magically transform like in the Black Swan movie – into Oksana Baiul.

Strangely - this is what Tucker looks like now - after weeks of private lessons.....

“We did a summer camp where they played hockey all day everyday. They cried every morning that they didn’t want to go – but it helped,” another mother said.
Really – on a beautiful hot summer day -your kids were indoors on ice skates?Meanwhile – we were eating ice cream from the Good Humor man and going crabbing all summer….ooops. 
Needless to say – since I am failing miserably in the 10,000 hours department – when we picked back up this week with hockey it was a disaster.  We signed Michael up for a more advanced “Hockey Skills” class that we weren’t really sure he was ready for.
He was not.  He went to retrieve a puck and got stuck in the net and couldn’t get out and got demoted back to “Learn to Skate.”
“This is our fault! Maybe we should have done the summer camp!” I cried to my husband, “We are horrible parents – maybe Oksana is still available….”
“It’s more important that he had a fun summer and a normal childhood,” Mr. Gaga responded.
What is the right answer?? 
For now – we are going to work on skating for another season – and possibly sign up for a summer camp to keep up with it …..
(that is only if it doesn’t interfere with my “How to turn your child into the next YouTube Sensation seminar.)

20 responses »

  1. That is hard core. My kid is on his 4,000 hour of nose picking….

  2. I could hardly get through the entire blog, I was laughing so hard the tears were streaming down! You have a silver tongue, keep up the good work…

  3. OMG I am crying. Not cuz your kid is so bad at hockey, but because this is freaking hilarious!! Oh, and I promise you, you are a good mother and those other moms be crazy. And I’m sure Michael will catch on soon!

  4. I feel your pain. A few years ago Sean wanted to play basketball. I thought, why not. It’s fun. He’ll learn some stuff. Plus, it’s a normal thing to do. Maybe it was the timing or he has my lack of coordinated skills and it was horrible. The first year we had a coach that was less than stellar and possibly drank. The next, we were full on into his behavior issues and he wouldn’t participate in practices but expected to be able to play on Sat. Now, he’s in Scouts and is asking for basketball again. It’s hard to know what the right thing is sometimes. But we do our best.

  5. Excuse me, I must clean the coffee up that snorted out my nose…brb…

    Wow. Some parents are too hard core. I would pay, and I mean PAY to see a death-cagematch of the Hockey moms vs. those Toddler in Tiara moms…

  6. Healthy competition seems like a thing of the past. Special coaching seems to be the norm now. I love how…in a VERY humorous way, you pointed out how ridiculous this is and how so many parents buy in to it.

  7. Wow. Just wow.
    But sometimes I’m the teenyish little bit afraid I might turn out to be one of those ‘Soccer Moms’ 🙂

  8. Ah the competitiveness of some moms never fails to amaze me. I remember reading reviews for a potty and people were boasting how early they started infant potty training. One mom had enough (was it you??) and said she brought her potty to the hospital to catch baby’s first pee when she was born. For a second, I thought she was for real (and insane) then realized she was just mocking the others. Glad your son had a fun and normal summer!!

  9. Totally agree. I wrote a blog on this once also a few months back. I love that Malcolm Gladwell book and think us moms walk a fine line of letting our kids be kids and wanting them to be the next child prodigy.

  10. I love your play on words. So witty! This post was really funny. Sometimes we just need to let them be kids instead of pro sports stars. I always wonder if the kids of those mother puckers will grow up to hate it? No worries, our kids will grow up to be mediocre citizens with limited sports skills. LOL

    • Lol, i know…one time my husband said “just let them be kids…” and I said “well good thing tiger woods parents didn’t have that kind of attitude ” and he was like “yeah, how did that work out?”

      U can’t win…..

  11. Soccer is like that here. Unless your child was playing before they were potty trained, they are behind.

  12. Haha! Great blog. I wouldn’t worry about this at all. People seem to forget about the 10,000 hours necessary to become a happy well adjusted member of society. Fun summers are irreplaceable. Plus looking at the cases involving the most successful people (e.g. Bill Gates and the Beatles) they didn’t start their 10,000 hours until their teens. At which point you can justifiably get militant on their little punk-asses. Until then, keep on Crabbing!

  13. I can’t believe parents like that. Why can’t kids be kids instead of thrown in to a system as soon as they are potty trained to have a shot a being a hockey star? Who knows how many injuries they will incur and deal with their body falling apart at 30…is it worth it? I just can’t get behind that type of mentality. Our kids will be working the rest of their lives soon enough….Why can’t kids just be kids?

  14. Pingback: Dear One “Million” Moms, « Lady Goo Goo Gaga

  15. Pingback: Dear potential employer, « Lady Goo Goo Gaga

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