What It’s Like to Take a Toddler to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to see world class professional figure skaters in real life. So when Learn to Skate USA asked if I wanted to go see the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in my hometown of Kansas City, I was, like, heck to the yes. I’ve watched figure skating on TV for years (especially during the Olympics and my 1,000 viewings of The Cutting Edge as a kid) and, of course, would LOVE to see it live.

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And I thought my daughter might, too. This summer we’d taken Gwen to a Royals baseball game and she loved watching the team and the crowd. I thought this might be similar.

I was a little wrong. Okay, mostly wrong.

At first, she was enthralled with the crowd and especially the Zambonis (“truck! truck!”).

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We even posed for a photo. I was so smug. Like, yeah, my almost two-year-old is rocking this live event. Clearly I am expert parent doing expert parenting*.

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(You know where this is going right?)

Cue meltdown. After about 15 minutes, she was done. And no snack or iPad game or amazing ice skating routine could keep that girl in her seat. The only thing she wanted to do was go up and down the staircases on the concourse of the arena. Of course.

Thankfully, my husband was like, I got this — and the two of them went off to happily play on the stairs for 30 minutes while I watched what I’ll call one of the coolest live sporting events of my life. You see it on TV, but the power and strength and grace you witness is even more mesmerizing when you see it firsthand.

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I was hoping that this event would be a family affair, but it turned out kind of being more me time than anything. Which, all in all, was kind of nice, too.

Clearly I just need to introduce her to The Cutting Edge or Frozen and try again, right? Right.

Have you ever taken your small kids to a big event like this one? How did they do? —Jenn

*Said like Bridget Jones

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