This was a monumental year on the ski slopes. I am now the proud mother of three chairlift-riding skiers. Rhett began skiing last year, but he just wasn’t ready to go up to the top of the mountain and we spent a lot of time on the bunny slope riding up the magic carpet and diving in front of him before he ran into the ski lodge below.
This year was different.
Rhett learned to stop.
Not only did he learn to stop, he really wanted to ski. I took him to the top of the mountain each day of the week we were on vacation.
Skiing with a four year old is a unique experience.
It is slower and more distracted. Rhett likes to take his time. What would take an average skier 20 minutes, takes Rhett an hour…or more depending on what there is to watch along the way. It isn’t that he skis slow. He just likes his breaks.
He also sings the theme song to Max & Ruby all the way down the hill.
Max and Ruby, Ruby and Max…
If there is a nice patch of un-snowmanned snow, then Rhett insisted that we stop and make one. This is the first stop on our regular ski trail. It is about 1/5 the way down. The first day we constructed a snowman Snow Mountain Man. The snow was not wet enough to create any sort of ball formation so we had to settle for a heap of snow with some eyes, a nose, a mouth, two arms and some hair.
Snow Mountain Men rock.
Except for day two when Rhett discovered that the leaves we were using for eyes had blown away and we couldn’t find another two leaves ON THE WHOLE MOUNTAIN that would be an adequate replacement and he went into a full blown tantrum. Meanwhile, all I can think is that I have to get this screaming, flailing skier off the mountain at some point in the next 6 hours since we are just STARTING down the hill.
I just skied faster to get away from the crying. It is amazing how loud he can still be underneath all those layers. The boy has a good set of lungs. It was the only time he stopped singing.
Daily, about 3/4 the way down the hill, Rhett declared his need to pee.
Uhhhh…no can do, buddy. You are going to have to hold it for the rest of the way and then the additional 20 minutes it will take me to unbundle you to the point of potty-readiness.
On the last day when he made his potty plea he added, “Why do I ALWAYS have to go potty right here?”
Our final adventure happened as we skied past the pommel lift that day. This particular pommel lift is used for ski school. There is no lift from the bottom that takes you there so if you ski down to it you probably ski well enough to not need to use it. The ski students are transported up to it by snow mobile trailer.
Rhett decided he wanted to try it.
Sure, why not?
We entered the area where you get on and I pushed Rhett forward toward the ski lift attendant. I told him that Rhett had never ridden a lift like this. He patiently showed Rhett what to do and explained in detail how to get on and ride. It took several attempts and then Rhett was successfully being pulled up the mountain. The attendant helped me get on several pommels behind Rhett while I explained how it had been 25 years since I had been on such a lift…crazy.
I looked way up the hill and saw him. He was still singing.
I looked a little further ahead and realized that there was not an attendant at the top of the lift.
All there was was a cone.
And a little sign.
And Rhett can’t read.
Rhett was 3 pommels in front of me and approaching the cone rapidly.
I started screaming to him, “Get off at the cone! Get off at the cone!”
He was still singing.
Next thing I knew the entire lift halted with a bump as Rhett sailed through the air triggering the emergency lift stop rope and landed in a snowbank.
I was downhill on a non-moving lift way too far away to be of assistance.
A passing skier saw what had happened and pulled Rhett out of the snowbank helped him ski down to where I was on the lift.
He was still singing.
Mommy, let’s go again!