John Thomas


January 24, 2008

The Zamboni obsession, and interest in all things hockey has not abated. We go to the arena at least twice a week to watch the Zamboni, hockey, ringette, figure skaters, learn to skaters, and speed skaters.

Holding onto a Zamboni, while waiting for the real Zamboni to come

The insistence of watching "Zamboni on the puter" has abated a little, but that has been replaced by playing Zamboni in the basement. He lures you to the basement with the promise of playing hockey, you set up the nets, get your sticks, and find the puck or ball. Once you're all ready, he declares "Time to clean the ice!" and you are to drop your stick, and maneuver one of his ride on cars like a Zamboni, cleaning the ice. While "cleaning the ice" there will be a moment where he nearly panics, declares "move the nets", and runs to move the nets out of the way so that the Zamboni can clean the entire ice surface. When the ice is finally declared clean, you start the charade of playing hockey again for 5-45 seconds before the ice needs to be cleaned again.

The objects of his obsession

He has really absorbed the little details involved. When we started reading his new book Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet he pointed out right away that the goalie pictured (Vezina) was missing his helmet. And the hockey player depicted in the penalty box was missing his glove.

Last Friday, John Thomas and Mommy came back from a visit to Mont Tremblant in time to watch Daddy play hockey. We got to see about half of the game from the bench, which was exciting enough with being able to see Daddy on the ice up close, and all the shift changes that happened. But this was topped by watching the Zamboni from the same close vantage point and after getting to sit on the Zamboni! With one loop around the ice left for the Zamboni, we walked towards the end of the arena to watch it park in the back. The guys there offered to let John Thomas sit on the Zamboni. He was thrilled, but they weren't prepared for the Zamboni knowledge of this two-year old. After a couple of minutes on the Zamboni, where he got to honk the horn, he asked to dump the snow. This he learned from the many Zamboni videos he has watched on YouTube. It had to be explained to him that the snow already got dumped, but it didn't really sink in. After a few more minutes where he got Mommy to sit on the back up ice resurfacer (it wasn't a Zamboni, it was made by Olympia) we had to convince John Thomas to give up his seat. He still wanted to dump the snow. We said goodbye to the Zamboni and Mommy crossed her fingers that he wouldn't ask to ride the Zamboni each and every next time we went to the rink. Thankfully he has only asked once since.