When we realized that Adi and Elizabeth weren't going to be in the same class at school, we consoled the girls by promising playdates and extra curricular activities together. Unfortunately, our schedules and skill levels for extra-curricular activities didn't work together until the winter term, but we signed Elizabeth up to take skating at Brewer Arena with Adi, and while we were at it we thought Matthew might as well try for some lessons as well. He's not technically old enough, but Adi's mom has pull so she fixed it up.
Sadly, Elizabeth outgrew her last pair of skates over the holidays and she was skating extremely tentatively during the evaluations. Predictably - she and Adi didn't get placed in the same class as a result. This was very frustrating to watch because we KNOW she wasn't skating to her usual level. The instructors agreed to re-evaluate her next week and see. Elizabeth of course is not happy to be at a different arena than she's used to and wants to go back to St Laurent "where all her friends are". Sigh.
Matthew's first lesson on the other hand went much better. He was able to stand unassisted for a few seconds right from the very beginning and he's able to get part of the way up by himself (in terms of getting up he's probably already where Elizabeth was around the time she was three). But while Elizabeth could not stand by herself the first lesson, once she figured out her balance she started shuffling on her own pretty quickly. I suspect it will take Matthew considerably longer because he is less cautious by nature and immediately started trying to run on the ice. He thought it was super funny to let his legs slide out from under him in an uncontrolled glide. This does not bode well for Daddy's back, since there is probably a limit to how long Mommy is going to be able to participate in the lessons!
The canal happened to have opened today as well and when Elizabeth heard that she was super keen to go for a skate even though she had just had a skate lesson.
So we popped Matthew into the stroller, dragged Grandma onto the ice with us and skated from Fifth to Concord for a beavertail/hot chocolate and back again. Elizabeth skated completely normally on the canal (!), though by the end she was pretty cold and tired.