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Friday, January 4, 2013

Parenting: The Ultimate Sport

After the stress of last year, we decided to do something good for ourselves. Not specifically a resolution- just allotting more relax time or personal time or not thinking of everyone else time.

So we joined a nicer gym.

You may have seen my post about waking up at the crack of dawn to get no more than twenty minutes of work out time before rushing home. Not exactly relaxing.

The new gym is not just any gym. No. It has a sauna and awesome showers, it has great babysitter service that is cheaper than babysitting, and a spa right there inside with massages and all those mystical spa things. Oh, and there are gym type things that are great too. I am especially looking forward to water aerobics, even if I am the youngest one there.

So, part of joining pretty much every gym is free personal training sessions. Enter a young woman named Rhi. She did an assessment and is working with me for my free sessions. Today she showed me a number of exercises and with nearly every one I could think of a way being a mom was providing a similar motion.

After performing something called a Romanian Dead Lift with progressively heavy kettle balls, I told her all that was missing was a diaper bag, gym bag, and purse- except the kettle ball wasn't as cumbersome as the carseat with screaming baby inside.

Given she doesn't have kids, I am sure she thought I was exaggerating.

This is what I was carrying coming inside today. Keep in mind I don't have too far to go from car to apartment- just through the lot, over a narrow sidewalk, fifteen feet or so to two sets of double doors- usually held open thankfully- a couple of steps up, an elevator, and finally down the hall twenty or so feet.

In the top left is the diaper bag. Totally normal things in there - change of clothes for each kid, emergency formula bottles, diapers for each kid, wipes, toys, bibs, burp cloths, teething rings plastic bags, disposable changing pads, a non disposable changing pad, emergency apple juice, emergency snacks, you know- the normal. I weighed it just now and it comes to around nine lbs. This bag I sling across my body.

Next I put on my purse- not heavy even with an iPad, but my keys are in there so it has to be assessable. I sling the purse on the other side so as to keep the diaper bag from overwhelming it.

Next comes other bags. Sometimes a gym bag but today a big bag with two small boxes of two oz formula bottles, two training potties in their own baggies (both work best together on public toilets), Ranger's new toggle coat, because he got used to taking coats off and refused to keep it on or put it back on. And gift books for the birthday party we are attending tomorrow.

I can usually carry extra bags in my opposite from the diaper bag hand, but today I was using that hand to hold up the blanket wrapped around a just-woke-up-from-a-nap-and-grumpy Ranger.

Finally I squat down and put my arm through the carseat handle. I make sure to squat so I am lifting the weight as much with my legs as possible.

I mentioned the sidewalk was narrow, but what makes it hard is the little fence thing. It is at just the right hight to bump the bottom of the carseat and diaper bag unless I make an effort to raise them up.

Here is a picture for reference from when Ranger was just starting school a year ago.

So here I am, my usually pack mule self, plus reluctant three year old who may or may not be ready to pee at any given moment (thus the importance of having keys readily accessible).

Is it any wonder I found a Romanian dead lift easier?

Later in the afternoon, I found myself playing train with Ranger (hint: I am the train. It is like playing horsey but with "bing-bong this stop is 42nd st/Times Square with connections to the 2, 3, Q, R, M, 7, and shuttle to Grand Central. Bing-bong stand clear of the closing doors please"). This was after a good ten minutes of playing "climb on mommy" where Ranger attempts to climb up to and sit on my head, then fall forward in such a way that necessitates intervention or he would face plant. This game was preceded by airplane crashes into the couch (normal airplane but finished with him squirming around until I can't hold him up and jettison him onto the nearest soft surface- usually the couch).

Is it any wonder that when my drawsomething clue was backache I drew stick figures tending after children? Parenting as a sport could be done in teams of two, but with only one person at a time, like a relay. Ooooh- track and field type set up with different events. The bath time event- points subtracted for the amount if water on the floor or your clothes. The bed time event- points subtracted for minutes past bedtime. And the kicker- the playground event with high ladder, monkey bars, and swings!

And I only have two! I imagine if parenting were a sport there would be different divisions. And maybe a special division for parents of two under two- because at least I can coerce Ranger into helping me with his brother (can you help him hold this bottle while I cook? Can we have quiet time while I nurse? Is there a toy for your brother to play with? Etc).

I think I might have scared my trainer though. After describing ways in which parenting can be very physical, we happened across a random bandaid on the floor and she was all grossed out. Me? Shrug. Once you've had to fish certain things out if your child's mouth- there is little that grosses you out.

If anyone needs me, I will be over here in bed unable to get up. Between the trainer and my kids, I am not sure my body won't openly revolt at anything more taxi g than Angry Birds Star Wars.

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