Mommy Wants a Timeout

In which I contemplate absurd moments in parenthood, occasionally attempt to refer to myself as a “triathlete” while keeping a straight face, and maybe post some random pictures of stuff I’m knitting

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Triathletes…And The Husbands Who Love Them

“I really think we should go with the sleeveless wetsuits so it’s easier to put our inflatable water wings on.” This was the two cents my husband put in when he had determined I was, in fact, committed to my goal of completing a triathlon, and he was sort of committed to maybe training for one, too (as long as the swim was really short.)

We bought the wetsuits, and despite learning that no inflatable anythings would be allowed on a triathlon course, he was right there with me a few months later when we plunged into the unseasonably cold water of Blue Lake for our first practice open-water swim. (If I recall correctly, he was right there afterwards, too, to point out that no one else was near the water that day, which should have been our first clue that only crazy people would swim in water that cold.)

That was the beginning of my “Summer of Tri”, and his summer of “I Tried, I Finished It, and Don’t Ever Ask Me To Do That Again.” I became hooked on triathlon training, and he decided triathlons would be much more fun if they took away the swimming and running parts. So I’m a triathlete, and he’s not, and that’s settled, right?

Except lately, I get the feeling he thinks I’m taking it too far. It’s like he thinks I’m cheating on him with my training…I run off at all hours for workouts, leaving him at home with the kid, and I’m ready for bed (to sleep, mind you) ridiculously early in the evening. I start gushing about the great swim workout I had that morning, and he gets this faraway look in his eyes, and I’m positive he’s thinking about the last episode of Game of Thrones instead of what I’m saying…He just doesn’t want to know the details of my affair.

So how do I convince him I still love him more than any mere sporting event, and though I’m definitely committed to my new, fitter lifestyle, I’m just as committed to our evening CSI marathons and excessive ice cream consumption? And does he know how grateful I am for talking me down from a nervous breakdown when I didn’t think I could ever swim in an open lake, for helping me learn to change a flat tire on my bike, and for being there when I crossed the finish line for the first time?

Maybe we need a romantic getaway, a weekend in a nice hotel somewhere, with good restaurants, nice scenery…We could go for long walks on the beach, and talk about all the fun stuff we used to do on weekends when we didn’t have to make time for my workouts. We could reconnect, and I could reassure him of my love and fidelity.

Also, it would be great if the hotel had a pool, too…You know, so I could get in a few laps in before breakfast?

My awesome husband, who can also call himself a triathlete.

Why I Love My Little Guy

Lacking any really funny parenting anecdotes over the past week, I’m a little short on inspiration for a good blog post. But every day my son says or does something to remind me how much I adore him. Here are a few examples:

1. This morning he spent over an hour drawing his interpretation of an Ewok family, despite never having seen Return of the Jedi. Eventually he got me involved, too:

Can you guess which ones I drew, and which were Kamran's?


2. When I took him to the pediatrician for his 4-year checkup and the doctor asked him what his favorite foods are, he replied “carrots, cucumber and avocados,” even though the truth is probably closer to pizza and cupcakes.

3. The other day, he patted my stomach (nice and flat, thanks to running and crunches) and said “Mommy, I love your fat belly.”

4. He prefers that the cat not watch him get dressed in the morning, but he thinks nothing of running naked into a room full of guests to announce that he just went poop on the potty.

5. He has adorable school crushes: “Mommy, I love Caroline because she never does any bad things to me, except try to hold my hand.”

6. When I scold him for doing something naughty, his lower lip trembles and huge tears well up in his eyes, which just makes me want to pick him up and cuddle him.

Who could resist this face?

Monsoon Running

Oh, nothing, just finished running 8 miles, whatever, no big deal. Except…

1. That’s the furthest I’ve ever run. Ever.
2. According to Weather Underground, there is currently an area flood advisory, wind advisory, and Special Weather Statement regarding heavy rains and urban flooding in effect.
3. Within 10 minutes of leaving my house, my clothes were soaked through, and weighed at least quadruple their dry weight.

Coming back on the trail through the park, just over a mile from home, I found that the creek had overflowed the wooden bridge. Undeterred, I climbed up on the 4×4 guardrail and walked across like a gymnast on a balance beam, only to find that a raging torrent had swallowed up the trail on the other side. Backtracking, I cut through the park to a nearby neighborhood and stepped into an ankle-deep mud puddle. Great feeling…I got to listen to my left shoe squelch all the way home.

I felt a little crazy running in the wild weather (at first I was sort of giddy-crazy, like a kid on a snow day, then later, more of a “what-the-hell-was-I-thinking” crazy) but I wasn’t the craziest person out there. Running through the country club I saw two guys golfing. No kidding…golfing! On a day like today! I was out there because I want to run a half-marathon in a few months. What was these guys’ excuse?

Oh, and as to the half-marathon. I’m thinking about the Heartbreaker Half in downtown Portland, February 19th. I’m a little worried, because I’m not sure what the Heartbreaker is supposed to be…Me, cuz I’m so sexy in my winter running gear? (Cap with brim, check…Headband to cover ears, worn over cap with brim, check…Batman-like belt with cell phone, keys, water bottle, iPod, gloves, check…Who could resist?) Or maybe the heartbreaker is the hill up Naito to Barbur Blvd. and Terwilliger? I guess I’ll find out. In any case, today’s monsoon run makes me feel prepared for whatever inclement weather February might send my way.

“Hey Kids, Watch Out for the Cranky Lady.”

Yes, I am a mom, but every now and then I turn into one of “those women.”

You know, the cranky ones who really don’t seem like kids that much, and don’t try to pretend to be nice when other people’s kids do things that bug them. And who give dirty looks to those kids’ mothers, and complain to other people about the lack of supervision those mothers are providing.

Which is not to say I don’t like kids at all. Just not the ones who crowd the pool when I’m doing laps, recklessly swimming across my lane and underneath me, usually right as I’m going into a flip turn. (Yeah, this is more of a triathlete post than a parenting one, just so you know.)

It’s bad enough that I come up sputtering and coughing when these reckless kids run into me, or that they steal my kickboard. (“How many times do I have to tell you kids? A kickboard is not a toy!”) What really bugs me is that they bring all the contents of their toyboxes into the pool with them, and then let all those things drift into my lane for me to run into when I least expect it. Or they throw footballs to each other and miss, and the footballs hit me in the back of the head. (This is actually excellent training for the kicks to the head everyone takes at the start of a race, but it really messes up my concentration in the pool. And I’m in no mood to look on the bright side right now.)

Lately, since my dirty looks have been ineffective, I’ve taken a new approach: If it’s in my lane, it belongs to me. I take the balls, boards, and random floating items back to the start of my lane and toss them as far toward the wall as I can, so at least the little hellions have to get out of the pool if they want their toys back. But it’s not making that much of an impact, so I’m considering a new strategy: I’m thinking of bringing a giant locking Rubbermaid bin to the pool with me and placing it at the end of my lane, then locking each toy up as I gather it. I might throw a kid or two in there too, if they’re really bothering me. And if the bin gets too full, I’ll just start dragging the kickboards, footballs, and swim noodles with me as I go. My 100-yard splits won’t be pretty, and I’ll eventually look like that Texas-size island of floating plastic in the Pacific Ocean, but I will have WON, you hear me? I WILL HAVE WON!!!

And something tells me the crankier I act, the more likely it is that the pool will miraculously clear itself of children every time I show up for a workout.

The Pink Flamingo Incident

Okay, so my preschooler threw the tantrum of the century the other day when I pointed out the pink flamingo on a puzzle, and explained that flamingoes are pink because they eat a lot of shrimp. Out of nowhere, he decided he despises the color pink, hates anything that is pink, hates whoever gave him the puzzle with something pink on it (sorry, Auntie Dawn), and hates God for making flamingoes pink. (Anyone who was acquainted with Kamran while he was two years old will find this particularly ironic, as he was obsessed not only with being a princess, but loved pink above all other colors.) Anyway, what’s a mommy to do while her son furiously attempts to scrub the pink off the flamingo on the puzzle, hollering at the top of his lungs? I posted a summary of the whole episode on Facebook, of course!

Now, a lot of my FB friends found this incident funny, some commiserated with Kamran on his dislike of the color pink, and a few even expressed surprise over flamingoes’ eating habits. Which leads me to wonder…Did they miss the point of my post entirely? (The point being, of course, what the hell? My kid’s freaking out that flamingoes are pink!!! And blaming me!!! And expecting me to do something about it!!! Does this seem normal to you, people???)

To be fair, it is quite possible that this is normal behavior for a preschooler, and my friends knew it. But as a first-time parent who was bewildered and astounded by this sudden rage, I will create a list of things that Kamran DID NOT throw a tantrum about that day (all of which I consider to be on the list of appropriate tantrum triggers for a child of his age):

1. Putting away his toys when he was done playing with them
2. Eating his vegetables
3. Washing his hands before dinner
4. Changing into his pajamas when it was time for bed
5. Going to bed on time

I of course could (and will) pat my own back at navigating the rough waters of parenting, and attribute these successes to my skill at avoiding potential conflict with creative strategy (“Hey, that green bean looks like a gigantic slug! Wanna eat it? Wow, that was so disgusting…Do it again!”)

But here are the things that he DID throw a tantrum about:

1. A flamingo on a puzzle being pink, after learning (thanks a lot, Mommy) that flamingoes are pink because they eat shrimp.

If someone can tell me how to avoid a pitfall like that one, I will award him or her the Parenting Medal of the Century. If not, I can only guess what the next tantrum will be about: The wheels on the bus going round and round instead of up and down? Pancakes being shaped like circles when Kamran prefers squares? Your guess is as good as mine…Stay tuned, and you’ll probably hear about it right here!

There’s No Special Place In Hell For a Mother Who Would Steal From Her Child, Is There?

This post-Halloween season I find myself contemplating the ethics of trick-or-treating with a preschooler. A few questions I’m wrestling with as I’m nibbling on some of these Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups:

  1. If your kid can only reliably count to 12, he’s unaware of the exact number of candies he obtained, and therefore won’t notice if any are missing, right?
  2. If the aforementioned kid has previously not been introduced to a certain variety of candy (say, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), there’s no harm in editing them from his take, is there? In the long run, it’s probably doing him a favor, actually.
  3. If you happen to know that your kid isn’t all that interested in candy, is it still okay to encourage him to hit a few extra houses in the neighborhood? Just to show off his cute costume, of course…

I’d like to pretend these questions only came up for me after this Halloween season, but in truth, I’m constantly offering to “hold on to that until you’re ready for it,” and then eating it after my son has forgotten about it. The lollipops from the drive-thru coffee shop, treats that come in party favor bags, the candy the nice secretary at Daddy’s office gives him every time we stop in for a visit…All these go into my purse, and come out again at naptime, when I tell myself I’m preserving my child’s dental health while sacrificing my own.

So far, it hasn’t backfired on me…Kamran never seems to remember the candy once it’s out of sight. And if he ever does ask for it, I fully intend to inform him that I took it in place of the back rent he owes me for that nine months he spent in my womb.

Hey, I Belong Here, Right?

Hi, friends. Just in case you were wondering why I’m preparing to enter the blogosphere, here are my top reasons:

  • Because what the world needs most right now is another blog written by a mommy who’s training for triathlons and knits stuff…
  • Because I have sooooo much extra time on my hands (and sooooo much surplus irony in my head)…
  • Because I spend the bulk of my day with a preschooler, answering such complicated questions as “why is Mars really hot and really cold and really hot and really cold and the earth is really warm and kind of cold?” and sometimes I just need a timeout, okay?
  • Because my husband is tired of hearing me describe each event of every day in miniscule detail, and politely requested that I find myself a “creative outlet…”

So here it is, folks. Don’t expect daily postings, consistent themes, or fall-down-on-the-floor funniness in every post, and I won’t let you down. But I promise not to take myself to seriously, and I hope you won’t either.

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