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 “December, 2011”

Naughty or Nice? This Jury’s Still Out.

I’m trying to decide if the kiddo deserves a present or a lump of coal this year, and my opinion’s changing about every 10 minutes. Here’s what he’s done, naughty and nice, to make me so confused:

Naughty: Approximately every two nights, he screams like he’s being murdered when it’s time for bed; I think it’s only a matter of days until a neighbor calls child protective services to check up on us.
Nice: We had so much fun making snowy owls out of pine cones and cotton balls:

Naughty: Sometimes he crosses his arms over his chest, sticks out his lower lip, and says “I’m not talking!” when the cashier at the grocery store says hi to him.
Nice: He says “I love you, Mommy” for no reason.
Naughty: He tells me I’m not his friend anymore and I need to leave the house RIGHT NOW!!! (Oh, how I wish I could sometimes…)
Nice: He pets the cat to see if he can make it purr.
Naughty: He pulls the cat’s tail because “he was watching me get dressed.”
Nice: He plays a board game with Daddy and “hopes Daddy wins.”
Naughty: He throws a tantrum when Daddy wins.
Nice: He’s THRILLED to see Gramma and Grampa when they come to visit.
Naughty: He’s less than thrilled (in fact, quite grumpy) when he realizes Gramma and Grampa are here to babysit so Mommy and Daddy can go on a date.

There's my cranky little elf!

So Santa has some tough decisions to make regarding my little guy…I have a feeling he won’t get a lump of coal, but he’s probably also not going to get the giant remote-controlled robot that he asked for either! Whether he’s naughty or nice, though, I’m sure we will have a fabulous Christmas, and we hope you do too!


Holy Snotsicles, Batman! And Other Icky Triathlon Talk…

Yowsers, it’s cold outside…I’m pretty sure my perpetually-runny nose is going to freeze solid one of these days, and I’ll actually form snotsicles. However, my aversion to treadmills means I’m still running outdoors. (I’m on hiatus from cycling right now, and not just because of the weather…My bike and I really need to get some couples therapy, but that’s a story for another day.)

The ducks and geese at my local park are apparently on hiatus from open water swimming right now. Wimps.

Jesus Ducks (Get it? They're walking on...Yeah, you get it.)

Anyway, running through the above-illustrated park the other day, I was wiping snot from my nose onto the sleeve of my running jacket and wondering if that meant I needed to wash the jacket today or if I could get another run or two out of it. Then I started wondering what my non-runner friends would say about either the fact that I wipe my nose on my sleeve while I run, or the fact doing so doesn’t automatically designate it for the laundry hamper.

I’m pretty sure the triathlete community wouldn’t even consider the subject worthy of discussion…After all, they all pee in their wetsuits. (Oh, did you not know they did that? Well, newbie triathletes, if you notice a warm spot in the water while you’re warming up before your race, it’s probably not because they turned the lake heaters on.) As a matter of fact, my co-worker, a three-time Ironman, once described to me the proper technique for peeing from on top of your bike without soaking yourself. (It really only works for guys.) Clearly, triathletes have a high threshold for what the general population might consider disgusting.

The running community is just as bad. I ran last year’s Turkey Trot at the Oregon Zoo on a frigid morning in which the downhill course was made especially treacherous by the presence of all the frozen loogies coughed up by the runners ahead of me. (Moral of the story: Next time run faster so you’re ahead of the frozen phlegm.) Makes my snotsicles not seem so yucky, huh?

Of course, marathoners and those super-freak ultramarathoners are on a whole different level when it comes to the ick-factor. I just read a race report from an ultrarunner and triathlete who states that she has a firm policy against pooing her pants before mile 23 of a race…Made me wonder (but was afraid to ask) what her policy is after mile 23. When my sis-in-law ran the New York Marathon, she and her running buddy opted to pee in an alley rather than wait in the porta-potty lines; unfortunately, they didn’t size up their choice of location very well beforehand. When they stood up afterwards, they looked around and saw a whole row of apartment balconies facing the alley, packed with spectators looking down at them. Whaddaya gonna do? They waved up at their audience and started running again.

I hesitate to even ask, but I’m curious…Any other triathletes or runners out there have any funny/yucky stories to share? They make me laugh, even as they make me cringe!

The Bigger You Are, The Harder You Fall…

Being the preferred parent in a household is as transitory as holding the lead in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination…Just when it seems like there’s one clear frontrunner, another candidate sneaks up from behind to take the lead. Likewise, I seem to have lost my edge as favorite parent in my own household, as evidenced by the following (unofficial) poll results:

Kamran: “I love Daddy as big as all the planets and stars and the whole universe.”

Me: “How much do you love Mommy?”

Kamran (taking a moment to think it over): “This much.” (Holding hands about a foot apart.)


Just to confirm the findings of this poll, I conducted another, equally scientific one the next night.

Me: “How much do you love Daddy?”

Kamran: “10 billion, million, 400 trillion, gaZILLION!!!”

Me: “How much do you love Mommy?”

Kamran (without hesitation): “Fourteen.”

I’m not sure why my approval rating has been slumping so much lately. Maybe it’s all that time I waste on cleaning the house and cooking dinner while SuperDaddy plays computer games and does puzzles with the little guy. (Not that I’m complaining…SuperDaddy puts in 9-10 serious hours at work before he comes home to play.) Or it might be the fact that a car ride with me usually results in a trip to preschool or the grocery store, whereas a car ride with Daddy usually ends up at the science museum. Clearly, my candidacy for #1 parent will suffer until I get my priorities straight. But here’s a campaign promise I intend to keep: All the gifts Kamran gets this year will be labelled “From Mommy,” until I’m the frontrunner again. Except the socks and underwear…Those are from Daddy.

An Average Jane Contemplates the Ironman

I never used to be a sentimental person. In fact, I’ve always been uncomfortable around people who cry at the drop of a hat. But something shifted inside me when I became a mother, and now I find myself choking up at things I never thought I would have before; just get me in the same room as something inspirational or sentimental, and wait for the waterworks to start.

Which is why yesterday afternoon I found myself choking up watching coverage of the Ironman Kona on NBC. It’s not the Chrissie Wellingtons or the Craig Alexanders that move me (they both won this year), but the “everyman” characters they always feature on TV…The guy who’s racing to raise money to feed kids, or the woman who may be terminally ill with cancer but wants to finish an Ironman before she dies. Then the stream of average-joes and janes, who look just like me except they just pushed themselves through 15 or 16 grueling hours of swimming, biking and running to cross the finish line of what I consider to be one of the greatest athletic challenges an everyday person could hope to participate in.

It just got me thinking, as I slogged through my run this morning…A year ago, I had just finished my first 5K, and wasn’t sure I could ever swim the distance required for the sprint triathlon I was hoping to do the following summer. Running more than 4 miles seemed inconceivable to me then, as inconceivable as doing an Ironman does now. But alas, I finished my sprint triathlon, and the next one after that, and I’m reasonably sure that my goal of an Olympic tri is attainable for the upcoming summer. Baby steps have brought me to the point that running 5 or 6 miles is no big deal, 7 or 8 is doable, and hey, when that half-marathon rolls around in February, I should be ready for it. Which just goes to show, baby steps can take you a lot further than you ever thought possible.

Never Thought I'd Be Here!

Will I ever do an Ironman? My answer to that question hasn’t changed from the first time I was asked it, and it won’t change right up until the point I cross that finish line: “Never in a million years.” The level of training required, the time commitment, and the amount of sacrifice I would have to ask my family to make are just too daunting to consider right now. But if you had asked me a year ago if I would be where I am today, I would have said “no.” So who really knows where I might be next year, or the year after? Crying my own sentimental finish-line tears, maybe? You never know, but for now I’ll grab a box of Kleenex and settle in front of the TV to live vicariously through some other average, everyday Ironmen and women.

No Tears Here! (No Ironman, Either!)

Swim, Bike…Knit?

“Honey, guess what? I found a way to combine my two favorite hobbies!”

My husband looked up from the TV long enough to answer “Being a huge dork, and…wait…Sorry, I can’t think of the other one.”

“Ha, ha, you’re hilarious. No, look, I found a pattern for a knitted triathlon hat! It’s amazing! It’s going to be the greatest thing I ever knitted! I’m going to wear it every single day as long as I live!”

Again, he looked up just long enough to glance at the pattern, raise his eyebrows, and roll his eyes.

“Just wait…It’s going to be AWESOME!”

And, in my opinion, it is:

Most Awesomest Hat EVER!!!

Those are little footprints running around the top, in case you couldn’t tell.

Seriously, I might never take it off!

All credit goes to Molly Kent for the pattern.

My Daily Dose of Nature, and Some Other Random Stuff

I was about 6 miles into a 7-mile run, heading through the park, when nature treated me to the amazing sight of a red-tailed hawk perched on the ground just a few yards in front of me. My first thought? “Thank you, nature, for treating me to this beautiful wildlife encounter.” My second thought? “Why’s that stupid bird still sitting there when I’m running toward it?” (Though, to be fair, my speed at any distance over 4 miles doesn’t look particularly threatening.) My third thought: “Holy crap, it’s still there! Is it going to try to fight me over something it killed?” Luckily for me, who probably didn’t have the strength to defend myself just then, the hawk flew off when I was within a few yards of it and left me to contemplate just what that pile of fluffy gray feathers used to be.

Other cool nature-y and random stuff I’ve seen on my runs lately:

1. A blue heron (not uncommon, I know, but I love them.)
2. A swan on a lake in the local golf course
3. Two teenage girls carrying large dogs on leashes in their arms (Why are they carrying the dogs when the dogs are on leashes, I wondered…Until I noticed the dogs were very realistic stuffed animals. Then I wondered what the leashes were for.)
4. A large prison-inmate work crew wielding chain saws on either side of the trail I was running on… and the sheriff’s deputy “supervising” them while talking on his cell phone, a good hundred yards away, with his back turned to us.
5. A look of profound pity on the face of the Parks District garbage collector as he watched me run by him in the driving rain.
6. A fluffy gray bird pinning down a red-tailed hawk. (Okay, I made that one up, but I’m hoping I get to see it on a future run…Bird karma, you know?)

An Artist (and Future Sci-Fi Fan) In the Works

Funny how artistic skills begin to emerge…Three months ago, the kiddo was bringing home stacks of construction-paper paintings from school that were virtually indistinguishable from each other except for color and method of paint application. (The captions, penned by his teacher, enlightened the parents about how each piece was unique: “Painted with Q-Tips;” “Painted with Eye Droppers;” “Painted with Potatoes.”) But now, pictures are beginning to take on recognizable features. Cars have wheels, people have faces, the Mars Rover has…Well, okay, that one’s still a work in progress, but you get my drift.

Inexplicably, this last week has brought a surge in creativity based entirely on Star Wars characters. (I will reiterate, for those who missed my brief mention of Ewok drawings a few days ago, that Kamran has never seen more than a few fragments of any Star Wars movie. I blame his father for introducing him to sci-fi characters on the internet.) So far, he’s drawn, in various degrees of recognizability, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Darth Maul, Boba Fett, Han Solo, multiple storm troopers and ewoks, and that beige guy that plays the clarinet-type instrument in Mos Eisley. But it wasn’t until I was searching the Web for one more character he hadn’t drawn (For some reason, he won’t draw the same one twice) that I found Greedo, and he came up with this masterpiece.

"Greedo", in pencil, Kamran, 2011

You compare it to the original, and tell me if you think this kid has a future. (His dad is dabbing away tears of pride right now…because of his kid’s sci-fi tendencies, not his artistic skill!)

Credit for this photo goes to: /greedo2.jpg

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