Thursday, June 12, 2008

You ever have one of those days....

...where you try to do something that is good or right or downright HEALTHY FOR YOURSELF and it just turns on you?

Let me describe my Tuesday to you. Warning...this post has absolutely nothing to do with stamping/crafting of any sort, unless you count "creative parenting" as a craft/hobby. It is also going to be long. Very, very long.

My sweet little A is taking swim lessons. I have wanted her to have them for the last year because little miss 4-going-on-14 thinks that she is invincible and can swim just fine and dandy, thank you very much. I finally convinced the dear husband that this is a good use of some of his hard-earned $$ because our sweet little daughter is just like him. She can't swim and she won't listen to a doggone thing I have to say to her. Just. Like. Him.

So, I get her all signed up for swim lessons and I start thinking to myself, "Self, you know that gas is $4 a gallon, and your Weight Watchers meetings would probably go better for you if you actually got up off of your butt and did something that could be considered exercise every now and then." Then I proceeded to convince myself that the way to go was to buy a bicycle trailer, the kind that you sit your kid in, and tow her happy little self to and from swim practice. "It would help the environment," my little inner voice said, "and then you can have that piece of Starbucks espresso chocolate at night without quite as much guilt." Enough said. The trailer was purchased.

Here is where the fun starts.

I manage to somehow decipher the directions on how to put the thing together, even though they were a combination of Chinese, Swedish, and some other indecipherable language as yet to be determined. Once I was convinced that my child's life would be relatively safe in said trailer, I decided to take it for a little test drive. You know, find my zone, get my biking legs going, all that good stuff. I mean, I have been riding a bike since I was 5, so how hard can this be?

Well, apparently, when you are 38 years old and out of shape and your main source of exercise is stamping background images onto paper it can get a little interesting. We took our first test ride down to the park that is about 6/10 of a mile from my house. By the time we got to the park, I had discovered a couple of things about myself.

1. 32 ounces of water is not enough for a 6/10 of a mile trip down the road. Apparently, my body mistook the Texas heat for the Serengeti Desert and decided that I was going to go into shock if I didn't drink at least 3 gallons of water RIGHT NOW. I now pack much more water.

2. Just because your bike seat says "Designed for Women" does not mean that it was designed for you, woman! My butt hurt in a way that I still cannot fully understand nor describe. Of course, the fact that I have extra butt probably accounts for most of that, but I'm working on it, dang it!

3. I know lots of cuss words, but when you are taking your 4 year old for a bike ride, you have to say them with your "inside" voice. The one inside your head. Oh yes, I could have given the guys on "Deadliest Catch" a run for their potty-mouthed money with the thoughts I was thinking.

4. I am overweight for a reason. In the words of my dear friend, M., back home in Alabama, "I like the taste of food and I do not like to sweat." I figure I am going to have to change one of those two things and it might as well be the sweating part because that comes pretty easily in Texas in the summertime.

So, we survived the trip and I figured that the pain would go away and we are going to bike to and from swim practice (roughly 2 1/2 miles round trip here folks). Monday goes really well. Little A and I wear our helmets (racing grey for me, pink kittens for her), she swims like a water bug for her new swim coach while I try to remember how my labor and delivery nurse turned a diaper into an ice pack for my butt when I got home, and all was well with the world. We return home and I am very pleased with myself.

Tuesday comes. We ride the bike to swim practice, but on the way I hit a pretty significant "bump", i.e.---huge crack in the sidewalk that jars my body in a way that I am pretty sure caused some kind of damage. Nevertheless, we make it to practice and all is well with the world. Until we come out, and see The Issue.

My front bike tire is completely, totally devoid of air. Flatter than the proverbial pancake. Now, knowing my dear little one's "flair for the dramatic" I decide to play it cool and try to make this fun. I tell her, "You did so great at swim practice, let's go on an adventure walk!" with as much enthusiasm as I could muster at this point in time. Off we start on our roughly 1 mile trek home.

Before we made it 100 yard LMDQ (little miss drama queen) begins to get "Melty". This is a word of her own making, and is used as a description of any situation in which she begins to sweat. Proper usage in a sentence usually goes like this: "Moooooommmm, I am getting all melty!" Now imagine that whine coming out of a 44" tall version of my husband, complete with the Scarlett O' Hara back of the hand to the forehead look. Yeah. Good Times.

Another 100 yards produced an even more pitiful whine of "I am running out of energy." This from the child who is 90 miles and hour with her hair on fire from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. every single day of her life. No naps, no breaks. All day long. Suddenly she is running out of energy? Did I get to "run out of energy" while I was in labor for 22 hours? I did not. I was not even given that option! Now, I know there are probably a thousand well thought out, correct answers for this child at this point, but what I came up with was, "Well, if you would stop whining you would have more energy to walk." Truthful, yes. Compassionate, no.

We continue on, and about the 4/10 of a mile mark she says to me, with complete sincerity, "I just can't take this anymore....we are never going to get to ride our bike again!" Now, I know this child, and she is pretty headstrong. She is about to go into full meltdown mode on me as I walk up Brodie Lane with her. We stop walking and I give her a big drink of cool water and try to rationalize. The bike will get fixed. We only have to walk a little farther, and all we have to do is take it one step at a time. "Honey, if this is the worst thing that happens to us today, we are going to have a great day." She looks at me, completely non-plussed. Just as she is about to let the alligator tears roll, I remember that there is a brand new bag of popsicles in the deep freezer in our garage.

"Hey baby," I said to her, "when we get home today, you can have two popsicles." A smile finally made it across her face and we made the rest of the walk whine-free. So, let this be a lesson to you all. Sometimes, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. And sometimes, a little bribery with a kiddo is not a bad thing!

If you stuck with it this far, thanks for reading! I hope everyone has a healthy, happy day, and I promise a stamping post a little later on. Until next time, Happy Stamping!



Alma Arriaga said...

WOW!! Awesome story telling! I am not sure how Ray would have done in Mandy's situation. Great job Mom!

Lydia said...

This story just kills me!!!!! MELTY!!

Bikes make my butt hurt too. For DAYS