Top 10 Events in the Parental Olympic Games: Part 1
“The years of hard work, dedication, tears, and sacrifices…all worth it for this moment, Bob!”
Yeah, yeah, I think as I spoon another bite of ice cream into my mouth, so much sacrifice! So inspiring! If only…
My thoughts trail off here. Who am I kidding? (Answer: no one) I was never very athletic, never very disciplined (still not). My only hope for Olympic glory is being so good at scrubbing floors that I get called-on to be the ice-scrubbing guy on a curling team. But that would require, you know, scrubbing floors and whatnot…
But, hey, I’m a parent of three, soon to be four munchkin-sized monsters known as children. I’ve sacrificed. Why, just the other day I gave my daughter a bite of my Sonic Blast. You don’t think that counts as sacrifice? It certainly does! (Wait, it does, doesn’t it? That was a sacrifice, right? I mean, it was a Peanut Butter and Cookie Dough Dream Master Blast, so…yeah it counts.)
I know, I know there are several Olympians who also have kids. Cute, darling, amazing kids. Who watch their parents win Olympic medals. While mine watch me lose arm-wrestling matches against the third and fourth corners of a fitted sheet.
I hope we have more ice cream in that freezer.
But fear not, normal, everyday parents! You’re sacrifices and tears and sleepless nights and inability to watch your favorites shows for weeks one end because your kids won’t sleep and you don’t want them learning any new words are not in vain. You, too, may experience Olympic glory in the 1st Bi-Annual Parental Olympic Games!!!!!
(lots and lots of echoes…and a John Williams-esque orchestrational score in the background).
Here are the Top Ten Events in the Parental Olympic Games:
10. Lying without “Lying”
Your child asks you a question, but not just a regular one. No, they’re too smart for that. Kids ask questions like super-villains plan death traps. There is no escape, no way out, no chance to save the city AND the superhero’s not-so-secret crush. No way to answer the question truthfully without a) inducing a major melt-down or b) incriminating yourself.
“Daddy, where is my cookie?”
Lie without lying. Because we all know lying is wrong, right? (Nod “yes”, or I’ll have you in the altar come Sunday morning) But we can’t just say, “Oh, baby I ate your cookie because you left it alone on the table for three hours” or “Daddy threw it away because you dropped it in the floor, walked on it, spit on it, likely peed on it, and it’s now a biological hazard.”
You can’t do that.
You have to lie, BUT without actually lying. It’s tough, some might say impossible (“Some” being code for “people who don’t have kids”), but it can be done. And Olympic Glory goes to those who can do it quickly, convincingly, and with the least amount of damage to their immortal soul.
This sport rewards mental toughness above all else. I’ve seen the most physically athletic of parents fail time and again in this competition. Endurance sometimes plays a role when the not-lie needs to be carried-on indefinitely (yes, Clark, your goldfish is STILL on vacation three weeks later), but usually the fastest mind wins.
9. Sleeping Baby/Toddler Transition
Despite your loudest renditions of “Eye of the Tiger”, your most intense foot tickling, and your oldest child’s endless protestations about leaving Marmie’s house at the ungodly-early time of 11PM (“Why did we leave so SOOOOOOOOON?!”), your 18-month old has fallen asleep during the drive home and you know if they wake up before you get them in bed it means 2AM play-time sessions.
You know it well. You have to escort the other two, still very-awake, very-loud, and very-likely-to-nudge-their-sleeping-sibling-just-hard-enough-to-wake-him children into the house, placate them, and them somehow get that sleeping kid into his bed, shoes, possibly-dirty (but not THAT dirty) diaper and all, without waking him up. This involves untying the Gordian Knot that passes for safety-seat harnesses these days, lifting the child out of his seat, and then walking him through the living room at the exact moment the five-year old turns on the lights for no good reason, before easing him into his bed (Careful, careful, if you lay him down on top of that blanket, you are dead) without him waking up. Then you complete the event with the ever-classic Tip-toe-back-wards-making-shushing-sounds-for-no-apparent-reason dismount. I hope you memorized the exact position and posture of every toy between the bed and the door, because if not, you stand to face some major deductions when Squeaky the Cat lets out a long, screeching “meeeeOOOOOOOOwwwww” when your right foot comes up off him. But if you can pull it off it brings a sense of satisfaction like no other.
Just think of how much sweeter that sense of satisfaction will be when you couple it with a nice gold medal.
The Toy Minefield Challenge