Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Runner

It's amazing, really!

Lightning speed unparalleled by any grown up in history. 

For real. Somebody please tell me how she does it. Her and the rest of the miniature people around three years old.

I assume (strictly based upon the existence of leashes for children) that I cannot be the only mother who has experience with a "runner". 

A runner is a child who has a seeming supernatural ability to be in one spot one moment, and in the very next microsecond, be NOWHERE remotely close to that spot. I'm convinced that _____, author of the Harry Potter series, came up with her idea of apparating by observing a young child such as I've described. Apparating, in her books, is when the students of Hogwarts had to learn to disappear from one spot and transport themselves to someplace completely different in a split second. Who knew this wasn't strictly fictional?

Although their giftedness does seem to diminish with age, apparating children are nothing to underestimate. 

She can disappear in seconds. 

Take, for example, the first time I realized I had a runner in my brood. We had made a family trip of going to Lowe's for some tool or some such thing my husband needed. I had her standing right NEXT to me. Literally. One foot away from me. 

I looked a little closer at whatever product had caught my interest just so I could see the price. It took exactly .75 seconds. In that time, I lost my child. 

Before it was all said and done, our entire family was searching, strangers were searching, employees were combing the aisles, and the entire store was on lockdown. I was getting a little panicked at that point. 

And then, out of nowhere, an employee came walking towards us, hand in hand with our little runner. You know where she was? The absolute FIRST place I should have thought to look: the toilets on display in the bathroom remodeling section (she was in the midst of potty training torture and was of course slightly obsessed at the time). 

Yet this made no sense to me. It was just not possible that her chubby little legs had carried her THAT instantly out of the aisle we had been in and all the way across that huge warehouse of a store! 

Apparating, I tell you! 

We saw the same thing at our recent trip to Disney World. I did not let that child more than an arm's length away if she didn't have her luggage tag necklace around her neck with my phone number. My parents were with us, so that made FOUR adults plus two big sisters to watch this kid's whereabouts. And still, still she escaped us! Not once, not twice, THREE times the runner disappeared into the masses of people. We even had to lockdown the Dumbo ride to locate her. This made us VERY popular with other guests in the park.

The runner was riding with ME. After all the drama we caused, no way was I letting her on an elephant without me. She'd find a way to disappear, I have no doubt.

It was NOT the happiest place on earth for my child when she was found, let me tell you. 

I've seen mothers around town with that crazed, wild-eyed look in their eye when their child has apparated. We don't need extra cardio workouts when we have a runner we're responsible for. Our hearts reach an active heart rate countless times a day as we feverishly search again and again and again.

Hang in there, mothers of runners. And ditch the high heels. It's sneakers only for the next eight years when in public. 

And never, EVER forget to fortify your dressing room so your runner can't escape while you are indecent. It's actually fairly traumatizing to have to prance through a clothing store searching for your escape artist while not entirely appropriately dressed. 

What? Am I my sister's keeper? 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Blame Game

It's all their fault. 

It's almost as if they are purposefully scheming ways to make us gain weight.

Yes, yes, our children are technically responsible for the 25 pounds (ahem) we put on during pregnancy. But we can't really blame them for that part, I suppose. I mean, it's not like they're actually forcing us to eat Krispy Kreme donuts and ice cream. They are confined within our wombs, for heaven's sake! There is nothing they can do to force us to guzzle down milkshakes. 

But we still blame them.

So okay, I can concede that our kids often get a bad rap when being blamed for anything over the doctor recommended weight gain during pregnancy, and most of the time it's probably not their fault.

But man, oh man, once they're out and among us in the world, that's where their innocence screeches to a halt. 

Those of you in the throes of motherhood with anyone under the age of eight will understand. You want to eat well. Really, you do.  You look longingly at the smart outfits hanging in your closet that are still a few lbs. away. You're trying to be disciplined. The problem is that your child allows you one minute of eating time for each year of their age. So, if you have a one-year-old, you are granted one full minute at mealtimes. A two-year-old give you two minutes, and so on. 

If your child is under the age of one, you are just out of luck, dearie. You may as well have an intravenous line inserted for a high calorie liquid diet 'cause you ain't gonna be sitting down for the entirety of an actual meal til the cows come home. 

You would just kind of prefer to not BE the cow.

So at first glance, you'd think it would be EASY to lose weight once your child is born. But what nobody tells you is that your kid is like a trained navy seal in finding ways to derail your mission to healthy eating. 

You will even go to extraordinary measures like THIS to get your kids to spend more time eating their dinner:

taco teddy bears made by yours truly...still didn't work in getting them to slow down

Let's say you are out for dinner. Little darling is right there with you, of course, and you have dragged half of creation to the restaurant in the empty hope that he will be occupied long enough to allow you to eat in a manner that does not suggest being raised in a barn. You know, good manners and such.

You scour the menu for the lighter side options. After all, 'lil bit is nearly a year old now, you really should be starting to loosely resemble the woman you used to be in a former life. 

Just when you think you have found a salad option that actually looks somewhat appetizing (but for real...it's just fancy grass...how good can it be?), Junior reminds you of his presence by dumping his entire bowl of cheerios on the floor and trying to break out of his high chair prison. 

Salad option is now out the window. Why? You now have 45 seconds before a meltdown. Have you ever tried to eat a salad in under a minute? Impossible. Pretty much anything that requires a fork is out, actually. 

And so, with a sigh, you tell the 20-year-old waitress with tiny shorts and dazzling smile that
you'll have the chicken fingers and fries. It's quick. It's bite-size. It's convenient for sharing little pieces with the 25-lb. monster next to you.

My husband commented the other day that I have slowed down when it comes to eating. The girls had of course finished their meals at Newk's with the speed of light and here I was, still slowly picking over my salad, behaving as if I were on a business lunch or something. The rumblings of complaints were beginning to grow louder, and the "MOM! HURRY UP! AREN'T YOU DONE YET?" comments were reaching higher decibel levels.

Blast it all. Just when I thought I might be at the homestretch of these years when my kids force me to eat hand held food at all times! Should've stuck with the club sandwich and chips. 

So don't feel too bad, mothers. It's a conspiracy. They are out for our money, our time, and our thighs. 

And they're winning. 

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