5 events in the parenting olympics
How do you fare in all of the major parenting events?
Athletes operate to strict regimes. They have specialised diets, gruelling training schedules and repeated failures. Sometimes it takes years to get to where they are. Much like parents. Read on to find out how parents are especially gifted in areas other mortals aren’t- even while under extreme stress and operating on zero sleep.
Running is great for all-round fitness. Parents do this better than most. Whether you have a baby, a toddler or a teen, there’s no place for mindless pottering. You run. Run to grab that change of nappy, rush to snatch the potty in time or dash between extra-mural events whilst hoping your petrol tank won’t splutter out in rush-hour traffic. Sometimes you sprint, but mostly it feels like an endless marathon which only allows you to sneak in a toilet break behind a bush where everyone can see you.
Your kid is wandering too close to the edge of the pavement, or the top of a flight of stairs? You jump. When your inquisitive pre-schooler insists on trying to throw a toy robot into the open flames of the braai, you leap. You do the long jump to break up fights, and the high jump when your kid aims a stream of vomit at your feet. Parents are the springiest people around.
Timing is vital in all sports, but especially when it comes to water. Like the times your kid may try damming the toilet with teddy, or something more creative, like “making a sea” by turning on the bathroom taps. Floods are inevitable, but, with practice, you learn to listen for tell-tale drips and gushes, and you alone can prevent the house becoming an Olympic-sized pool.
In the same way that those Russian gymnasts fling themselves around on beams, ropes and mats, parents have to keep dozens of things going at once. Pots are boiling, laundry is spinning, toys are tidied and re-tidied, stories must be read and kids must be bathed and fed. Any deviation in the strictly formulated routine will, at the very least, end in mayhem, if not life-threatening injury.
Even while your kid is still learning exactly how best to throw his toys out of the cart, you’ll be an expert. Those early years will be all about throwing stuff out- nappies, wet wipes, broken heirlooms, bits of happy meal toys, headless dolls and wheel-less cars. You’ll learn how to throw meals together using an onion and a handful of rice, and be skilled at tossing a blanket over the cream couch to cover up yoghurt stains and other suspicious marks.
Gold medals to all participants
It all sounds a bit exhausting, doesn’t it? But, don’t forget, there’s glory involved- for every cute smile they do out in public, or every certificate they win for “most cheerful in class”, you get to stand on the podium with them. “What wonderful kids”, people will say, and all of your training will feel like nothing compared to that huge burst of pride.
What parenting sport do you perform best in?