Monday, February 15, 2010

I Should Join a Gym

People often ask me why I don’t go to a gym, as though I’m some freak of nature. Instead of answering that question, I’m going to start directing people to the following breakdown of my morning. Though this is from today, it’s not unusual.

6:54am “MA MA MA MA MA!” Pigpen is awake. Drag self from bed. Switch gears from sleeping directly to racing up the stairs two at a time in attempt to prevent Pigpen from waking Piglet. Lift 23 pound child. Wrestle as though with alligator to change his diaper. Pin flailing arms with elbow, execute one-handed removal, wiping, and reapplication of diaper with other hand. Redress writhing beast and rush downstairs carrying 23 pound child.

Pause. Pant a little. Hurry to potty, sit. Dog begins barking at volume 11. He has heard people, he knows they are awake, he is onto this little game. He wants food and he wants it NOW. Bark, bark, bark. Grab up 23 pound child and dash across house in effort to silence dog. Bend over into dog food bag while using left leg to block Pigpen’s access to dog bowls and potential spillage. Gus is spinning in circles, delirious with joy.

Scoop up Pigpen, fix juice for all. “Mommmmmmyyyyy! I gotta go potttttyyyy!” Piglet’s up. Grab Pigpen, run upstairs. Spring Piglet from room, execute masterful wiping duties, manage to lose Pigpen. Find Pigpen pulling all of his clothes out of drawers. He is super-duper proud of himself. Grins and claps. I bend over, throwing clothes back into drawers. Hear a mechanical sound. Dash to other room. Piglet has found daddy’s drill and is testing it out. Pigpen is close behind and finds a canister of nails to shake. A Tim the Toolman party of sorts commences. There may have been man grunting. Remove all construction tools from all hands and escort both boys downstairs, firming latching gate behind me.

Dog has found diaper. Dog is eating contents of diaper in the middle of my living room. Diaper shrapnel abound. Lunge for diaper, Gus growls, protecting his treasure. Lunge, dart, lunge, dart….snatch! I win! My prize? A handful of poopy diaper and a very disappointed beagle. Put dog outside. Crouch to pick up diaper remnants. Where are children. Have lost children.

Throw diaper mess in trash, locate Piglet sitting in kitchen floor with a screwdriver and a toy, attempting to get the batteries out, presumably to charge them. Hastily wash hands. Hear toilet flushing, Pigpen’s new hobby. Find Pigpen squealing and waving an enthusiastic goodbye to who-knows-what in the toilet. Pick him up (23 pounds), carry him with me to begin carpet cleaning. Crouch, scrub, chase Pigpen, crouch, rinse, chase Pigpen. Lather, rinse, repeat.

At some point, we all ate breakfast, I got some coffee and headed for the shower. Today, the building blocks, books, cars and balls weren’t enough entertainment, Piglet wanted he and Pigpen to take a bubble bath. Take a moment to lament fact that my children refuse to watch television. Lament fact that there is no school until Thursday. Look wistfully at TV. Piglet shakes his head. It is to be a bubble bath and it is to be now. Decide to be relieved that they will be corralled in one place while I take my shower and put them in tub with cups and bubbles. Bathe self. Is nice. Even shave a leg.

Able to get self about 50% ready before Pigpen throws huge cup of water out of tub. Proclaim Pigpen finished with bath. Wrap him in towel, dash upstairs to get clothes for both. Dress wet, writhing beast. Turn Pigpen loose and continue getting self ready. While straightening hair, heave hip at various drawers to prevent Pigpen from gaining access. Slide….hip thrust! Slide…hip thrust! For endurance, hold main drawer closed with backside, while extending left leg to hold cabinet closed. Squat and hold. Straighten hair from this position to multi-task. Finished at last.

Lift annoyed, not-done-yet!, thrashing Piglet from cold water (35 pounds). Negotiate rapidly while drying, dressing, and combing him. Hear flush. Pigpen is again waving at the toilet. Remind self that Pigpen has just gotten tall enough to reach door handles. Need to find all of those door handle cover doohickeys so that Piglet can tear them off and pretend he is the strongest man alive. That seems like a good use of my time.

Is now 10:47. My reward for surviving the morning is that I get to take these two monkeys to Lowe’s, the bank, and the grocery store. I am sweaty and hot by the time I tackle each boy into a pair of shoes and a coat, so I forego my own coat. It really seems like too much trouble. Lift both boys (23 + 35!) into their car seats at terribly awkward angles without bumping anyone’s head. (Score! Double points!) Strap everyone in against pushing, leaning, and grabbing. Happily sit in driver’s seat for about 3 minutes JUST BECAUSE I CAN. Have own personal Calgon moment. Drive to Lowe’s.

Lift boys (58 pounds!) from car again and carry one, drag the other into Lowe’s. We are buying a can of paint. Piglet does not want to buy a can of paint, Piglet wants look for the vacuums, the fork lifts, and the tractors. Period. We buy paint. I silently hex man at paint counter when he gives boys each a paint stirrer. Really?! My hex grows stronger and more elaborate and begins to include various members of his family as the boys move from whacking the cart to whacking one another. Race through Lowe’s to pay for paint and expertly wrestle boys back into car seats. (58!) Remove paint stirrers from hands, citing The Law. Sit down. Pant. Begin to drive away. Brake suddenly, have forgotten paint can in shopping cart. Retrieve paint. Head to grocery store.

Repeat process of removing boys from car. Carry/drag into Publix. Lose battle to avoid stupid race car shopping cart that I cannot drive. Again, lift both boys with added challenge of aiming their feet below the steering wheels while they are so excited that they are grabbing at steering wheels. Boys are twitching so much at the excitement over the car cart that when I got close to the deli counter’s free cookies, I had to strap them both in with seat belts to prevent their heads from blowing off. After 15 minutes of shopping the way I do, Piglet was done. This was about the point at which the grandfatherly gentleman wanted to chat with me about my twins. I didn’t bother to correct him as the back arching had commenced, the lounging atop one another, and the snatching of each other’s steering wheels, so I just gave it up. I lost out on some pretty awesome coupon deals in favor of saving face (my own) and just getting home. (In case you’re counting, that’s two more 58 pound lifts into and out of the car, and a drop kick into the house.)

Now, why don’t I go to the gym? The only reason I can think of to go is for the child care.

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