Because when we don’t follow through with them – it registers in our mind as a failure. At least in my mind it does. Which is why I was kicking myself up the arse all night on New Year’s Eve when I realized the New Year’s Day “Commitment 5k” that I’d registered myself and my children for was a potential failure for the very first day of the year. I’d been watching the weather – the very cheery weather woman (just what do we call these people??) stated it would be “brrrr! a very cold New Year’s Day!!! Temps will drop to zero!”. She said it with all the enthusiasm of a woman riding a high of chocolate ecstasy Seriously, wtf is so cheery about freezing temps?? I googled ‘frostbite’ and discovered children should not be out in temps below 13 (that’s -10c which sounds downright arctic).
That began my dilemma. Forego the 5k and start off the year with a ‘failure’ or be a potentially bad parent and drag my children to the event. After telling my children that I thought we were going to have to cancel (cheers from the oldest), I changed my mind (yes, can’t have a child happy enough to cheer in this house), and we decided frostbite, blizzards, Yeti’s, whatever the world could throw at us – we were going.
7 a.m. the next morning: Oldest is dry heaving and moaning as if in the midst of his final death throes. (Insert deep breath). My greatest obstacle: obstinate children. I grabbed the other one (the more agreeable one) and we threw on enough clothes to survive a REAL apocalypse and headed to the race.
I’m not necessarily one of those over-happy people – you know the ones you secretly think of mowing over in your car while yelling, “take that you over-happy motherfucker!!”. But, I can say my daughter might be the grumpiest. There were really only 2 times during the run that I seriously thought about ditching her and her 1001 complaints.
“My foot hurts!! owowowowowowow!!”
“My legs are itchy!! Mylegsareitchy! Mylegsareitchy… I’m dying!”
“Mom!! (insert seething tone) stop doing Gangnam dance or I’m going to die!” – how can you not do that dance when they play the song?? geez.
“ohmygod I’m dying….” – which was followed by either, “my head is on fire”, “my hands are sweating”, or “I’m dying”.
I will say that there are a few tactics that work on motivating little people. Pointing out a smaller child of the same sex and saying, “Oh wow! look at her go!! I think she’s even younger than you!!”. Umm… not a good way to go. This only resulted in my own child stopping in the middle of the road, arms crossed, glaring at me and yelling, “YOU HATE ME!”. (watch for a future blog titled: when your children are smarter than you).
Oh my god. The drama…. it’s only 3.2 miles FFS.
As we approached the finish line, I looked at her and said, “We have to run. It’s the law. You have to run across the finish line”. And took off running – if she wanted to argue my point she’d have to catch me first. Amazingly, it worked brilliantly and as I reached out to tap her head in a “Yay!!” type of way, as we both cross the finish line, she turns and yells, “YOU HIT ME!!”.
Gah. Happy Fucking New Year.
It was the right thing to do – I’ll accept a challenge over a failure any day and after the race I took her out for breakfast and after she’d refueled on: hot chocolate (sugar), french toast with some amazing buttery cinnamon syrup (sugar), and bacon (food of the gods) – she was my sweet little bunny again. I even got a hug and a big thank you for taking her to the race.
So far – one day down…. 364 to go. Seize this year by the motherfucking balls and make it your bitch. That’s my motto for this year.