Tuesday, October 30, 2012
There wouldn't be any events like "Driving While Quizzing Kids on Spelling Words from Written List and Distributing Eggos and Bananas to Backseat Riders". That's a gimme. You couldn't really consider yourself a contestant if you weren't performing tasks like these routinely. It would be like saying the first Track & Field event is to see who is able to tie their running shoes.
Do the eggos have butter on them that could drip on school uniforms? Is the Mom aware that there is a speedtrap on the corner where she must turn to school? What about the brief "Did not!" "You did so!" "Nuh uh!" "Yeah huh!!" coup from the backseat that threatened to derail the whole event? Oh, and is the runner aware she must lift her knees in order to run? Please.
No no. A event in this of Olympic category would be something like "Pushing Costco Shopping Cart Containing 8 Flats of Drinks Plus Snacks, Weighing Approximately 250 lbs, through Crowded Parking Lot, While Holding a Hot Dog and Diet Coke with One Hand, Wearing a Skirt and It Has Suddenly Become Very Windy". Now that's an event. Competitors are encouraged to wear attractive yet modest underclothes for this particular challenge in case things don't go as planned.
"Well, she's making it hard on herself", you might say. "Why would she be carrying a hot dog?" The obvious answer is that it is 2:30 and there hasn't been time for lunch and she goes directly from here to school and from school to piano lessons. It's a hot dog now or nothing. "Surely she doesn't need a Diet Coke", you might say. "That's making the whole thing much harder." I'm not sure I can even dignify that with a response, but how exactly do you expect anything to occur for the rest of the day if she doesn't have a Diet Coke?! Huh?!! We don't have time here to go into the most basic chemisty and physiology of Mom-ism, but take it from me, it's like asking why a cyclist uses round wheels instead of square. It's a non-question.
So I'm thinking an event like this Costco walking-lunch gusty-wind-skirt challenge would serve as a qualifying event. Narrowing the field for the more challenging events to come. Like this one. Let's call it....hmmm...My Friday. Drop kids off at school on time, make it across town to work by 8:30. Teach EKG class until 12:30. Drive to car dealership to exchange loaner for repaired car. Eat lunch while driving. Exchange car in 20 minutes or less. Arrive at school in costume to run 2 classroom Halloween parties simultaneously. Clean up, head outside to Harvest Fair to volunteer at Pumpkin Patch. Leave by 5 pm to make it to swim team practice. Home, dinner, lie on floor.
It might not sound THAT hard. But the professional will see the what's written between the lines. "The EKG class is supposed to go till 3. What will you tell their directors?" This is where negotiating comes into play. "The car dealership is never going to get you out of there in 20 minutes." You have to MAKE them be done in 20 minutes. There is no alternative. "But the Mom can't BE in 2 different classrooms at the same time?" That's assuming she must play by the laws of physics as you know them. Never assume.
For a true fan of the sport, the art of Mom-ism is logistics. Hah!! You thought I was going to say "love" or something sappy like that didn't you? Reality check: logistics. FIRST of all, there's no going home between 7:30am and 7:00 pm. That means packing the night before like you are a Sherpa on an Everest Expedition. Work materials for EKG class. 2 class parties? About 10 bags/ 100 lbs of junk. Divided, labeled, ready to go. Swim bags packed so kids can change in the car on the way. Assume you'll have a headache and make sure you know where your Diet Coke is coming from. AND it means teaching your professional class in a witch costumes. There just isn't time to change. If you are a pro...you'll go there.
I am sad to report that I came in 5th in this particular event which did not allow me to move on to the next tier. I did not figure out how to be physically present in 2 classrooms simultaneously, although I gave it the old college try. And.....well....we totally missed swim practice. Instead I decided to sit in the grass eating a caramel apple watching my kids run around like maniacs with their friends in a state of sugar induced mania. It was a lot more fun than swim practice. So I got knocked out of the competition. Temporarily. But there is always next year. Or more likely, next week.