Thursday, March 22, 2012

One small step for rowing; one giant leap for parentkind

Today's 5,500-meter row was a little less than ideal.  For some reason, I wasn't feeling too into it, and it didn't help that with the Little Guy on the loose "keeping me company," I couldn't even plug in The Lord of the Rings.  Oh, I SO wanted to know what was going to happen next.  (Oh, wait, I already know.  I've read the books and seen the movies multiple times.  Geek alert!  Geek alert!)

Anyway, while I appreciate LG coming down to keep me company while I row, I know he does so begrudgingly.  Seriously, the boy hates me on the ERG.  I tried to ask him why today, but his vague response of "it takes too long" smacked of lack of detail.  I may not know the whole gripe, but today at least I think I know what was getting him grumpy, and it had to do with this:

My children are completely obsessed with the Angry Bird games, and I rue the day we ever installed them on our computer.  It all started innocently enough.  Kids were talking about it at school.  It sounded kind of fun, and we thought, why not?  We don't really allow them that much computer time or TV time anyway, so what's the harm of a silly little game?  It might even teach them something about physics, what with all the trajectory elements, right?  Little did I know.  If our involvement with the game was simply limited to playing it, that would be fine.  The problem is that there is constant talk about it, too.  Angry Birds, Angry Birds, Angry Birds.  Argh!  And, just when I thought their interest might be waning, along came the promise of Angry Birds Space - weeks ago.  Completely befuddled, I have watched my kids anticipate this new game as if it were Christmas.

Well, today was the day.  We downloaded it for $4.99 - at least it's cheap - and now my kids have spent more time than advisable investigating the intricacies of zero gravity as it pertains to slingshotting a small avian through space, into the gravitational pull of micro-sized planets, all for the pleasure of bumping off pigs.  Did I mention we're vegetarian?  It all just seems so wrong.  Oh well, I am obviously alone in my misgivings.  Besides my kids, my husband and even my parents have been known to play Angry Birds.  I, like the apparent Angry Bird loser I am, am only called in when reinforcements are required and no one else is around.

So, back to today's row.  Although LG never likes me on the ERG, today I have to imagine that his displeasure had less to do with the principle of the thing and everything to do with the fact that I was imposing a no-Angry-Birds break on him.  Grouse, whine, pbbbbttttt.

I have to say, though, it wasn't all bad.  I had a load of laundry in the washer and one in the dryer, and I discovered something very important today that I had failed to realize before.  You see, we have a front loading setup that is not mounted on any stands.  To move laundry around, I have to really bend and strain and stretch to complete the task.  I do not enjoy this, and I have said it before and I will say it again - these things were NOT built for adults to use.  Ahhhhh, but that is where the "wasn't all bad" part comes in.  These machines WERE apparently built for four-year-olds to use.

While I continued to row my boat unenthusiastically down my imaginary stream today, I diverted LG from further whining about how slow I was going (and thus reinforcing the negative view I already had of my workout) by cleverly directing him through the laundry process: empty dryer, move wet clothes from washer to dryer, throw in dirty towels from basket to washer, close all doors.  Done!  The beauty of this whole thing was that LG actually enjoyed doing it.  I felt so smug.  What a win-win situation!  Next it's to get him a chair, so I can guide him through laundry detergent pouring and button pushing.  Okay, so maybe he's not ready for those steps, but a parent can dream, can't she?

So, I want to know...If you have small kids what tricks do you use to get in some exercise while they are about?

Also, don't forget the Bondi Band Giveaway, going on until March 24.  Go here for details.

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