Why I Don’t do Organized Sports

Bearded husband says I pulled a bit of a bait-and-switch on him.  He claims that when we were dating, I was sporty… and into sports…. and liked sports and stuff. He’s deluded. WE WERE DATING.

Ok, ok, I admit I was more into that stuff 15 years ago. But we clearly remember the past differently.

Him: You used to play baseball with me.

Me: I let you practice pitching with me as back catcher. It hurt. A lot.

Him: Remember how you used to play badminton?

Me: In the backyard with lots of lemonade breaks.

Him: Well, we played squash together.

Me: We were dating.

Him: You played beach volleyball for a while.

Me: Until I went home in tears, remember that part?

Him: Alright, but we would go for runs together, remember?

Me: I had a wedding dress to fit into.

Truthfully, I actually do enjoy sports, but not enough. I like to play for fun. FUN. Don’t count on me to get the winning goal or the impossible save. The only good game is one where I get to laugh. A lot. Mostly at myself.

I chat when I exercise, it’s how I know I haven’t pushed myself too hard. In between at-bats is the perfect time to catch up on the latest news. Right after the serve is a great opportunity to tell my teammate I like her shoes. Waiting for a pitch is when I do my best meal-planning. This is who I am. This is who he married.

If anything I have gotten better with sports. Now, when I go to watch a game, I bring along really good snacks and sometimes even a chair, not just a blanket. Oh, and I also bring four small spectators with me. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the effort that takes.

Sometimes I even pretend to follow along when SportsCentre is on. And not just the Top 10 stuff, the real clips and commentaries. And for each professional sport, I memorize one or two players’ names so I can act like I know what’s going on. Kirk Gibson still plays for the Tigers, right?

Maybe he’s right, though. Maybe I did pull a bait-and-switch. I baited him with a mediocre sports enthusiast and switched into the Spectator Extraordinaire. That guy always wins.

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Why Mommy Needs Wine Most Nights

Our dinner table often resembles the opening segment of “The View”, but with small interrupting boys instead of loud, interrupting women. Recently the boys were discussing good artists they know. That is to say, their teachers. The almost 4 year old does not like to be left out. What follows is his contribution to the discussion.

A4YO: Mrs. Winston draws good pictures, too.

Me: Who is Mrs. Winston?

A4YO: You know, Mrs. Winston.

Me: Who is Mrs. Winston? Is she from church?

A4YO: No. Not church.

Hubs: At preschool?

A4YO: No. (insert condescending chuckle)

Me: I’m wondering about this Mrs. Winston. Is she at the boys’ school? (sidebar to older brothers reveals no such person exists at the local public school).

A4YO: You know, Mrs. Winston.

I’m beginning to suspect this Mrs. Winston is completely made up and sad that it took me this long to figure it out.

Me: Tell me more about this Mrs. Winston.

A4YO: The one who lives with JACOB (slightly exasperated, definitely incredulous that I am unaware of the elusive Mrs. Winston).

Me: Who is Jacob?

A4YO: He lives with Mrs. Winston.

Me: I got that part, but who is Jacob?

A4YO: The one in the red shirt! (obviously)

Me: Ok, but who is this Mrs. Winston who lives with Ja—……who wants dessert?

I know when I’m beaten.

———

Sometimes you let them win, but sometimes you have truth on your side. I now offer you Example B.

We’re in the van on the way to SportChek. A4YO announces that busses are really a truck.

Me: Well, they LOOK big like a truck, but they’re not, they’re a form of transportation

A4YO: Actualleeeeey, no. They are a truck.

Me: Nope. They are a type of vehicle.

A4YO: Well, actualleeeeeey, they are a truck.

Me: You might think they are a truck, but they are a different vehicle.

A4YO: Actualleeeeeeey, they really are trucks.

Me: A truck would carry cargo or something, busses are for people. Vehicle.

A4YO: No, actualleeeeeey, you’re wrong.

Me: You think I’m wrong, but I’m right. Vehicle.

A4YO: I know, they are trucks.

Me: You can keep saying it, but it doesn’t make it true. Type of vehicle. (insert slightly hysterical sing-song voice).

A4YO: Actualleeeeey, no. You’re wrong.

Actually, I’m just going to accept that a preschooler’s mind cannot be changed. Even in the face of indisputable truth.

Le Dentiste

Every six months I get to visit the dentist for what they call a “Check Up”, but we all know it is much more than that.images-2

They start off with the chit chat. How was your day? How are the boys? Are you back to work this year? Oh, kindergarten? How nice. This is all just to put you at ease before they ask about their hidden agenda. The answer to “How many cups of coffee do you drink”  is, “Mind your own business”. 

I’m quite certain that dental teams attend a workshop in “mhmmm”. There are many different meanings behind all those little “mhmmms” and it is up to those of us on the receiving end to interpret them:

Option A: “not too bad, just a little plaque, well it has been six months”

Option B: “more tartar than I’d like to see, but it’s on those back teeth, that’s tricky”

Option C: “ok, no flossing has been happening here”

Option D: “The horror! I will be using every sharp tool I have on this tray”

We know, dental hygienists, we know.

Dentists and hygienists have also mastered the art of shaming:

“I’m sorry I have to keep going back to this spot, but there is just SO MUCH plaque.”

“Do you floss? Ever?”

“Here, hold this mirror and watch while I show you how you are supposed to floss, *dummy.”

Next comes the polishing stage which is almost the worst (fluoride rinse is the worst, and needs no further discussion). She’s polishing and rinsing and polishing and rinsing and I do my best to be a good patient, but all I can think is: “DON’T YOU SEE I AM DROWNING ON MY OWN SALIVA?! THAT SPIT SUCKER THING IS NOT A DECORATION – GET THE SPIT! GET THE SPIT!”

Okay, the worst is mostly over, but this visit I noticed a new tool. No, not the tiny instruments of torture they use for plaque removal, a Sales Tool. I’m guessing our dentist office recently bought shares in SonicCare’s parent company because as I’m getting poked, prodded, and scraped, she keeps reminding me that an electric toothbrush would considerably reduce all that plaque and make cleaning easier. When I don’t grunt agreement, she seems to find a little extra something that needs scraping on my already tender baby tooth (I still have 3 of them). Well, played, hygienist.

But the dental team is not the only one with a plan. I’m pretty wily myself (comes with being the youngest of four). You can’t just floss the night before, that’s no good. Floss once or twice a few days beforehand. Then you can truthfully say, “Well, I don’t floss EVERY day…” and trail off, just like that (take a second and practice, I’ll wait). Also, flossing a few days ahead of time will reduce the bleeding and toughen up those gums a bit. It builds stamina, trust me.

If you’re lucky and don’t have any cavities or abnormalities, don’t cheer or say “really?!” that just tips your hand. Maintain a cool veneer like you fully expected the appointment to go that way, because you are a flosser who drinks just the right amount of coffee and does not eat Sweet Tarts or Zingy Zaps before bed. Ever.

(*Dummy is said with the eyes, pay attention.)

So, what’s your deal? How often do you floss? (nevermind, no matter what, I’m going to assume you are lying).

Exercise: It’s Hard

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Exercise is hard.

That’s obvious, I know. But really, it’s hard.

Finding the time is hard. Wanting to find the time is harder.

I plan to work out, but then there is a super funny post on Facebook with these animals saying hilarious things with British accents.  Can’t pass that up, and doubtful I’ll remember to watch it later.

Ok, I’ll get out for a morning run. I’m a firm believer that you really need to have that first cup of coffee to start the day right. And you can’t run on an empty stomach, so better eat some breakfast first. The 3 year old has all his Little People set up waiting to play with me. I can’t say “no” to him. Maybe later.

Riding the bike tonight could work. Well, the things is, I really want to eat my M&Ms in peace while I instant message with people I just spoke with 3 hours earlier.  Coworker friends matter.

I’d have more time to exercise if my library book wasn’t due tomorrow. Gotta avoid those fines, I’ve already racked up quite a few.

I could just do that 20 minute DVD workout. Twenty minutes is manageable. Oh! But I need to call my sister back before she thinks I’m avoiding her. And then there’s a candy crushing game I need to play, wouldn’t want to let my fellow gamers down.

Alright, I can do a sprint around the neighbourhood right after dinner. Wait! Canadian Tire has asked me to fill out this survey and I might win an iPod. Think of the great things I could do with that iPod. It’s for the boys. Let’s think of the boys.

Exercise is important and good for me. Then again, so is quality time with my husband. I know! We could workout together! Yes! But he’s in better shape than I am. I don’t want to hold him back.

Alright, alright. Guess I just have to make the time. And I will. Tomorrow.

So, I married David Suzuki

I did not know this at the time, but I married David Suzuki.

You might be thinking, “now, wait a second. David Suzuki the 77 year old environmental activist and host of ‘The Nature of Things’? The guy with the PhD in zoology? Retired Professor of genetics?”

Ok, not him exactly, but a younger version.

Wait, before you dismiss my assertion, hear me out. There are a couple of key similarities that must be noted: They are both bearded Canadians who speak Japanese, have appeared on the CBC, and work to stop climate change.

Alright, Bearded Husband doesn’t speak Japanese. Ok, ok, he hasn’t appeared on the CBC, either. And although he doesn’t work to stop climate change, he does really care about the environment. For real. Kind of to the point of being irritating.

Agh! Yes, I admit it, sometimes being married to David Suzuki is hard. Now, some of his Suzuki-ist tendencies are acceptable and even worth doing. Recycling, composting, choosing energy saving products. I can’t say I was thrilled to get geo-thermal installed with a newborn baby in the house, but in the long run it has been well worth it. Solar panels installed on the roof 2 years later with a different newborn in the house, also bad timing, but worth it. And I was the one who suggested we go with cloth diapers.

My friends, here’s the reality of life with a David Suzuki-ist. He doesn’t like the fridge door to be left open EVER. Watch your limbs. He also doesn’t appreciate having extra lights left on so eat a lot of carrots and walk carefully after sunset. And don’t even think about running the dishwasher when it’s not off-peak time (ok, that’s more of a budget thing and an entirely different post).

But the worst part…

is…

…the…

…WAITING.

In an effort to be environmentally friendly, many purchases and decisions need to be thoroughly researched. We’re talking weeks worth of time. To buy eco-friendly paint. To replace the water softener with a salt-free alternative. To replace the chlorine filter for the pool. This is very difficult for an impulse-buyer such as myself. As a shopper, I am inclined to think, “Hey! That looks convenient – the skull and crossbones symbol is really just a friendly suggestion.”

But as much as I might joke and complain about my marriage to young David Suzuki, I appreciate how much he cares about his family and the planet, and the example he sets for our boys (and even for me). It’s worth the wait.

Gloomus the Sketchy Cat

Gloomus the Sketchy Cat

Hey. Yeah, I see you there, looking at me. What’s up?

I know I don’t live here. You’ve made your anti-pet policy perfectly clear, but you know what? I like your porch and on your porch I will stay.

About that policy. What’s wrong with a pet or two? Word in the neighbourhood is that you already have like 10 kids living here, so what’s one little cat added to the mix?

Oh, you’re “allergic”. Got it. Ever heard of antihistamines? They were made just for that ailment. Start stocking up, they’re on sale at Walmart this week.

Don’t even try using the “we can’t afford to feed a cat” excuse. Do you see how scrawny I am? I’ll just eat whatever falls on the floor. We both know your kids are messy eaters.

I know your not-so-secret fear of mice. I’m sure we can come up with a mutally beneficial arrangement.

Come on, everyone gets a little itchy now and then. YOU scratch behind your ear, but that doesn’t mean YOU have fleas. Give a cat a chance.

The bald patch on my tail is nothing to concern yourself with, and frankly, I’d rather not talk about it. Let’s just say that sometimes a cat has to take a stand and we’ll leave it at that.

What? This? Oh, this catnip isn’t mine – I’m just holding it for a friend.

Now, let’s talk accommodations…

Quality Time

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This picture could be the catalyst for one of two posts.

The first option is one where I write about how life is so busy and it’s important to let things like basic housekeeping slide sometimes in order to spend more quality time with your kids. It’s all about priorities. They are only young once, you’ll never get this time back. Really, what’s more important: a clean living room or playing Lego with your boys? We moms have to sacrifice our own pride in our homes in order to nurture these little people placed in our care.

This is not that post.

I’m going with the second option, or what I call “The Truth”.

It was Friday night, I had some shows to catch up on the PVR. Chips were consumed. M&Ms may or may not have been involved. I did a lot of socializing via my phone. It was too late to wake up the boys to get them to do it (something I intend to remedy today).

It really is all about priorities.