Olympics for Parents

image courtesy of Pexels

Olympians. Amazing creatures, amiright? Notice how I didn’t call them humans, because that would be doing them a disservice. I mean, what else on this planet has the strength, speed, agility, and sheer lunacy to accomplish such feats as spinning inches from the icy ground with their jugulars mere millimeters from their partners’ razor sharp skate blades? Yes, every one of those athletes deserves to be right where they are today. I whole-heartedly applaud them from the couch in between bites of popcorn, which is right where I deserve to be with my lack of strength, speed, and agility. Jury’s out on the status of my sheer lunacy.

However, I do think we parents should give ourselves more credit than we do. I mean, sure we (at least most of us) can’t do the splits while leaping a mile off the ground in order to somehow gracefully fly down a mountain, and live to tell the tale. BUT, we do have a lot of the qualities it takes to be an Olympian.

1. STRENGTH

As parents, we each wear about a thousand different hats. From cooks to nurses to jungle gyms to napkins… let’s just say we put Goorin to shame. Quite possibly the biggest hat we wear is that of SHERPA. Take, for example, the sheer amount of stuff that gets hauled into my car every morning when I drive the kids to school.

If you need a frame of reference for size, just realize that I’m actually sitting in the driver’s seat on the other side… okay, fine, I’m not. But I may as well be. I can hardly see out the passenger side window when I drive. Which is really a bummer because I love catching people in the act of singing in the car. I digress…

That pile is nothing compared to the amount of stuff that comes home after school. The snack wrappers, the memos, the artwork. Oh, heaven help us all with the school artwork.

“But, don’t you have kids with arms who are quite capable of helping you out?” You ask. Why yes, yes I do. And, don’t get me wrong — my kids do more than their fair share of carrying stuff. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from giving me these looks every time I ask them to bring in so much as a granola bar.

And yet, I still end up carrying fourteen armloads of who knows what. ​

And that’s only the stuff. Let’s not forget about the actual children that, for reasons still unbeknownst to me, don’t come out of the womb walking on their own. No matter how many videos I showed them of baby giraffes wobbling around on their stick legs right after birth, my newborns just never figured it out.

But, let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than carrying our babies around. The squishy, warm blob snuggles can’t be beat. The trial comes when you try to pick up those blasted carseats.

Image courtesy of our awesome Uncle Pat

Come on, Olympic trainers. Just try to give me a forearm exercise that can compete with that.

2. SPEED

It’s 7:47am on a Monday morning. Two of your kids are playing on the floor in their pajamas. The third is still asleep. They have to leave for school in t-minus 13 minutes. Your options are:

1. curl up in the corner with a cup of coffee and pretend none of it exists

I think it’s safe to say this is what every parent wants to do at 7:47am on a Monday morning, but we’re stronger than that, dang it! (see notes above if you’re not convinced)

2. shrug it off and let it play out in its own good time. Kumbaya and all that jazz.

Also an appealing option. Sounds very relaxing and leisurely, which are both lovely adjectives. But, this option also means that nobody will catch their ride to school. Aka, nobody leaves the house, and perpetual chaos ensues. Which is no bueno. And so, you…

​3. get your butt in gear and light the fire under every one else. You don’t need 13 minutes. It only takes you 8 minutes to wake kids up, dress them, brush hair, feed them, and why not give them a bath while you’re at it just for kicks and giggles.

The same goes for bedtime. 7:30pm rolls around, and I’m like a sergeant marching them up to their rooms. GO, GO, GO! This is not a drill! Lights out in 5 minutes! I repeat, this is not a drill. Speed, my friends. Parenting is all about speed.

3. AGILITY

If someone created an Olympic sport wherein an athlete must place those little plastic snack baggies on each of an octopus’s 8 arms, any parent who’s ever tried to dress a mobile toddler would crush it. Agility with a capital-freaking-A. ‘Nuff said.

So, see? Maybe everyday parents aren’t so different from world-class Olympians after all.* We actually do have insane amounts of strength, speed, and agility thanks to the random conditioning exercises only children can provide. And, of course, we proved our sheer lunacy the second we decided we wanted to have kids in the first place, so there’s that.

Now, if you’d like to bring me my medal, you can find me eating popcorn on my couch.

*Of course I’m only kidding. World-class Olympians are waaaaaay cooler than me. This disclaimer will hopefully save me from getting beat up by an Olympian, which actually sounds more dangerous than being attacked by a herd of lions**

**Of course I’m only kidding. A herd of lions is waaaaaay scary. This disclaimer will hopefully save me from getting attacked by one

Originally published at www.chelseaflagg.com.

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Chelsea Walker Flagg

Mama, author, singer, and lover of all things random. Not afraid to drink pickle juice straight out of the jar