I may have gotten a little smug about my ability to fit exercise into my busy schedule. As you might recall, I have always been a bit of a fitness freak, even if it meant doing ’80s-style prenatal workouts or making a spectacle of myself as the only pregnant person in my yoga class.
When Miles was born, I signed us up for Mommy & me yoga and then Stroller Strides. Also, my husband was getting home from work by 6 p.m. every night so I could go to the gym. And then … it all sort of fell apart. Which may explain how I found myself in my living room one afternoon hoisting large cans of garbanzo beans with my toddler attached to my leg. But first, let me back up.
Strapping the baby into the stroller for a jog around the park was all well and good when he was immobile. When we first started Stroller Strides, Miles was content to just take in the scenery and gaze at the other kids. Now, not so much. First, he’s one of the oldest now. Second, he can see the playground from the jogging path and would much rather be there than in the stroller. Third, he is bigger and stronger and more obstinate, which explains how he was able to tip himself and the entire stroller over one day. There I was, doing my step-ups on the bleachers and I look over to see my kid toppled over, legs flailing. He wasn’t hurt, just a little dazed. And probably pretty proud of himself, the little stinker. That was the end of class for us that day.
Next, I tried taking him to the gym with me. He doesn’t seem to mind the day care as long as there are other kids to distract him. However, he has the uncanny ability to time his dirty diaper for smack-dab in the middle of my workout. So the whole time I’m on the treadmill, I’m cringing, waiting for those inevitable words over the loud speaker: “Miles’ mom, you’re needed in childcare.” Sure enough, he’s set off a stink bomb. When he sees me, he immediately gets excited that we’re going home. So there goes my workout.
Finally, in desperation, I turned to Gilad. You know, the curly-haired, pumped-up “Bodies in Motion” guy? He’s got a show on FitTV. He and a group of other oiled-up, spandex-clad buff people lead a full-body workout on a picturesque bluff in Hawaii. Then there’s me in my toy-cluttered living room wearing an old T-shirt and using 2-lb. cans of beans for weights. Almost as glamorous, right?
Miles finds this fascinating for about 5 minutes. He even tries his own version of jumping jacks, though he can’t quite get his arms and legs to move at the same time. Then he gets bored and starts whining to watch “Finding Nemo.” When I ignore his pleas, he attaches himself to my leg. Sure, an extra 31 lbs. makes the leg-lifts more challenging, but I fear I will be lopsided since I can’t get him to switch legs. The cat stretch turns into a game of horsey. Guess who’s the horse?
I give up. Sure, I could try again during nap time, but that would cut into my blog-reading and cleaning-avoidance time. And you know what? I’m not even sure flat abs are worth it. I’d much rather take a nap and throw on an empire-waist top. Maybe I’ll drag myself back to yoga. At least that doesn’t require garbanzo beans.