The evening rolls around. I have big plans.
I will cook a fresh and healthy meal. I will bathe the boys. I will engage in educational interactive play. I will read them a bedtime story. They will fall contentedly asleep.
I will then complete a productive cardio and strength-toning workout, clean and tidy the house before sitting down with a relaxing glass of zin to write a post so witty and insightful that the blog will go viral and result in a book deal.
Spoiler alert: This has never happened. This will never happen.
Because 7 p.m., a mere half-hour before the nightly bedtime battle, is the real witching hour. It is a mystical time when tiny children become exponentially more animated whereas parents are drained to a point completely devoid of enough energy to even lift their head from the floor – where they lay resting on a pillow of rainbow Duplo Legos.
Tangent: As proven by Pixar’s Monsters Inc, children have some sort of superpower enabling them to suck the energy from anyone/thing in their near vicinity. (We go through an abnormal amount of light bulbs. I pay attention – I saw what happened in that movie when Boo laughed…)
However, as the boys approach age 3 (and no matter how powerful my argument is that a brand new jar of peanut butter and HOMEMADE, albeit not by me, jam preserves count as fresh) Jon and I have decided to get ourselves back into shape.
It is time to lose the baby weight I didn’t really gain after opting to forfeit any sustained caloric intake the first trimester and abstaining from the third trimester entirely – well, moreso rearrange the weight I currently have.
Ok fine. Doc said exercise decreases anxiety/depression symptoms and generates additional energy.
Now I know what you’re thinking. This is a circular post. Because as noted at the beginning – the best laid intentions will still never happen due to the chronic existence of parental fatigue. And more importantly – when in the world can one find time to exercise without trading in precious snooze cycles of sleep.
Allow me to share with you the soon-to-be world-renowned exercise craze! (Patent pending.)
Toddler Body Sculpting System
No need to carve out time during naps or after bedtime. Tone your tushy using your toddlers!
- Jog toward toddler with cracker.
- Skip backwards, enticing toddler to give chase (2 cycles around kitchen)
- Give toddler cracker just prior to tantrum. Play peek-a-boo – waving arms/hands back and forth in front of your face – until toddler turns cracker into spit-soaked gooey glue or smashes it into a million pieces on the floor.
- Open all doors to house – including rooms toddler should not be in. Follow toddler around. (10 min)
- Quickly squat, pick up non-baby-proofed item toddler has tossed to floor. Jump back up and swiftly replace item to proper place before toddler sees you and wants it back. (~873 times during 10 min follow)
- Warily eye toddler climbing stairs. Dart up after him, safely carry back downstairs. (3 circuits)
- Bathtime! (For the tots.) Suicide sprints back and forth from the bathroom as you attempt to catch two toddlers and get them both into the bath at the same time. (3-5 back and forths, depending on how ornery toddlers are that particular evening)
- Wash toddlers morally opposed to soap.
- Rinse toddlers who have suddenly decided they are allergic to water, despite the giant tub they are presently splashing in.
- Keep core tight, abs engaged. Avoid falling into tub yourself. (For more intense workout, attempt to keep majority of water *in* the tub as opposed to the bathroom floor.)
- Pluck toddlers, who now suddenly think the bathtub is THE place to be despite earlier protestations, out of water and dry them with towel – key to this exercise is not dropping squirming/screaming kid.
- Diaper child who wants nothing to do with potty training. Hold little legs still while leaning backwards to grab diaper that was just hurled away from its intended bottom target. Avoid pee stream sure to follow in the cool naked air.
- Grab child, rock back and forth while lifting little one into the air. (~78 reps until toddler grows tired)
- Stand, squat and throw child into the air. Remember to catch.
- Deadlift tired toddler (despite wails of protest that he is not tired). Carry to bed. (1 rep per toddler)
- Mini-lifts to pick toddler up and put him back in bed (4 reps per child.)
- Wine. (2-sets)
White, chilled, to lower your core temperature.
Red for enhanced heart health.