I’ve never been too impressed by the Olympic games. I believe there are far more impressive performances occurring every day by women who run a home and raise a family. I’d like to see our Olympic athletes compete in the following events:
The Grocery Store Marathon
In 45 minutes, you must steer a grocery cart with three wayward wheels, an 11-month-old baby and a 3-year-old toddler through the 18 aisles of a major grocery store chain without destroying a single display, bringing injury to innocent shoppers or purchasing a single toy. You must arrive at the check-out with all snacks and junk food unopened and both children contented. This event is impossible, but you must give mothers a pat on the back for continuing to try it.
The Birthday Decathlon
In this event you must host a children’s birthday party unassisted. You invite 11 children; 15 arrive with eight mothers who want to stay and watch you make a fool of yourself. You must find three games to play at which all of the children can win prizes. Five minutes after the party begins, 12 children want a drink of punch and all 15 want to go to the bathroom. You serve refreshments. No one likes the cake. They all want to eat the candles, which the guest of honor has already eaten. One mother remarks how lucky you are that your carpet and the ice cream are the same color. To win this event, everyone must still be speaking when they leave your house and the damages must be under $500. Tough, but there have been a few reported winners.
The Carpool Relays
In this event the contestant is given a mini-van full of children, a grocery list, a dog who has a weak bladder and five errands which must be completed by midnight or before the ice cream melts, whichever comes first.
Begin this event by dropping off John and Todd at soccer practice; don’t forget to remind them to wear shin guards and mouthpieces. Next drive to ballet and drop off Julie and Jill. Before you drop off Heather at piano lessons, whip into the bank and cash a check. If you tell the teller to hold the starch or the mustard, you lose 10 points.
Next, hit the laundry and trade dirty for clean. Stop at the vet and leave the dog to be wormed; reassure him you will be back. Zip into the grocery store as you only have 15 minutes until the first crew must be retrieved. You may not use a skateboard or roller skates as the management frowns on such practices.
If a friend wants to stop and chat, wave and shout, “I’ve got to hurry home, Oprah is coming for dinner.” They will be temporarily paralyzed. Avoid the quick check-out register where 12 people will line up with only one item each and try to pay for them with traveler’s checks from foreign banks. Earn 10 extra points if your bagger doesn’t pile everything on top of your bread.
Retrace your route. Make sure the children are wearing the same clothes they left in to avoid scenes like, “These aren’t her shoes. Where did they come from?” No one ever cares that you managed to bring home the right child. Arrive home, prepare gourmet meal, then have a nervous breakdown. Now that’s worth a gold medal!
Happy Mother’s Day!