Perhaps one of the biggest intricacies of being a mom, nonetheless a mom of multiples, is time. It just takes so much more time to do anything – leave the house, prepare a meal, clean up after said meal, run an errand…. Even a simple task, like responding to an email, requires a ridiculous myriad of steps. First you must distract children by turning on the TV, settle the impending dispute over which episode of My Little Pony to watch, fill two water cups, blow a nose, clean up a water spill…and finally 15 minutes later you can slither into the office to perform a five minute task.
Between juggling time, racing and working, it should not have surprised me that I only did one long run (12 miles) during the entire month of February. Before I had kids, I did not even categorize a 12 mile run as a “long” run.
Committed to push myself past 5Ks, I jumped at the chance to do a 12 mile weekday run, with 9 miles of tempo intervals. I cannot even remember the last time I did a tempo run. Running a little longer, and a little faster, made me feel a lot better about my running. It brought about a sense of relief that I still can double-digits at a decent pace- but it came at the expense of Masters swim – a reminder that I simply cannot do it all.
If I run as much as I want to run, I do not have time to swim. If I swim as much as I should swim, I do not have time to bike. If I bike as much as I am told to bike, I do not have time to run. And that is simply the conundrum of balancing twins and triathlons.
The only solution to this is acceptance and to appreciate everything I get to do – be it a run or a bike ride, or a picnic at the park. Or should I say train park.
Hayden seems to get scared of things very easily, if not irrationally, and the best solution thus far is placing heavy-handed in situations he will not place himself. For example, the aquarium. Initially, he was terrified – as evidenced in this family portrait:
But, shortly after being exposed against his will, we had trouble keeping him out of the fish tanks:
In an effort to employ the same strategy, David took Hayden back to the train park. Hayden freaked out, his nose started bleeding, and they returned home in red-spotted shirts. A few days later, I made the same attempt but added a new element: ice cream. My kids will do just about anything for ice cream. In fact, their love for ice cream is so overwhelming that their minds cannot process any conflicting emotions. Ice cream cannot co-exist with sadness or pain or fear. No one in line had any clue that Hayden did not want to ride the train.
I let him pick where we sat. Of course, he chose the little cage - it wasn't even guaranteed that I would fit.
But luckily I did. Barely.
Although he acknowledged he had fun, I was worried that the fear would irrational return. But the following weekend he asked to ride the train at a small carnival at the ostrich festival. This train was faster, louder, and more expensive - so I opted out. He didn't even notice.
And yes, we have an annual festival in Arizona that is focused on one of the ugliest creatures - the ostrich. I don't know how this festival came to be, or why this bird is deserving of such a thing.
At the ostrich festival, we watched ostrich races and ate an ostrich burger. Despite the ostrich's ugly appearance, this festival is quite popular so lines were long. I started to space out while waiting in line for our ostrich burger. In the background, I heard a woman gasp, "Oh my gosh! He is peeing."
I blinked my eyes.
And then my Dad, standing next to me, said, "Oh my gosh, he is peeing!"This snapped me out of my daze and I glanced down to find my son creating a yellow puddle right there in the grass. Unsure of what to do, I apologized to those surrounding us. And he must have really had to pee because it was a very long pee. And a very big puddle.
Apparently after David showed him how to pee in the backyard, Hayden assumed that the world was his toilet. This world came to crushing end. I told Hayden that he must always pee in a potty.
There is always enough time to find a potty.