I always watch Monday Night Football with cynicism because parents accomplish harder feats every day, but without the glory. With all respect to the Paralympics, I propose a Parent Olympics for extreme sport fans. Let’s see that 18-year-old childless linebacker try these.
Twenty-yard dash. Athletes sit on a toilet. After hearing a baby scream, they must finish their business, wipe, pull up their pants, and run to the baby. Fastest person wins.
Diving. Athletes must get a family of six to work and school in the morning. The athlete who washes his hair, shaves, and soaps applicable body parts in the shortest time wins.
Floor exercise. Wearing faces of grim determination, athletes must navigate a supermarket for an hour with two kids. Athletes must evaluated purchases, determining if coupons are worth using and comparing price per ounce and nutritional value of all purchases while kids pester parent for Fruity Pebbles cereal. Athletes win points for remembering coupons and reusable shopping bags and lose points for feeling bad because they didn’t use them.
Swimming. Parents must keep working despite nagging kids to do homework, brush teeth, and go to bed, all while hearing “Mom” 97 times a day.
Marathon. Athletes are pregnant teachers or waitresses with older kids capable of walking and hence, creating messes. Athletes must work a ten-hour day on their feet, go home, and be chipper and energetic for existing child/ren. All contestants win gold medals.
Downhill skiing. Nursing mothers dodge obstacles throughout the day, synchronizing their lives according to babies’ feeding schedules, determining how much they can accomplish before the baby needs to feed, and ransacking their memories for places to nurse that aren’t truck-stop parking lots.
Wrestling. The winner is the athlete who navigates a double stroller through a door without handicapped access in the shortest time. Contestants must also carry a 20-pound diaper bag and a toddler screaming he’s hungry.
High jump. Athletes win points based on how high they jump after stepping on a sharp toy with bare feet.
Archery. Parents must try to hit a moving target, their budget.
Hurdles. Parents win points by determining how many requisites for children they remember. Did they remember to clean Bobby’s glasses? Vitamins and medications? Balanced meals? Lunch money? Permission slips? Tooth brushing and flossing? Double-knot shoelaces? Library books? I’m sure you could add your own hurdles.
As founder of the Parent Olympics, I set the rules. Consequently, I automatically award gold medals to all foster parents, single parents, homeless parents, and parents of kids living with disabilities.
But all the stress is worth it. Your gold medal is that your family will remember your name long after that linebacker is ink in the record books.