Finally, a sporting event I have a shot at winning, am I right? The world seems hell bent on making mothers compete against each other like rabid cats scrapping over leftover tuna. I agree with Erica that we should come up with a fun way to codify it and maybe win some medals – and so, as we approach Rio 2016, I give you my own Mom Olympics.
The trumpets sound! The fireworks burst! It’s a beautiful day here in the open air stadium, as mothers from around the world gather in their second best yoga pants to test their strength, courage and plain old grit in some of the most grueling events the parenting world has ever known. We all stand on guard as five-time world champion mom Marge Simpson jogs into the Olympic oval carrying the iconic barbecue lighter torch strapped to her diaper bag, and the crowd chants the traditional Mom Olympics fight cheer “WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES? WHERE ARE YOUR PANTS?” With those immortal words, these great games begin!
Here are the events I propose – feel free to add your own in the comments:
Transit Feeding 800 Meters
Wearing a four-month old in a Mom Olympics committee approved baby carrier, pushing twin screaming three-year-olds in a double stroller with a lazy wheel and dragging a seven-year-old focused on his handheld video game, each mother must run 800 meters while simultaneously feeding all four children with snacks pulled from an overstuffed messenger bag. Points are awarded for overall volume of snacks distributed, and relative healthfulness of snacks consumed. Special bonus points are available for moms who can breast or bottle-feed the infant without breaking stride.
Olympic Sleep Sprints
Athletes are assigned a colicky infant, a needy preschooler, a tween with the stomach flu and a teenager out past curfew. For five nights our intrepid athletes will have no more than fifteen consecutive minutes’ sleep, totaling no more than five hours per 24-hour period. Then, they all have to take the SATs. Medals are awarded for the least destroyed cognitive impairment. (Note: this event is under legal review and may constitute a violation of international human rights treaties.)
110 Meter Playroom Hurdles
The track is littered with three hundred thousand pieces of Lego, all dumped out and semi-sorted by a group of hyperactive five-year-olds. Mothers must run the course without stepping on a single piece. Barefoot. Medics will be standing by.
Each mother is informed by a six year old that they are supposed to bring something to the bake sale that morning. The athletes have forty minutes to whip up two dozen something-or-rothers that will not make their child the laughing stock of the hockey league. Athletes may only use the remnants of the kitchen the day before grocery day. Judges will rank taste, texture, and creative use of possibly freezer burned fruit.
50 Meter Swim Coaxing
Each mother must convince a terrified four-year-old to dog paddle one length of an Olympic sized pool. Four-year-olds will be equipped with leaky water wings from the 1980s and a complete inability to cope with being in water. Scores will be adjusted to allow bonus points for convincing the child to put her face in and for not flashing breasts at the whole pool when the child inevitably pulls down the athlete’s bathing suit top in a frantic fit of flailing.
Using only a paper calendar and a smartphone with a crappy data plan, each athlete must schedule seven weeks of separate day camps for two children who refuse to attend the same camps, as well as plan and book two extended family weekend reunion getaways, three dental cleanings, four haircuts and a vet appointment. Athletes must also account for the variable shift schedules from their two part-time jobs and show all work regarding carpooling and childcare coverage for transition times. This is a timed event: the first to complete a summer schedule on budget without conflicts or accidentally leaving an eight-year-old at the science museum overnight wins.
Diaper Bag Weight Lifting
Athletes compete to dead lift a standard issue navy blue wipe-clean diaper bag filled with diapers, snacks. wipes, sippy cups, board books, and fresh onesies. Each round the bags will get heavier as the size of clothing and water bottles increases and the board books become text books. Eventually everyone collapses and insists the children carry their own packs, who look at the athletes and laugh as they add field hockey sticks and heavy metal art projects to the pack.
Every parent you know runs this event every single day and night for eighteen years.
Everyone gets a freaking gold medal.