Monday, January 10, 2011

Thanks, Jimmy. I owe you one.

It's been a day. I normally don't dread Mondays now that I'm a stay-at-home-mom. Frankly, all the days kind of run together. But today was SUCH a Monday.

I rushed off to the gym  like usual in the morning with my 3-yr-old in tow, sans diaper. He's enthralled with his superhero underwear, and loves to use the toilet, but only if I tell him to use it. That's called mother-training, not potty-training, I think. *sigh*

But the staff in the child care area of my local gym are quite good at the potty routine, so he rarely has an accident there. However, today the child care area was full when I arrived.

It was 8:45am.

And they were already full. I was aghast.

It's because of those people with new year's resolutions to lose weight and exercise. They come in and take my usual spot! Oh, for it to be the end of February when all those good intentioned resolutioners have given up and gone back to eating McDonald's and watching their DVRs.

Any other day I would just have taken my little underwear-sporting son into the gymnasium and played some basketball as we wait for a spot to open for him in the child care.

But today I needed to register my two older children for basketball. It was opening day of registration, and the line was crazy long. The management of the gym looked like deer in headlights as they scrambled to help people register their kids.
I would later learn that this type of register turnout was unprecedented - they weren't prepared for such a mass of people.

Lucky for me, the big man on campus is a friend of mine and when he came out of his office to assess the situation, he came up to me to find out my story.

...Because I obviously had a look of distress on my face as I tried to maintain my spot in line while pleading with my son to 'stay by mommy.'

As I begin to tell him my plight, I don't get much beyond, "the child care is full but..." and he's giving me a reassuring look, a "hold on one second, I'll fix this" gesture and off he goes. Soon the child care area is in process of adding staff, and he's attempting to keep the masses happy by offering cups of coffee.

Someone bellows, "Where's the donuts?"

He replies, "Donuts? Good idea. I'll have those next time!"

I find myself unable to even be slightly upset with the directors and staff. They're all so good-natured and obviously taken aback by the multitudes this morning and yet bending over backwards to serve.

And then...FINALLY...I get to the counter. It's my turn! I have managed to keep my active child from putting his entire head into the nearby garbage can or running out the doors into an icy parking lot and still kept my place in line! Hooray!

But victory is fleeting.

Just as I'm giving the name of my first child to the kind staff person, my little companion says, "Mommy, I have to go potty!"

Now I am torn between "Oh, why NOW?" and "WOW! You're actually initiating this! I'm so proud of you, son!"

But I look back at the long line, look at my squirming son and turn to the registration person and in desperation cry, "We're potty-training so I HAVE to get him to the bathroom," as I dash off.

Only to get to the bathroom and hear my son say, "I'm wet."


Since this is my third child I am prepared - spare clothes are tucked in my bag. As I start to peel the soaked clothes from his body, one of the child care workers pops her head into the restroom to say, "We can take him now!"

As tempting as it was to just dump the half-naked child off on someone else, I did get him cleaned up myself and got him settled into child care.

And when I returned to the line to attempt registration consisted of...


So had I just dawdled about 30 more minutes at home this morning, I could have avoided ALL of that nonsense.


My frustrations would not be left at the gym, however.

I would return home to various messages in relation to my freelance work that only left me more frustrated. And after school when I shared the good news that I had my children registered for basketball, that news would be received with "No! I'm not playing basketball! Basketball is boring!" from my daughter. My son was overjoyed, which is the response I was hoping for from BOTH of them...but it was not to be!

I knew my daughter wasn't thrilled with the idea of playing basketball but I didn't have all the reasons why. So we talked about it.

She doesn't like crowds watching her.

She doesn't like a game with "so many rules."

And then she mumbled something about basketball being for boys...

As a former basketball player myself, that one hit a nerve.

"I played basketball! And our team was really good!"

And then I remembered...I have the tape!

I proceed to say, "After you take your shower tonight, you can watch me play basketball when I was in school."

My daughter is thrilled with watching home movies of herself as a baby, so the idea of seeing her mother in her - ahem - younger days sent her happily skipping to her bathroom to bathe!

We weren't too far into the tape (VHS - wow, I had to go out to the garage to find the ol' VCR) when my kids' own commentary began.

"Why is your hair so big and curly, Mom?"

"It's not just me! That was the style. Everyone's hair is poofy."

"You look"



"Sweetie, I was young. This is 20 years ago."

But after just one quarter: progress. My daughter was impressed and I think maybe a little excited for someday having her own basketball video.

Although it had nothing to do with the points I scored, the announcer saying my name, or a flashy uniform.


It was because of a brief pan of the camera onto the Cardinals cheering section.

Center stage. A young Jimmy Kleinsasser. Standing, cheering, whoopin' it up for his big sister's team.

I pause the tape to show them this boy who is now a professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings.

And my daughter's jaw drops and exclaims, "You mean a big-time football player was there cheering on MY mom?!"

Er, yeah. Kinda.

But I was going with it. Because it may just get her on the basketball court!

And that, after all, was my goal from the start.

Day. Redeemed.

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