As some point during the 4 years we worked together, one of my graduate school mentors, a woman similar to me in voluptuous shape, suddenly began to play adult indoor soccer with gusto. Why? Because of the shock of her 6-year old son declaring that she wasn’t cool because “she didn’t have a sport.”
Now that Will is 5, I am up late some nights wondering, “will my son suddenly find me uncool because I don’t have a sport?”
I’ve made extra effort to teach him how to swim in the ocean and snorkel in the surf. I’ve gone outside to throw a ball with him. I’ve danced and done yoga. But do these count as having a sport? Am I close to losing Cool Mommy points for something that doesn’t involve forcing him to eat lima beans or wiping? Because that would be terrible.
Paul and I have had many discussions about wanting to do more exercise as a family, but things (aka: the fact that we are independently renovating our 100+ year old foreclosed home for the 4th year running) tend to get in the way. In our ‘non-work’ hours, Paul works on the house and I entertain the kids. I do my best to take them to the park for exercise, but a runny nose, a need for the bathroom, my forgetting to pack snacks, or a fall over a twist tree root can bring even the best plans to a crying, whining, fussing halt. Sure, we do yoga together, more a practice in laughter than actual stretching, but we have not found our exercise-together-niche.
The battle of the bulge looms greater as the pressure for a household video game player has been mounting. Will played his first video game while visiting my brother and sister-in-law last summer, which spurred my Dad to get an Xbox so that he and Will could play when we visit them.
And Paul? Oh, my, poor Paul. When we met, Paul was a GAME GUY. He did side work as a pinball machine programmer. He collected and restored classic pinball machine and video games; games that with each move, he’s had to leave more and more of behind. In short, Paul is foaming at the mouth for a console, but knew I was completely against them, hating the idea of our kids sitting on a couch staring at a screen.
Then I learned of the Wii and in particular, the Wii Fit.
It was Melanie who turned my head. Melanie made a commitment to being more fit a few years ago and has become one of my exercise heros — and she says that the Wii Fit is a great exercise tool. She made me believe it would work for us, too. So I emailed her for Wii information last month and started to plot how I would manage a Wii for us for Christmas. I began to believe it was something that could put us all in better shape simply by making it easy for us to include fitness into our day as a family.
Then Paul caught on. First he started on the “we have no money for Christmas” route, which I ignored. Then he flat out figured my plan, which I blogged about in a huff. Finally, he sat me down to look at Quicken in detail. Yowza. We closed up our holiday wallets for the long winter.
But we still want a Wii, specifically because of the Wii Fit.
And even more than I could dream of wanting it, the other three in the household are dreaming of it.
It’s based on Leia’s plea to Obi Wan to help her fight the Empire. (I’m trying to ignore the implication that I could be the Evil Empire in this scenario.)
“Help us Magpie Kenobi,” says Will, “you’re our only hope.” I can only add to the plea that maybe, with us playing sport and fitness games as a family, I may avoid the loss of Cool Mommy points in the future.