"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running Away from Big Girl Panties

I signed Princess up for Girls on the Run this year. Other activities I've tried with her have come to bad ends. With sports, she wants to do certain parts (being goalie, throwing in the ball, batting), but not the rest. She simply won't participate in 90% of said sport. She took tap. She was good. I mean good. But there was one girl who was better. So Princess quit. And by "quit," what I mean is, "started raging on the way home from school so she couldn't physically be forced into a leotard and transported to class."

But I saw her face when well-meaning people would ask all the kids what kinds of things they do and everyone would answer and Princess would say, "nothing."

This year she was old enough for Girls on the Run. It's a perfect program for her. It's as non-competitive as humanly possible with actual humans participating. It has all the girlie-girl stuff Princess loves. It would provide some level of physical activity for her. I would run the 5k with her: something we'd both enjoy! She would get a t-shirt and a medal. And, best if all, she wouldn't be able to use the same method of quitting, because she's bussed directly from one school to another.

Backing up to running the 5k.

I started noticing that whatever time I came to pick up Princess, she was standing around while other girls were running or walking the track. She wasn't the only girl standing around, but it was always. I spoke to her coach, and she said that Princess has very little endurance, but she's participating and doing fine. Ok.

This morning. This morning Josh discovered last minute that Princess had not done something she really, truly needed to do before leaving for school. Not a negotiable in any sense of the word. This event came on the tail of Princess being reminded to do several things she always needs to do, and having to stop something she wanted to do more to go fix it. Things were not pleasant as they were.

The other children and I had to leave to walk to the bus stop, so I asked Josh to make sure Princess ran to catch up with us. She ran until she was far enough from the house that she could pretend she didn't hear Josh anymore, and then she walked. She was closer to me than Josh by then, so I reminded her she needed to run, and if I got to her first, things weren't going to be pretty.

I got to her first.

It wasn't pretty.

I put my hand around her shoulders, grabbed a fistfull of sweatshirt, and started to jog. Slower than I actually run, which is very, extremely slow. Slower than I walk, in fact. We "ran" for 200 feet. The entire 200 feet, Princess screamed and wailed and gasped about how she couldn't breathe and how I was killing her.

Two hundred feet.

Divorce rates for regular people are through the roof. Divorce rates for parents of special needs kids, well, it could be interpreted as "why-even-bother percent." I read somewhere (to be honest, probably Reader's Digest- the foremost leader in bathroom information and bizarre jokes about dogs) that the best predictor of special-needs-parent-marriage-success is a very, very dark sense of humor.

Enter: why I think there's a darn good chance we'll beat the odds.

I came home from the bus stop, like I often do, disgusted and demoralized. I told Josh I was calling Princess's coach and pulling her from the 5k. That there was no point if she couldn't jog 200 feet without dying. He had a look.

What? You don't agree with me.
Maybe you should run it by her coach.
Why? She clearly can't do it. She hasn't even been training.
It can be walked.
Oh sure! Yeah. Three hours with Princess either moaning and complaining, yelling at me, or trying to get away from me. Yeah. That'll be fun.
It's three hours you'd be with her.
Put on your Big Girl Panties.
No! They're ugly!
I think they're beautiful.
Well you're wrong. They're hideous. They're the granny kind. The go up past my belly button, and they billow, and the elastic is overworn, and they're yellowed with weird stains.

That's only because you have to carry so much sh!t around in them.

Yeah. I think we might make it.


  1. I honestly think our daughters could be sisters...

    She has "asthma attacks" over physical exertion that she is asked to do but doesn't seem to have that problem when she is wailing the dickens out of me, others, the house or herself. Also, she doesn't have a diagnosis of asthma, it occurs as needed. ;)

  2. Dark humor!! Great!! Don't take her out of Girls on the Run. Don't talk about how she is training. At least right now she is doing something. Do the "sweatshirt hold run" whenever reasonably possible!
    Will she run with you for any part of your training? (Not that I run, but I've heard that people train for runs)
    Idea: take Princess to various tap classes as if you are thinking about trying that again. Perhaps she will see that there is ALWAYS someone better in every class, but each person is learning for their own body experience.

  3. @Lucy- Let's make sure they never meet. :)