Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vulgarity vs. Miles on the Pavement

Selfishly I’d been running for myself all these years… maintaining health, keeping sane and spending less than every waking hour with my family. Oh the nerve! LOL. Though it sounds selfish, I think running keeps balance and ultimately is far from selfish.

A few nights ago, my son was being less than cooperative. This is not rare by the way, but on this specific night, he was being particularly devilish. It was time to brush his teeth. He HATES this part of the day. Not sure why. He has a really cool, battery operated toothbrush which does all the work for him. He even decorated it himself with stickers of dogs, cats, stars and cars. I don’t mind brushing my teeth, in fact I look forward to it, and so I can’t imagine why he would despise it so much. He runs away then when I catch him he kicks, screams and does everything he can to fight the inevitable. I give him the option to do it himself but every time he takes the toothbrush from me, he throws it on the floor or just holds it as if he doesn’t know what to do. I’ve tried creative ways to persuade him… “Let’s brush Mickey’s teeth too!” or “You can brush mommy’s teeth after you brush your own!” I’m not going to create a sticker chart for teeth brushing because the one for potty training barely works. OY!

So anyway, I digress… My kid was on my last nerve!! Just brush your F****ng TEETH! I screamed. He wouldn’t still. Adults won’t usually respond to vulgarity, why should a 2 year old? Finally, and this happens nightly, I pin him to the floor (sometimes with the help of Joe), strategically hold his hands down with one hand and with the toothbrush in the other, I get the job done. He will usually try to escape my hold and while doing do, move his head from side to side in frustration and scream at the top of his lungs. This actually helps my cause. His open mouth and moving head let me get in all the places a perfectly still boy wouldn’t.

Why am I telling you about this particular incident? Because I am ashamed that I told my two year old to brush his F****ng teeth. I hadn’t run that day and my energy was all pent up. At the end of a day that I haven’t run, I feel different than if I did.

Last night we went through the same rigmarole. Justin ran when I told him it was time to brush teeth and get ready for bed. Willfully, I caught him and carried him kicking and screaming into the bathroom. I offered him the chance to brush his own teeth. I told him that Special Agent Oso wouldn’t want to sleep in his bed if he had stinky teeth. He refused. I politely took him by the hand, and then strategically grabbed his other hand, situated his little body against mine and shoved that super cool toothbrush in his mouth. He hated it. I hated it.

When I was done, I set him free. 30 seconds later it was as if the ordeal never happened. We were snuggling on the couch. I apologized for having held him down to brush his teeth but explained that he is a big boy and if were to brush his own teeth, our nights would be so much more pleasant.

The fact that I dealt with last night with a touch of patience, a hint of class and a lot more maturity is because I ran yesterday, a fast 5.5. My mind was clear, my energy expended. Smoking moms would have had a cigarette after going through Justin’s fight for independence. I on the other hand already had my “fix” and was ready to conquer.

My point? Running brings a sense of calmness to my family. Not just to me, but to the whole house. Isn’t there a saying about if you keep mama happy, the house is happy? It’s true, I promise.

I encourage moms to run! If you’re not a runner, then walk, bike, yoga, kick box… Do something! It’s not selfish to want to be a happy mom. We all need an outlet!

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