Operation Shelter in Place: Day 498,234
(Ok, ok. Really it’s only been 26 days.)
About an hour after all of the kids wake up in the morning, Ben and I start a daily physical fitness test. Moving around the house with all of the kids’ toys and activities spread around can be challenging and by the time nap time gets here, we feel like we have run an obstacle course.
We always watch the Olympics and are disappointed that the summer games have been postponed due to the Coronavirus. In an effort to turn those lemons into lemonade and to take advantage of our newfound workout routine, we are in the process of planning opening ceremonies for our very own Quarantine Olympic Games.
The following are the competitions and at the end of one week, winner gets a much-coveted treat – an uninterrupted 20 minutes alone in the bathroom.
Baby Gate Jumping
Already daily, we erect a sophisticated system of gates, playpens and furniture to keep the kids’ bodies out of certain parts of the house – like the dog food bowl and the dining room-turned-law office. Using these hurdles, we will race from the backdoor to his bedroom to get the screaming baby before he wakes the others from their naps.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Pro Tip: Don’t hang the toe of your shoe on the top of the gate. There’s no coming back from it. You will land on your face every time.
Toy Pick Up Squats in the Dark
No matter how hard he tries, Jack never gets all of the toys picked up before bed. There is always a toy to step on in route to the potty in the middle of the night. The more toys each of us pick up, the more points we will receive in this sport.
Skill Level: Novice
Pro Tip: If you scoot your feet across the floor instead of lifting them up when you walk, you are less likely to audibly cuss at 2 a.m. when you step on a Lego.
Stair-Climbing Toddler Chasing
Those little boogers are fast! We’ll need to keep our eye on the prize – the diapered derriere – as it precariously moves up a flight of stairs. Winner takes all by getting both kid and parent to the top bruise-free. Teach the toddler how to scoot down on her hiney as a tie-breaker.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Pro Tip: Take off your socks for maximum traction.
Double Kid Carrying
Any two-body combination of kids and/or pet will do. The fun in this sport is unpredictability. The more they squirm, the more you must engage your core. We will see whose back gives out first.
Skill Level: Proficient
Pro Tip: Just carry one at a time after bath. Two wet kids is one wet kid too many.
Washing the 2-year-old’s Hands
This one is more of a competition of opportunity. It usually begins when one does something like hop on a conference call, start frying bacon or walk away to check the mail. After about five minutes alone, when you hear silence, start searching the dangerous hotspots in the house first. The parent with the driest shirt at the end wins.
Disclaimer: Fishing the kids out of the toilet or garbage can is not for those who are easily grossed out.
Skill Level: Advance Beginner
Pro Tip: Just go ahead and brush their teeth while you are at it.
Feeding Everyone at One Time
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to feed every kid in the house and yourself at the same exact time. You will need four sets of hands, but you only have one. The parent who gets more food into the tummies and less food on the floor in 30 minutes wins.
Skill Level: Expert
Pro Tip: You just eat whatever is leftover on the kids’ plates.
Let the games begin!