Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Off Balance

I used to be somewhat of an expert at balance.

Back in the day and under the instruction of a very tyrannical particular gymnastics coach, my teammates and I would mount the balance beam with the intent of executing an entire routine to his satisfaction.  Not only would he furiously take notes in his head, but he also subscribed to the theory that distraction in any form during practice would improve one's performance during competition.  Anything from turning on a song that he knew you hated really loud, to (even worse) making the entire gym turn to watch you in dead silence, or his favorite-throwing bean bags your way as you desperately tried to stay on a four inch wide apparatus.  His purpose was to create a competitor who was unflappable in any situation and as much as I may have disliked it at the time (I had a hard time with the bean bag thing), I think he enjoyed a great amount of success with his technique.

Reflecting on the activities of the past week, I find it interesting that as adept as I used to be, literally and figuratively, balance still takes practice.

Even though I retired eons ago, beginning on Monday and ending on Friday, I felt like my coach was lurking in the shadows somewhere, chucking bean bags at me.  Some were small, some were large, but by the end of the week, my wobbles had turned into crashes and my routine was shot.  Coach would have been disappointed, each incident just left me more and more flustered.  For the most part, these episodes were not that earth shattering.  Aside from the trip to the ER (everyone is fine, but this beanbag was large and seemed to hit me smack dab in the face), they were in fact as harmless as a bean bag.  The addition of swim lessons to our schedule, a slight change in nap time,  Daddy O coming home later from work a couple of nights... but by the time Friday afternoon came around and Daddy O arrived home, I threw in the towel, handed over the kiddos, locked the bedroom door and proceeded to take a long hot bath and watch re-runs of a completely awful reality show.  Ahhhhhhh.....peace at last.

It certainly wasn't my best week since becoming a mom, but I learned several things.  Among them: 1)  Never underestimate the power of an additional activity, and more importantly, 2) Never mess with nap time.  Case in point-attending Boy O's story hour at the library after swimming lessons (sans nap for Baby O), I followed Baby O around the library, realizing that he bore a striking resemblance to Beevis during a great cornholio episode after consuming large amounts of sugar/caffeine. 

One week later, same schedule, and a different attitude altogether.  I'm prepared, focused, and of course not messing with nap time.  So, go ahead coach-throw all the bean bags you want.  I'm ready. 

P.S.  To my coach whom I have a deep respect for and remember quite fondly despite what folks might take away from this brief description: Who woulda thunk that some 17 years later, hurling small objects at me might parlay a much deeper significance to your pupil than a balance beam routine?


  1. hm, do you have a TV in the bathroom? That sounds really cool. Anyways, wow, what a week for you. Glad your hubby was able to finally take them off you. It is really true. Children strive from structure and routines. Some of my kids come undone when its not going the normal way. You are doing a great job, super mami!

  2. It does sound like that doesn't it?! No TV in the bathroom, I just took a bath, then watched TV from my comfy bed!