Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The thing that made me feel like a jerk yesterday, plus the cutest video ever

The kids had quite a bit of probably disorienting stimulation last weekend, including a wild rumpus on a pile of snow in a public park on a 70-degree day, and brunch at a theme-restaurant we had a gift certificate for that was supposed to look like a French farmhouse being used as a WWI U.S. Army Air Corps headquarters.  Or something.  I think the owner just happened to have some rusted out pieces of old planes and decided to build the restaurant around them.  There were also ducks outside in a camouflage net enclosure, and cheap, mediocre Bloody Marys.  So everyone was entertained.

Anyway, we've been taking it easy so far this week, staying close to home and doing familiar activities.  One of our usual outings includes a run* with the kids strapped into the amazing Chariot stroller/jogger/bike trailer/sleigh/rickshaw/palanquin, including a break around mile two for an hour or so of playground time.

After our run-and-playground session yesterday, I was trying to get the kids into the house quickly, without sweating on them too much, so they could go down for their nap.

So we're all standing on the deck as I fumble with the keys for the back door.  Butterbean goes directly after the electrical outlet on the wall next to the door, and Cobra heads in the other direction, toward the dog dishes.

I get the door unlocked, but Butterbean is positioned so that if I open the door, I trap her behind it.  Also she's playing with the outlet, which is supposedly dangerous.  As I try to pull Butterbean out of the corner, Cobra picks up Stella's food dish, holds it high, and says, "Muh, muh," which is a derivation of the English "more," and means, roughly, "Put food here!"

"Stella doesn't need any food right now, Sweetie," I tell her.  "We'll feed her later, okay?"

I wrest the bowl from her hand and hold onto her wrist.  Butterbean is now wailing at the injustice of having been separated from her beloved outlet.  Stella is trying to barge out of the partially open door so she can greet us with alternating tail-wags and fearful cringes.

"OKAY!  STELLA: BACK UP.  KIDS: COME INSIDE.  EVERYBODY: SETTLE DOWN."

In the confusion, Cobra plows into Butterbean, who falls down, bumps her arm, and redoubles the volume and intensity of her crying.  This drama, and the loss of the dog dish, causes Cobra's chin to start quivering, and tears to well up in her eyes.

Although Butterbean's tantrums are full of pyrotechnics and piercing shrieks, Cobra's quiet shuddering is more effective in terms of evoking pathos.  At least from me.  But I steel myself against the sad cuteness, and finally get the girls inside and the door closed behind us.

Cobra holds out her tiny fist in such a way that I realize she has managed to smuggle some contraband in it.

"All right," I say.  "Hand it over.  Let's go.  Let's see what you've got there."

She continues clomping forward, toward Stella, with her fist held out in front of her.

"Fork it over little missy," I say, prying her fingers open.  This engenders some snuffling and open-mouth sobbing.

Finally, I get her fist open, and see what it is that she had grabbed.

It's a lone dogfood pellet that she was trying to feed to Stella.  Of course.

"Aww, Sweetheart.  That's so nice you were thinking about your doggie," I say over the wails and sobs of the two girls.

I try to give the pellet to Stella, but by this time she's too scared from the ruckus to eat.

***

Here's a really cute video (if I do say so myslelf) where you can't imagine me being a jerk or Butterbean having a meltdown:






*Yeah, I'm running now.  And it ain't pretty.  Am I supposed to feel like I could very possibly die every single time I go for a jog?  Back in the day, they used to talk about a euphoric "runner's high," but the only altered state I've achieved feels like a panic attack during a brutal hangover.  Anyone have recommendations about books or other resources that will teach me how to run better?

36 comments:

  1. There are some good resources out there to boost your running, but honestly, it just takes time before it feels good. It took my hubby a month of running 3 miles every other day before he liked it. But now he loves it. Good luck!

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  2. So, are u dyin' to feel the burn again? It will come, give it time.. btw, the video was a sweet moment...

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  3. I know absolutely nothing about running, but ohmuhgah at the cuteness in that video. Just had to say...ADORABLE. (Can't believe I'm actually the first to mention it.) I watched it 3 times in a row...that little giggle is killin' me.

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  4. Duhr...blind much? I see KBF's comment now. Okay, so i'm the first one to GUSH about the video...

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  5. That is juuusssst reallyfuckingcute.

    As for running, maybe slow down so you can go longer? (tws...nevermind, too easy.) Are you burning out before you've gone long enough to get the high?

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  6. More re: running--I think my main problems with running are psychological. I just find it tedious. I can ride a bike all day long, and not feel like I'm dying because of all the distractions: the scenery changes quickly, there are moments of exhilaration, and you can coast to catch your breath.

    I can run for five miles and after the first block stay at the same level of exertion (near-death). And that's almost all I think about. How much it sucks. Maybe as I get in better shape, I'll be able to let my mind wander.

    Maybe losing some of the 25 pounds I've gained since I was a (mediocre) competitive cyclist will help. And maybe I should try running without the two kids in the stroller once in a while, so I can feel like a bounding gazelle.

    @Steamy--hahahaha. Also, I'm definitely burning out early; but I feel like I should be getting a second wind at some point.

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  7. I only run if there is a sale or a fire. So I can assume I will get that euphoric runners high if I come across a fire sale?

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  8. Run at a local run hangout where there are other sloggers to help rev you up. I like to pretend I'm competing. Or running from Jack Bauer. Actually, more the competing. I run on the Y track so I can pass all the old people walking with oxygen tanks. "Eat my dust, granny."

    Seriously, try having a goal to pass someone to catch them or not let another pass you. That motivates me.

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  9. @Beta D.: Whether its running or just working out.. U gotta psyche yourself into it... Think of the results: eventually every one will be watchin' u run by... U maybe even honked at ( in a good way)...Also the energy u will have to make wild passionate love to your wifey and then have another set of twins ....lol.. just kidding.....

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  10. I don't know if you ever feel good about running but you will definitely start to feel bad about NOT running...did that help?

    This is why I was never a cheerleader...no pep...too much sarcasm.

    Oh yeah...the video was adorable.

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  11. @Nari, KBF, Nicole, re: motivation.

    All those things are good motivations for me: competitiveness, results, and guilt. I totally smoked a middle-aged woman yesterday and she didn't even have a stroller! That made me feel pretty damn good.

    The motivating effect of seeing results is a little problematic for me. Every time I lose some weight or feel a little more fit, I compare myself not with the me of last month, but the me of ten years ago. Which is stupid, I know.

    The other thing that motivates me for any kind of exercise is gear. It's so shallow, I know, but it works. Just a new pair of shorts makes me more likely to go to the gym. The best thing that has happened with my running is the Nike app for my iPhone. It clocks mileage, speed, route, etc. and gives you cheesy little feedback messages recorded by celebs like Lance Armstrong and Tracy Morgan (not sure why he would inspire me to exercise, but he kind of does). Pretty simple, but incredibly effective.

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  12. It appears the girls have reached that toddler age when their mutant superpowers of speed and invisibility manifest. Which makes it much harder to keep them out of trouble.

    I don't run as often as I used to, because of how it makes me want to die and stuff. But hey -- I'm glad you're doing it.

    Very good post today, sir.

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  13. That was a cute video. Every parent is allowed a moment or two to feel like a jerk - but what you did was for their protection - imagine if it had been something terrible in her hand! You didn't do anything wrong. Keep your head up, you are an awesome dad.

    Good luck with the running.

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  14. Hey, been running marathons about three years now. My only suggestion is that you have to stick to it until it becomes routine. As soon as you have one week where you don't go as much, it's just that much harder to start it all up again.

    I know this, because i ALWAYS struggle with sticking to it.

    Generally, I feel good though, and it it worth it. Still looking for that RUNNER'S HIGH though :)

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  15. I follow your blog for 3 reasons, 1. "Blog of Note" (wouldn't have found it otherwise), 2. very funny and well written, 3. I was a stay-at-home-dad as well.

    Dude, you officially surprised me today with your factoid about having a competitive cycling history. I did not expect that.

    Mildly weird coincidences, the SAHD history, cycling history, construction background and rental property ownership, married to physician, we're about the same age, and both have 2 daughters.

    But that's it. My ex-wife dumped me just before completing her residency (I don't know if this is common), so now I'm a half-time dad.

    I founded a dad's group locally and it's still going to some degree. (without me). You could probably easily find more SAHDs from a nearby Medical school/residency program. (All of my original SAHD's wives were in medical training) Just a suggestion.

    Concerning exercise with children: if you can get a baby sitter, do it! Otherwise it's going to suck hard trying to care for kids at the same time.

    Love your blog! I'll send it to my dad friends, they'll love it too.

    PS Running sucks, but is more time efficient for fitness over cycling.

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  16. @Everybody--Thanks for all the feedback, especially about exercise. It's working already. Maybe I'll start posting about my fitness progress, just to solicit encouragement from all-o-y'all. Although that feels cheesy and self-serving.

    @Kev--I know a lot of guys my age who are doing marathons and triathlons for the first time. Kind of a positive reaction to mid-life crisis, I guess. I almost feel some pressure to compete. And training for an event is excellent motivation. But, holy crap! Marathon? I can't believe people do that. Maybe I'll do it someday before I'm too old and broken down.

    @David--Cycling is the best! I've been pulling the kids around in the bike trailer sometimes, and that's an interesting workout. Like a nonstop grinding climb.

    We have daycare at our gym, which I'm totally going to try out soon.

    I only ever competed at mountain biking, but I did some cool races, like 24 hrs of Canaan (now 24 hrs of Snowshoe) and the Wild 100, both in West Virginia. It was so much fun, except that when I started winning and moving up in the categories, I put too much pressure on myself until I didn't really enjoy it that much.

    And you have expressed exactly my feelings toward running vs. cycling--running sucks, but it's way more efficient (by which we oddly mean "inefficient" in that it burns energy faster) than riding.

    Yep--seems we have at least partially parallel lives. Sorry about the marriage--residency takes its toll on a lot of relationships.

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  17. flowers! too sweet. yeah, me and running don't mix so i can't be of any help here. but i can make one helluva a bloody mary if you're ever experiencing a brutal hangover again.

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  18. I have been cycling (unprofessionally) for about 10 years, but didn't really achieve much weight loss until I start jogging a couple of years ago. Now my weight yo-yos around a running event (in my case the City 2 Surf in Sydney).

    First half of the year, full of motivation to do well, second half of the year, I swear I'm never running again... I can't say I ever really enjoy running, but it does get less uncomfortable, and my disinclination to run reduces. Does that make sense?

    Like you, I find it boring - I think it is the cycling background. I have found that I *really* hate an out-and-back run, but a loop can maintain my interest somewhat. Running somewhere with a bit of scenery is also important.

    cheers,
    Grant.

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  19. @Inertia--Yeah, I really can't stand out-and-back ANYTHING. I was thinking about that yesterday. Don't like out-and-back runs, rides, or even hikes. I'll do whatever I can to make a loop. Luckily there are lots of good loops with interesting stuff to look at around here.

    I should at least sign up for a 10k or something.

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  20. Try riding a bike instead. Thats my only running advice.

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  21. I remember when one of our twins repeatedly ate cat food, so we put it on the back steps from the kitchen. Then, the other twin found it and started eating it. From the living room, I heard my husband scolding him: "No, NO, twin2. That' twin one's cat food." Except he used their real names, which I don't use on the internet because of Pete Townshend.

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  22. I can't watch the video right now as I am in bed, watching tv and interneting about.

    But the running thing. Nope. From where I am with it I still feel like I'm about to die. Not that I've been doing it all that long or that much lately but I do feel the death is nigh every step.

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  23. Holy Sh*t that was cute. You ever read Running Man? Or Run Rabbit Run? Those are the best two books about running that I know of. Otherwise, if it hurts, you should probably stop.

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  24. Oh, Sarah P. Don't you know that no flimsy veil of internet anonymity can keep Pete Townsend from your children. He's everywhere. But don't worry, he's only doing research for his book.

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  25. Oh man, I totally understand the domestic regrets you outline. Awesome blog. Nice to find a fellow dad-blogger. I was feeling kind of alone in the universe for a while there.

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  26. I worked for a while as a fitness instructor straight after finishing University.The best advice I could give to people was to just do enough to make you feel both comfortable and uncomfortable(if that makes sense).

    Good luck with the running plan,I would recommend swimming or cycling as being better for you as there is less stress on the joints.Swimming also is fully weight bearing and uses more muscles.However,running is an easier thing to "fit in" with a family life style I suppose.

    As for Butterbean,there is no worse feeling than going barmy at them for doing something,then seeing the evidence after of them trying to be good/kind/nice.I once shouted at Kathryn(our eldest) for waking me up at 6.30am on Sunday.She'd made me breakfast for my birthday.I felt a complete pillock to say the least.

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  27. Seriously cute video.
    The running: imagine you are being chased by a pack of wild dogs,or better yet stuff some sausages down your pockets, attracting the neighbourhood dogs (and one or two bums). That ortta keep you going.
    I, myself, hate running, but I love the treadmill at the gym.

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  28. I think you left out the part where you "foot nudge" Butterbean.

    As for running, I get the active.com e-newsletter. After awhile the advice starts to sound the same, but at least it helps me focus on improving my, um, "game." You might also try Cool Running or picking up an issue of "Runner's World" (added benefit of seeming super athletic when you conspicuously read it in public).

    -"Michelle"

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  29. The allure of wall outlets will forever remain a mystery to me.

    As will running. I mean, I do it too. But I do not like it even a little bit.

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  30. Whoa, you redlined my cuteometer, seriously. And your "jerk" story made me laugh, and think, "why, that's NOTHING!" Whoops.

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  31. I've recently returned to kickboxing after a three year hiatus so I'm quite familiar with that "Hey, you know, I think I'm dying over here!" kinda feeling.

    I'd tell you exercise is good and you should keep it up but so is a cold beer and a bag of Cheetos - it's a tough call.

    And finally, the dog pellet in that tiny toddler hand - damn you for reminding me I actually have FEELINGS and can get all MUSHY. The cuteness is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

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  32. @jacksofbuxton: It makes sense, I guess. It's just that the "uncomfortable" part is really...you know, "uncomfortable."

    @Beta Dad: That's the thing about kids. The loud ones will make you work only hard enough to not get yelled at again. The quiet ones can evoke more of an emotional reaction. Hope Stella's getting fed, though. :)

    "Mar-uh-thawwns"? What are these "mare-uh-thons" you speak of?

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  33. Cute video, bound to make you smile. I can't get into running, it just bores me silly.

    Still, I want to run a marathon just to say that I have.

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  34. 1) I am married to a man who sweats on our children all the time. I feel your pain. 2) No advice about running. I feel like someone is stabbing me in the chest every time I do it. Which is why I don't do it very often.

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