Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

Independence Day!

This afternoon I met with a friend in Cadman Plaza park and our children played. For the first time we sat, while they played, and stayed sitting!  No chasing the toddlers, no refereeing toys, no mamas hovering. We sat and we talked and we sat and we talked, full conversations without being interrupted by either or our children. It was amazing. So amazing that we even did pushups, two sets in between talking about the challenges of feeding toddlers! They are becoming independent and we are gaining more freedom, at least to converse and do a set or two of pushups.

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Does playing trains count as exercise?

So, my son woke up from his nap and we sat for a bit as he likes to do as he wakes up, then he wanted to play train. So we started to play train about 15 minutes into playing train on the floor I realized my arms were tired!  Was it from playing train or from pushing the swing in the park? Probably both.

Mateo trains

Mateo trains

25 minutes of crawling, crab crawling, lifting my body up and over train tracks, supporting my full body weight on one arm and a knee and general maneuvaring of my body in and out of a train track, I was exhausted. Mateo’s is getting great exercise too! I collapsed on the floor to rest and put my feet up the wall and suggested that we read a book. What better way to rest is there than to sit and read?

 

Mateo stepped over me and choose a book from the bookshelf: Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton. So much for my plan to rest. Instead we pranced like a horse, scrambled with the little chicks, leaped like a frog, and promenaded by two! 

Centering


This morning as I was running by myself I had the pleasure of letting my brain run and as I was heading home I began thinking over the past week. My mom had come for a visit so she had spent a lot of time with my son giving me lots of time to “get things done.” I did get a lot done, but I also spent very little time (compared to the normal amounts of time) with Mateo. I saw him for just over 2 hours on Friday. That is nothing to a two year old and Saturday morning the effects were felt: toys were thrown, water spilt with gusto, and he refused to put a shirt on. When we asked if he wanted to go outside, he said, “No.” He knew he would be going with Grandma; Mama and Papa would be staying home. They did finally leave and we continued to “get things done.”  

This continued over the whole weekend. Mid-day Sunday Mateo had had enough. I was busy trying to clean up the lunch dishes and finish putting books back onto the bookshelves that we had moved, he began to pull all of his books off the shelves while sending sly, devilish glances toward me. He wanted my attention. 

He got it.

I had run earlier that morning but had not stretched; the yoga mat was still open on the living room rug. “Let’s go to the yoga mat,” I suggested. This was met with great enthusiasm. He loves when I stretch on the yoga mat.

We went to the yoga mat and had a bit of a role reversal: he lay down in the middle of the mat and wanted me to climb on him. I’m not heavy, but he would have been squashed if I really climbed on him. So I modified, I supported my weight in a reverse table top (like in a crab race, hands and feet on the floor hips

pressing up), Reverse Table Topbut then I lowered down on top of him so he was getting a bit squashed. Then I came up and suggested we get his stuffed monkey instead. So, his monkey climbed on him (with my assistance), then we switched and his monkey climbed on me. Then Mateo climbed on me and the cat climbed under my legs, then Mateo followed her under the tunnel of a pelvic lift. 

This physical bonding and physical play together is so important to young children. It centers them, helps them center physically with all the movement, and emotionally by being close to a parent. As parents we are the center of the lives of our children and we are where they can come back to when they need to be secure, or just to organize their busily building brain, a place where they can center themselves and be comfortable. 

So we played tunnels and it was great fun, for the stuffed monkey, the cat, the toddler, and me. And I finally did a little extra stretching and physical activity for myself.

Tips on Scootercise

Brief description of “Scootercise”:  Exercise that occurs while chasing a toddler or older child who is riding on a scooter. (My first day of scootercise occured on August 15, 2008, for a full account go to my website and click on that blog and the entry titled Scootercise.) 

1) Wear a good pair of shoes, preferably running sneakers. This is not the time to worry about fashion!

2) Bring water or know where the water fountains are located; it’s hard work chasing a scooter and the driver of the scooter will also get thirsty, eventually.

3) Be prepared to yell: “Stop,” “Slow down,” and “Wait for your Mama” are a few phrases that I use and they sometimes work.

4) Choose a path without many roadway intersections: a bike path, a running path, or a park are good locations.

5) Be prepared for bumps in the road or path: bring bandaids.

6) Remember to have fun, even when you are carrying a tired child and a scooter!

I found a running partner!

7:55 am August 2, 2008

 Today I will go for a run with a new running partner, if I can coordinate meeting with her at the correct time. I will be great if we can, for both of us. It always helps to have a partner especially when winter arrives and it’s cold and dark outside, very difficult to motivate for running and especially when I haven’t slept enough. She is a mother of two cute little girls, I think her second one is close to 6 months now. I will finish the log when I return. 

Later….

Okay, that was a hard run, too fast, and plenty long. My new running partner is very good; an endurance runner. We did a loop around Cadman Plaza running loop (which I adore, the rubberized surface is fantastic), then we headed down Middagh Street to the Promenade, and up Montague Street with a confused turn onto Clinton, to Pierrpont Street to get to Cadman Plaza West, turned onto Tillary Street, then onto the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge (I didn’t realize we were turning so there was a momentary collision of two sweaty, heavy breathing mothers as I went straight and she turned), then the difference between the two of us really became apparent as we reached the stairs going down off the Brooklyn Bridge that would allow us back into our neighborhood of Dumbo; she was ready to keep going, I was ready to call it a day. 

We called it a day and went down the stairs; I still ran the rest of the way back to Bridge Street (“ran” may be a little strong a word, “jogged slowly” is more accurate), then walked up the two flights of stairs. When I arrived home, Mateo was awake, so we said good morning, got out the yoga mat and I did a round of the sun salutation. My son decided it was time to poop, I changed the diaper and then finished the rest of the sun salutation… Okay, finished is not quite the most accurate word: 

The rounds were not consecutive, many poses became tunnels for Mateo: downward dog, plank, the step backs. Then Mateo climbed on top  of me in the middle of a round and I held plank position with him on top; 25 pounds of toddler is a great challenge for the stabilizing muscles of the torso and shoulders. I attempted Vashisthasana, but Mateo decided it was time to climb on me again.Mateo climbing

I think Vashisthasana is one of the most challenging poses to do with a two year old climbing on top, but I could really feel my oblique muscles working, more than the usual amount. Then he wandered away to play with cars and I began to prep for a headstand, which I have not done consistently since before he was born. That was when Mateo decided that I had exercised enough, “whine, whine, cry cry.”

It was time to end the session, Time to just be, no more trying to get in one more pose.  

Mateo cuddled up in my lap, resting his head on my belly. Arms wrapped around my waist.

Inhale.

Exhale. 

Rock, rock. 

Inhale. 

Exhale.

Inhale, “do you want breakfast?” 

Inhale.

“No.”

Exhale. 

Inhale.

Exhale.

Rock, rock.

Inhale, ”you just want to sit with me, right?”

“Yes.”

And so we sat.

First entry!

So, this is my new blog. I am just figuring out how this works, so bear with me while I get things up and running here.

Attempting to do pushups with 25 extra pounds of toddler.

Attempting to do pushups with 25 extra pounds of toddler.