Running after a toddler all day long is actually good exercise. I’ve come up with a list of how Nicky keeps me in shape, and I’m not even including the Tuesday afternoon walk where I push him around in a stroller. In fact the ways that he keeps me active are never ending.
1) Weight Lifting
Anyone who has a young child will know there are frequent clingy moments when you have to hold them or else the crying / tantruming will not stop. I have made entire meals with Nicky on my hip, although now I’ve cottoned on to actually putting him on the surface where I am working so he can watch me chop vegetables. Every time you have to cross a busy road: up he goes.
There was one time that Nicky used to drive his bike around the garden until he got to the gate separating the front and back gardens. He would stand there grunting until I lifted him over. You might ask why I didn’t just undo the plastic string keeping the thing closed, but it would be such a mission to keep on doing that, and the chances of me forgetting and the dogs getting out was so on top of my mind, that I chose the heavy lifting instead. Even more fun was walking all the way around to meet him on the other side.
2) Constant back and forth of miscellaneous help all day long.
There you are are. Busy cooking, doing dishes or tying to sneak a task on the computer. Next thing you know there is that demanding grunt again. This grunt normally means one of the following:
-I can’t reach my car.
-I dropped my car(s) behind the couch / bed / other big object and I need you to move it so that I can get it.
-I’m stuck on the IPad/ phone.
-I need a biscuit. I only want a biscuit. No healthy fruit. Only biscuits will do.
etc etc etc
3. Resistance training:
Pushing a two year old around in a stroller can work those muscles. But another one of those demanding grunts next to his push tricycle means “Push me around in this thing until you can’t anymore.” If you have been dumb enough to leave the stroller around without packing it away you run the risk of him asking to be pushed around in that too. Yesterday evening I pushed him in his tricycle for half an hour before his bed time around the house. I counted those minutes down.
Other than cars, Nicky really loves balls. Yesterday afternoon we kicked a ball back and forth for about an hour. He still takes a great deal of effort to place the ball in the perfect spot, do the deep concentrating breathing and then kick. He insists that I stand in a certain spot to kick back to him. I do sit sometimes too, though.
This is why I’m so happy when bedtime comes around. I love my child to bits and pieces, but he sure gives me a workout. At last: time for myself and time to crash.
If you are a parent of a toddler you need to give yourself a congratulatory high five for being constantly on call to the grunts and pointing this involves. To the demands to kick and push balls and tricycles. For the lifting of little bodies. To climb and reach the toy that has been thrown in the highest and most difficult of places.
Exercise? Forget it.
I’ve already got my hands full.