Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jogger joins the blame game

As a rule, Pa avoids getting himself weighed, claiming loftily to be resisting "society's fixation with body shapes, dieting and self-absorption". But he couldn't duck the scales at a routine check-up the other day - or the verdict that he really ought to lose another 5kg.

His first measured reaction: Blame the baby.

"I was just getting into my jogging before Sonny was born," he insisted to Mum. "It's just that our schedules haven't really settled back into normalcy." Mum was unimpressed. Neither was Sonny, who wheeled his arms about dismissively.

So now Pa plans to relaunch his exercise programme, which involves an hour-long run every other day, with push-ups, pull-ups and various warm-ups thrown in. If past experience is any guide, there'll be some backsliding, but he'll eventually get up to speed. But there's a wild card this time: He's never before had a son to use as a crutch - well, an excuse - for not meeting the mark.

We've certainly known of acquaintances who've wielded their offspring to turn aside blame like fencing champs. That they don't exercise any more is only the littlest of the transgressions they lay at their children's dainty feet. Long after they should have rejuggled their schedules, they no longer keep up with world events, maintain social contacts or worked as hard at the office. It's amazing they don't hold their children responsible for leaking pipes or rotten weather.

We don't doubt that we'll be facing the pressures that come with parenting. But if we end up slackening the pace a bit, it says something not about our children but our own priorities, energy levels or powers of planning. There may be fewer hours in the day, but whatever we consider to be really worth doing can always be squeezed in, so long as we adjust and trim other expectations accordingly. To be honest, we expect to be doing exactly what these pace-slackening acquaintances have been doing - and perhaps more.

But, hopefully, we'll be clear in our minds as to just where the blame lies.


Mumsgather said...

You could always use Sonny as a weight for your bicep curls. Hahaha.

Cloudsters said...

Hmmm... and as Pa gains strength, a growing baby would be a weight that automatically gets heavier too. Not bad!