Seven Quick Takes

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Child-Wrangling Olympics Edition

Promotions for the upcoming Summer Olympics are beginning to appear, and while some may be excited for the return of golf to the worldwide sporting events, I’ve noted the gaping chasm where parental competition should be. Let’s face it, most of us slogging through day jobs, home maintenance, and child rearing have little time or energy left for Olympic-caliber competition. Schlepping through the grocery store and scrubbing the toilet are taxing enough. Sadly, our society ignores the skills honed during those years when mothers and fathers nurture and safeguard their wily, wiry offspring on minimal sleep and some combination of coffee, wine, and adrenaline bursts. Should parenting be incorporated into the next Olympics, these are my recommended events. (This post enhanced by simultaneously listening to the Chariots of Fire theme music.)


Strip Search

Not what you’re thinking. This event involves stripping a bedwetting toddler and his/her bed. Medals to be awarded for fastest time for aforementioned stripping, cleaning, and resettling toddler and bedding – in the dark. Use of disposable wipes permitted.

toddler bed

Thomas the Tank Engine/Disney Princess mashup courtesy of a middle-of-the-night sheet change.


Vomit Capture

This event requires intimate knowledge of your child’s emetic tells. Medals awarded for preparedness, speed, and effectiveness. In other words, it all needs to be in the bucket. Bonus awarded for the ultimate sacrificial act of using your own body to prevent spillage.


Swipe and Snap

Another competition that rewards speed, this event involves changing the diaper of an (over)active 8-month old and redressing in a snap-crotch sleeper consisting of approximately 6,042 misaligned snaps on either leg. (Use of duct tape or excessive force prohibited. )


One-Handed Ninja

This event rewards skill over speed. Competitors must complete a variety of tasks with the use of only one hand. The other will be occupied by a small child, who frequently hurls its body weight in a variety of trajectories and flails at your other hand. Tasks may include: meal preparation including vegetable peeling and hot surfaces, household cleaning/maintenance, and a protracted customer service phone call that incorporates voice-activated responses. (Competitors will be disqualified for using expletives.)


Lost In Translation

Participants will be required to translate the urgent ramblings of a two-year-old. Easy peasy, you say. But wait. One-hundred percent accurate translation must be rendered amidst the following background noise: incessant whining of a female preschooler, 20 decibel explosive sound emanating from a gaming device, and ambient electronic noise (i.e., microwave timer, washing machine spin cycle, the humming of an ancient air conditioning window unit, etc.) Subject to intermittent interruption in the form of a ringing phone, the wail of an injured child, or newborn crying.



This event more than any other relies on sheer natural talent. Competitors’ biophysical markers will be monitored at all times. Medalists will successfully sleep soundly through TV/video game noise, 1-2 toddlers jumping on their back, and one wildcard disturbance to be determined at random: major weather event, elementary or middle school-aged children engaged in fisticuffs, and the ranting of a dissatisfied spouse/friend/adult family member are all being considered. Pregnant mothers are ineligible due to their extreme level of fatigue giving them an unfair advantage. Points deducted for sleeping through a true emergency involving blood, broken bones, vomit, or imminent bodily harm.


Stitches or No Stitches

Experience plays a big role in this event although diligent study may increase odds of success. Competitors must assess whether an open wound does or does not require stitches to ensure proper healing and minimal scarring. Use of hands prohibited as the patient will screech in fright and/or agony. Must make assessment amidst mitigating circumstances such as having to tote at least three other pajama-ed children to the emergency room/urgent care center, absence of assistance from other adults, and excessive blood spatter. (Medical professionals ineligible for competition.)

leg wound

My husband made the correct call on this one: stitches.

What event would you add to the Child-Wrangling Olympics?


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4 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes

  1. This is hilarious. Nothing to add, but for anyone trying to qualify for the One-Handed Ninja event, I recommend you train with the book //The One-Armed Cook//. While some of the recipes rely on expensive/convenience foods, the concepts were sanity-saving when our youngest was at “that age.”

    • Ah, yes! There’s a lot of that those early weeks. With our youngest, we still had a toddler in the room, too, so the lights stayed off unless absolutely necessary.

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