Technically, it wasn’t her first trip. I used to take her down there all the time when she was a baby and I could put her in her bouncy seat while I ran. Then when she was a little bigger, I had one of those sit in activity table thingies that would keep her busy. But I also happen to have ginourmous children who are far taller than they really should be which makes those thingies completely irrelevant, safety gates a challenge to be conquered and cribs nothing more than a laughing matter at far too early of an age. Both of my daughters use their height against me to break free of my best attempts to keep them confined wherever. I’m not one to use this phrase really ever, but in this case it totally applies: It’s so not fair.
Furthermore, Tiger Toddler was just down there yesterday with RunDad for just a few minutes as he finished up his workout while I took the Little Miss to pre-school. In fact, that’s where I got the idea to brave The Dungeon with her in the first place.
(Probably should do a quick catch up here for those of you who might be joining us for the first time, The Dungeon = my basement. I do not actually own a dungeon nor does it even really look like a dungeon. It just sort of feels that way when I’m peeking out that teeny window next to my treadmill and it’s pretty and sunny out, but I’m stuck running inside with no one else to supervise my kiddos. Well, that and it does seem to be the place all freakishly large crickets in the area go to die. I’ve never been in a dungeon, but mass abnormally sized insect death seems sort of dungeonlike if you ask me. So I’m going with it. I also got attacked once by a spider down there while I was running, but that’s completely beside the point).
ANYWAY, let’s just say today was the first time I took The Tiger down there and she was big enough to complain. But I figured if my husband could take her down there for 10 minutes no objections, with just her little booster seat, sippy cup and a smidgen of Super Why, then I figured I could squeak out 20 minutes if I added a snack, and a couple of toys. Surely, this is a logical thought process right? (please insert your positive affirmation here).
Um…not so much.
Loaded with chocolate goldfish crackers (which really just makes them chocolate fish crackers I suppose then huh?), a sippy cup of water, and Boris and Delores Tyrannosaurus (anybody know them? Hint: “Once upon a time, there was a mom…” a million pretend dollars to the first person who gets it right. " ’Cause you know I’m a giver ;-) And no Ma, you can’t play. I know you know.) we headed down to The Dungeon.
She squealed with delight and kicked her feet excitedly as I walked down the stairs. And when I strapped her in her seat with a little snack and turned on Handy Manny, she grinned and scrunched up her nose. Things were looking good, but looks can be deceiving. Here’s about how my 2 mile 20 minute run went and how Tiger Toddler passed the time:
Minutes 1-2: I’m so excited about Handy Manny in the basement. “Hee hee hee.” Oooo look a mirror! I’m going to wave to that cute baby. “Hee hee” She waved back. Grin. Giggle. Feet Kick. “Mmmmmmmm” I’ve got goldfish. (I think she ate all of one.)
Minute 3: And now I’m… “all done Mommy. All done mommy. MOMMYYYYYY. All done.” (oh no were not. You’ve got to be kidding me. 3 minutes? Eat some fish kid. Have a drink. We’re not going anywhere.)
Minute 4-6: Hmmm…these fish in the bowl feel kind of funny. I can wiggle them around with my fingers. Oh look one hopped right out of the bowl. Oh look what else I can do! “Wook Mommy! Wook” picking up handfuls, stretching her arm out and dropping them from as high as she could reach onto the tray table. (Whatever floats your boat there Tiger and keeps you occupied.)
Minute 7: Hmmm…what could be more fun than dropping them? OH YES! Throwing them! I wonder if I can hit Mommy on the treadmill. She’s pretty far away, but I’m going to grunt and give it my best shot! (Now, I’m not thrilled about this mess, but frankly I don’t care. I’m far too invested in the run now and I know it’ll buy me some more time. I’ll pick them up later. Besides she can’t actually hit me. Can she?).
Minute 8: I’m out of fish to throw. THIS MAKES ME FURIOUS! What else do I got. AH HA! Goodbye Boris and Delores! (And about this time Handy Manny ends. Great. Just friggin’ great.)
Minute 9: Wait. What happened to Handy Manny? Sobbing. “All done Mommy. All done!” (insert encouraging mom pep talk that toddler doesn’t buy here. Probably should have shut it down at this point. But did I? NOPE.)
Minute 10: Thanks for the pep talk Ma. Have a cup. (chucks it).
Minute 11: “Oh man.” I want that cup back. “Dwink! Dwink! DWINK! PEEEEEEES!” Squirming and tears.
Minute 12: The theme song to Oso comes on. There is silence. Tiger looks at me and grins and I’m pretty sure now I’m going to get to finish this run after all. (Who knew? The Special Agent truly IS O So Special.)
Minutes 13-18: Sweet delicious silence…with no squirming or flying objects (mostly because there’s none left). And I’m quite possibly floating at the thought of having this run almost complete which means both naptime AND the evening will be free. **WISTFUL SIGH**
Minute 19: She snaps out of her momentary televised distraction and remembers she’s confined to a seat and it’s not mealtime. And she’s NOT. HAVING. THAT. Complaining resumes. I sing. She’s not amused.
Minute 20: But I’m done. It’s finished. From the looks of it, I didn’t win. In fact, I got my a$$ kicked. But I don’t care. I so did win.
It might not look too awful bad, but you should know that I could not get all the fishies in the shot with my cell phone camera. There are plenty of them outside of the screen to the right of my TM way over by that golf bag and more in front of her. Swear. Turns out she’s got quite an arm. There’s also a dino missing from the shot over there on the right too. So I’m thinking it’s best to run downstairs without her for now, lest I get nailed with something from the Cretaceous period.
And the funniest part of all this? I’m still seriously thinking about resurrecting the jogging stroller this spring once the snow melts. Think she’ll be game?
P.S. Those little booster seats are awesome! Portable, dishwasher safe, and they don’t take up a lot of room like a high chair. Highly highly recommended! Eventually, you can lose the tray too and just sit them right at the table with it.