Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pilates with a Toddler

"Ok, now we're going to do an exercise called 'The Swimming'. Come to the edge of your mat, lay down and stretch out your arms and legs. Suck in your belly, lift your arms and legs and begin beating them percussively."

I hear little hands and feet coming closer.

"Don't worry about how high you're getting, try to get long, from the spine!"

A giggle.

"8 more, I know it's starting to burn!"

It is at this burning point that I feel the little hands on my back pushing up to stand. I turn to face my attacker and get a slobbery smile. :-)

I don't know how mothers ever get back into shape. It could be that they don't eat peanut M&Ms for breakfast, but who's to say? When your car is in the shop, your grocery supply is getting low and your breakfast options are extremely limited, you can only eat scrambled eggs so many times. And my husband feels that in this economic climate it's important to support Mars candies. So there you go.

Here in the Hood, we've had visitors of one kind or another for the last 6 weeks, and with my parents' departure Monday morning I have tried to get back into a routine and normal life somehow. I remember a time when I was exercising several times a week and doing Pilates during naptime like it was no big deal. But that was 6 weeks ago. Yesterday and today my rapidly growing Buster Brown has been foregoing his first nap and staying awake longer. I knew this day was coming, and in fact was slightly worried when other mothers were shocked that he was 10 months old and still taking 3 naps a day. (It's amazing how other people's shock at how you do something can whip you into whatever they're doing so quickly.) My mother pointed out that at some point he had to go to high school, and he probably wouldn't be taking 3 naps then. Good point Mom. So then when he started staying awake longer yesterday and today, I was happy. He's growing up, he's a big boy. Then I realized that I would just have to do my Pilates while he was awake. (Because it's only after my morning coffee that I'm at all inclined to get on my living room floor and pretend I'm swimming.) Naturally, he thought Mama crawling around in the living room and randomly swinging her arms and legs around was a super fun game. It's a lot harder than you might think to do Pilates when someone keeps using your legs (which are supposed to be doing graceful lifts and circles and whatever) to stand up and clap.

Every once in a while I see articles online about how to exercise with your child, and use them as a weight to make you that much stronger. Clearly they're not using a child who changes his mind about which direction he wants to go every 10 seconds. Not to mention that I wouldn't last 5 minutes doing lifts with him. I like to stick with small weights when I'm forced to use them. Low weight, high rep. That's my motto. Anything to make it easier.

Well, it's 11 am now, Siah has gone down for his first nap, and I'm going to use this window of free time to attempt to clean myself up, clean my house up, and get some work done on the computer. . . we'll see how that goes.


erica said...

That is so funny! I bet he gets so excited seeing mom be silly on the floor. I guess you just have to do whatever it takes. Good for you for being proactive! Exercise makes you feel good.

rebecca said...

i love this.