Hi all! Virginia here…voice of Swim Bike Kid. I’m having a bit of a “bad mommy” day…though I think I may have made it better this afternoon.
Today, being MLK day, is a holiday from school. So, in order to take full advantage, I planned a morning run with my two middle boys and an afternoon bike ride with both together. I told the boys about it yesterday, and they were excited. The plan was to run 4 with Will, my older son, and then to come in and run 3 miles with Darden, the younger of my two middle kids. So, around 7:00 this morning I started getting them ready. To start with, Will didn’t seem totally committed, but he never said that he didn’t want to go. When we got out to run it was cold….very cold…for South Carolina. It was about 34 degrees. Yes, I know that is balmy if you are in North Dakota, but it’s chilly for those of us with Southern thin blood. Anyhow, about ½ mile in he started complaining. By one mile he was crying. Now, you guys don’t know my sweet Will, but he can be a TAD BIT dramatic. TAD.BIT. I tried all I could to calm him down.
“Take deep breaths.”
“Let’s slow down the pace.”
“Sweetie, crying will make it harder.”
“We will cut down the distance.”
“Try not to run on the curb. Get on the flat.”
Etc., etc., etc.
Finally I agreed to cut the run to 3 miles. He complained the ENTIRE.WAY. GRRRR….. About a mile from home he wanted to walk. I wouldn’t let him. GRRRRR….
SO, I walked in and picked up Darden, the 7 year old. He was excited. Hooray! We started out on our slow run. Being 7, he runs very slowly, but he is steady and generally talks the whole way. It is really the ultimate bonding time. About a mile in it was repeat time of his brother. To be fair, it wasn’t as bad, but there was a lot of complaining. No tears….but complaining. Again, mean mommy made him keep going.
When I got home I had a lot of guilt about it all. In general, they are super active kids who like to run. It isn’t something I want to force, but at the same time, I don’t want to raise them to quit just because something is hard. I know when they are having marathon soccer practices that things are much harder than a short run, and they would never dream of complaining there. So, I’m torn. How do you raise a kid to work hard and not quit and still focus on fun? In general, I let them drive the boat and choose the exercise, but I don’t believe in letting them quit just because a run, bike, swim, or anything else is hard at that moment. It is really a frustration to me. It makes me feel like a bad mommy.
I think I redeemed myself this afternoon. I just got in from a bike ride with both. They could bike all day, so they NEVER complain doing that. It’s funny because I remember that feeling so well. I remember the sheer joy of riding down a hill, turning a corner, monstering (or trying to) up a steep incline and then jumping off of my bike to push the bike up. Biking as a kid is really a feeling of freedom. I enjoy being a part of that. They don’t actually realize that they are working, but they are. At the moment, they seem to have forgotten the cruelty of the morning run because now they are out running around in the back yard. Wow….childhood…awesome! Good thing they don’t seem to hold a grudge!