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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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Pike's Peak 10K & Kids Fun Run to be held Sunday April 29, 2012

Summer Blog Day 3: Everything is a Competition

It is a scientific fact that the sound of a child moaning over the toilet will wake a mother from even the deepest of sleep.

Never big on science, my kids still shout “mommmmm” at the top of their lungs as they run to the bathroom.

Just in case.

Before I joined Drew to share his special, porcelain moment, I peeked in on Reed who was nursing a serious summer cold.

He was splayed on the bed, mouth open, out like a light.

I gave a virtual high-five to NyQuil.

Drew, however, was sweaty, miserable and wide awake. Not a tragedy given that it was 5 a.m., although it felt like the middle of the night.

Awakened by the commotion and not wanting to be left out, Mac shouted to anyone listening that his stomach had been upset earlier in the night.

Then I realized I was killing my kids; subjecting them to an agonizing, slow poisoning through healthy eating. Their bodies were in revolt.

Yet another stellar example of no good deed going unpunished.

If felt so guilty, I walked Drew back to his room determined to tuck in my 170 lb. baby. I looked like the creepy last page of the book, “Love You Forever” when the old lady mom sneaks in and cradles her adult son.

“And forever my baby you’ll be…”

Later that morning, both Drew and Reed were lounging around the family room glassy eyed and lethargic.

This my friends, was trouble with a capital ‘T.’

If you have boys, you are nodding your head right now. Thinking, “Oh yeah, she’s in for a world of hurt.”

For those that don’t, I will explain.

With boys, everything is a competition. I was going to be the unwitting host of the “I am the sickest one in the house” contest.

I knew one thing already, no matter the outcome, I was the loser.
The next few hours were torture. Drew moaned and laid on the bathroom floor. Reed sniffled and left soggy, wadded tissues on every surface. And both of them worked to gain favor through outrageous, germy displays.

But, this was not my first rodeo. This was standard daily behavior. Well, minus the germs.

Whoever touches the car first before getting in, wins.

If you are visiting, my kids will race your car on foot to the corner.

Who can eat the fastest and the most?

It goes on and on.

And it escalates when we play, say, miniature golf. Because then, I get totally sucked in. When three people–alright four if you include Mark, my husband–are trying to beat you and brag about it, your inner gladiator emerges.

At the beach, all five of us got clubs and hit the mini-links. For some unknown reason, no one wanted to keep score with the cards and Lilliputian pencil. We were going to keep track of our totals in our heads.

I mean, who were these people and how could I be related to them?

Clearly, this was a thinly veiled attempt to throw off my game by overwhelming me with math.

Fortunately, Mac saved me by tallying for both of us in a united effort to take down his dad. Reed and Drew lost interest once they saw there was no hope of winning and focused on the water features and the strange algae that was caked on them.

Mac and I were pretty even through 15 holes; consistently behind Mark by a few strokes. And then it happened.

My hole in one.

When I say it was beautiful, I am being humble. Understating it, really. It was the golf equivalent of nothing-but-net. And most importantly, it was mine.

I danced. I whooped. I sang a little song (it rhymed). I raised my club in triumph and barely stopped short of yelling “Holla!”

But, no one else moved. Their mouths formed perfect ‘o’s as they stared at me. It wasn’t just my stellar dance moves, they were shocked that mom bested them at something sporty.

Yes, even I know miniature golf cannot be called a sport.

Well, there was no dealing with me then. I had a strange grin plastered on my face, making it obvious I was replaying the moment in my head. I clapped my people on the back like real teammates would. I took over doing the math, because, come on, what can’t you add to 1??

I held my breath as we played through 18, devilishly hoping that my feat would not be challenged. And it wasn’t.

Mac and Mark grumbled about being robbed as their golf balls rimmed out again and again. Reed and Drew were unhappy at the lack of giant clown mouth to shoot the ball into on the last hole.

And I had a new scientific fact: Listening to your family moan about losing to you is more satisfying than even the deepest of sleeps.

Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.

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