Going to the gym with more than one kid is an Olympic event.
After waking up and making breakfast for Jacob and myself, I usually spend 20 minutes trying to convince myself to go. I finally commit and check the clock. Hmm, the spin class I like starts in 1.5 hours. I have JUST ENOUGH TIME to get there.
First, I feed and change Ryan. This alone takes at least 30 minutes. While getting him dressed I remember I need an extra outfit for his diaper bag. I don't know for sure if he actually NEEDS an extra outfit each time we go or if the people in the childwatch center just like to play house and dress him like a doll. Without fail, he is always wearing a different outfit when I pick him up. I reach my hand inside the mountainous pile of clean laundry in my bedroom and pull out the first thing that feels like a baby outfit. One day I'm going to throw everyone for a loop and accidentally pack some lingerie. I can just see their faces now....
I walk to the livingroom and see Jacob in his pajamas. "Jacob. Get dressed, we're going to the Y."
I change out of my "unacceptable-for-public-viewing" yoga pants and change into my "acceptable" yoga pants. The difference between these is usually just the amount of spit up caked onto each one. Let's face it, these days, my wardrobe decisions are pretty simple: yoga pants, or yoga pants? Is it more socially acceptable to wear yoga pants when they cost $60 and are from Nordstrom? Or am I just kidding myself?
After I get dressed, I pack my workout bag. I throw in some shorts. A tank top. Clean undergarments-usually if I forget this particular item, I am ok with rewearing an old pair inside out. But today they are essential because but I totally DRAW THE LINE of using this trick after a sweaty spin class.
I come back out to the living room and see that Jacob is half naked. "Jacob, you need pants!"
"Why?" Jacob asks. "What happens if I go to the Y without pants?"
"Everyone will see you and scream, 'Hey! that guy has no pants on!'" I respond.
"But I want people to say that." He says with a grin.
I buckle Ryan into his carseat and check my bags. Dang, I forgot my towel. I run and get it. Oh and shampoo. I throw both items into my work out bag.
Jacob comes out of his room appropriately dressed.
"Go get your shoes on." I say as I search the cabinets frantically for my water bottle. I find it hiding in the most logical spot- somewhere I never would have put it.
Then I pack Ryan's diaper bag. I spend the next 10 minutes tracking down and grabbing the following items: a pre-made bottle, diapers, wipes, binky, extra bib, burpcloth, butt cream, nursing pads, nursing cover, baby sweater in case the weather changes. Hmm, I think that's everything.
"Mommy, can I bring a toy?" Jacob asks me.
"Only if you can share with the other kids." I respond, knowing full well that he will either lose the toy or that he will cry when other kids want to play with it. Jacob spends 3 minutes sorting through all his toys and selecting two very special cars, one for each hand. Finally, it looks like we're ready.
I open the door and let Jacob out ahead of me while I put my shoes on. On my way out, I grab an extra jacket for myself and Jacob. I then make my first trip to the car to load the diaper and gym bags. Then I come back for Ryan. As I walk out the door, I see a stack of baby diapers lying on the floor. Oh no! Disaster averted! I grab the diapers and carry them out to the car as I lock up behind me.
Jacob is in his carseat, kicking his legs against the passenger seat. I suddenly remember that they won't let him into the sports class if he's wearing crocs. I get Ryan into the car and run back into the house and grab Jacob's sneakers. He'll have to change when we get there because my spin class is starting soon.
I plop into the driver's seat and do a quick mental checklist. That's when I notice that my water bottle is not in it's usual compartment. UGH! I run BACK into the house and search for it frantically. There it is, on a kitchen counter. I grab it and run back outside, locking the door.
I go two steps further before it occurs to me that I should bring a sweat rag. I sweated so much during my first spin class that liquid was pouring down my forehead, running along the ridge of my nose, and pooling on the floor in front of me. I grab my keys out of my pocket, unlock the door AGAIN, and make a mad dash to grab whatever rag I can find. I get back to my car, hoping that my kids are still there.
Jacob is sitting patiently in his carseat, kicking his legs, and singing the chorus of my favorite Taylor Swift song (score one for mommy!), and Ryan is scowling from his carseat as if to say, "Are you ready YET?!"
We finally get to the Y with three minutes to spare before my class starts. Days like today, when it takes me 60 minutes to get everyone out the door for my 60 minute class, I sometimes feel like it's not worth it. But then I unload my kids and all their stuff at the Childwatch center and the most amazing feeling rushes over me. The feeling of being FREE. For the next 60 minutes, I don't have to worry about anyone else. I can focus on just myself...and the tight biker shorts on the guy riding the bike in front of me.
Before I had two kids, I never in a million years would have saw the gym as a mini-vacation. I could tell people that I go to the Y everyday because I'm training for a half marathon or working to rebuild my abs. But honestly, I go to the Y everyday so that I can have conversations with other adults --conversations that don't revolve around poop. So that, after my spin class, I can take a 20 minute shower BY MYSELF without hearing a baby cry or a toddler ask me for juice five thousand times in a row.
Basically, I go to the Y so that, for even just a short period of time, I can feel like a normal human. Even if I'm just pretending.