Friday, February 13, 2009

The Torture Device

So, okay, I may have gained a few pounds.

My WiiFit never fails to point this out.

I decided that I ought to go to the gym. Yes, I totally cheated on my WiiFit. But I've started to get bored of the exercises that it offers.

So today I headed to the gym.

The gym on base is a nice one. It has rows and rows of elliptical machines and treadmills.

I imagine there is even weight room. But I don't venture back there as I'm a weakling and watching men pump iron tends to make me giggle. Because they start to grunt and it sounds like they're trying to expel a giant poo or something.

There is a room in front of the ellipticals where you can leave your children. This is where I led Natalie and she began to look wary as we entered the room. It was filled with colorful toys and a TV was blaring Noggin.

"You can stay and play in here," I said. "Mommy will be right there." I jabbed my finger in the direction of the ellipticals.

"No," Natalie instantly said and latched herself onto my leg.

I unclasped her hands and bent down to her level.

"Natalie, I don't think you understand. Your Mommy is gaining weight. Mommy needs to work out. So I just need you to play in here for twenty minutes. Just twenty minutes. Look, there's another little girl," I said, gesturing to a raven-haired child who looked to be around two. And okay, I'm not making fun, but she had a total unibrow going on which reminded me of that evil baby on The Simpsons. She looked like the type of child who had a name like Gert.

"Don't look at me!" Raven-haired-unibrow-maybe Gert suddenly shouted at me.



"Okay," I said quickly. "Maybe stay away from that one. How" I pointed to a little boy in the corner of the room who was gripping his blanket and rocking back and forth muttering, "Mom? Mom? Mom?"


Slim pickings.

In the end, Natalie became distracted by the television. Dora the Explorer came on and she got excited and started jumping up and down.

"Dora! Dora!" she shrieked.

"Dora smells," Unibrow child said knowingly.

Does she? I wouldn't know. As she's a cartoon.

But I just forced a smile, kissed Natalie on her head and rushed out to the elliptical machine.

I was a little nervous as I got onto it. It's been awhile. I think the last time I've been on one was in England, when I used to work out with Jennifer.

This one had a lot of buttons.

I pushed one and it started beeping at me.

Oh crap. Oh crap!

I pushed another button and the beeping stopped.


Then I found another button that asked me what type of workout I wanted.

"Easy," I muttered. But I pushed medium. Because I need to push myself.

Then I started moving.

And one minute into it, I was gasping for air.

Why the HELL did you choose medium? EASY you always go with EASY! You can't do MEDIUM. Are you INSANE!?

I felt like I was going to to keel over three minutes into the workout.

I didn't even hear my daughter's voice at first.

But then I came to and realized she was standing in the doorway shouting, "Mom? MOM?"

She looked horrified. She probably thought I was being tortured. Which, in fact, I was.

Natalie's voice rang through the entire room and I instantly worried that she was disturbing the other patrons working out.

There was one chick who had to be on the hard setting because she was BOOKING IT on the elliptical and wasn't even breaking a sweat. Damn.

"MOM?" Natalie said again.

I wished that she had a sweeter voice when she called for me. Instead it's an annoying like Janice-from-Friends voice.

I climbed off the elliptical and waddled over to Natalie. Yes, I waddled because my legs felt like jelly and I was worried that I was going to go face first into the floor.

"What is it?" I asked softly, knowing full well that I looked ridiculous wobbling in front of Natalie. I was sort of bent over and I imagine sweat was dropping from my brow.

"All done," Natalie informed me. Then, to prove her point, she started marching towards the exit.

"Not all done," I said, limping after her. I scooped her up and brought her back into the room.

Unibrow was glaring at us and the little boy continued to clutch at his blanket.

"I just need ten more minutes," I told Natalie. I rummaged through the pile of toys and found an Elmo guitar. "Look. It's Elmo. You LOVE Elmo."

Natalie pressed one button and then dropped it.


Okay then.

I tried to get her interested in a book.

She refused to even look at it.

So I had to give her the emergency toy.

AKA my cell phone.

I dug it out of my purse and handed it over.

"Do not let anyone else mess with this," I said seriously.

Natalie was already happily pressing the buttons. "And don't, you know, call China or anything," I added, before darting out of the room.

Back onto the elliptical I went.

Six minutes in, I longed for Natalie to come out and call me again. I needed a break! Come on kid, come out and call for MOM. Mom needs to rest.

Eight minutes in I was all, Natalie, Natalie, come out, please. Mommy can't BREATHE and would like an excuse off this thing.

When it hit ten minutes, I called it a day. I was gasping for air and I imagine my face was bright red.

I passed by the woman who was on the hard setting. She was happily going about her business and when I glanced at her machine, I saw she was FORTY FIVE minutes into it.


On hard?

Was she real? Was she part alien?

Forty five minutes? ON HARD.

I'd die.

I limped into the room to retrieve my kid.

"Natalie," I gasped out.

She was in front of the TV, watching Dora.

And I realized she was NOT holding my cell phone.

Oh crap.

"Natalie? Where is the phone?" I asked her through heavy breaths. So it came out as...""

But she wouldn't answer. Of course. Now that we were leaving, she was finally enamored with the TV.

Then I heard the familiar beeping of the numbers of my phone being pushed.

And I saw that Unibrow had it.


So I headed for her and she immediately cowered back. "GET AWAY!" she bellowed and then darted back to where the frightened boy sat.

"MY BLANKIE!" the boy suddenly screamed when Unibrow got too close. "MY BLANKIE!"

Unibrow was squatting down and continued messing with my phone.

"Sweetheart," I said in my best I'm-like-freakin'-Mary-Poppins-you-can-trust-me voice. "I need my phone back. I'm ready to go home." I gave her a wide smile and held my hand out.

She stared at me for a few seconds and I thought she was contemplating handing it over.

But no.

Instead she yelled, "NO!" and rushed over to the front of the room.

Good gracious kid. Can you not see that I'm in PAIN? Must you move so fast?

I slowly headed over to Unibrow. I felt a drop of sweat run down my cheek. Gross.

"I really need my phone back," I tried again. "I--"

"MOM-MEEEEEE!" Unibrow let loose with all her might.

And a few seconds later, guess who showed up?

Yup, that lady who was on HARD and wasn't even breaking a sweat!

She walked into the room looking as though she had just finished flipping through a magazine. Her HAIR wasn't even out of place.

"What's wrong, Ashley?" the woman sing-songed. She wasn't even GASPING for breath.

The hell?

Unibrow--er, I mean ASHLEY--shot me a death look and uttered one word: "Mean."



I just wanted what was MINE back.

That's not mean.

That's, you know, repossession.

I figured that this non-sweating mother could totally beat me up. She looked the type who did Taebo and what not. So I gave a sweet smile and explained the situation.

"Ashley, you need to give the phone back," Alien Mother said in a non-authorative voice.

So of course Ashley didn't take her seriously.

"NOOOO!" Ashley bellowed and rushed off to the back of the room.

Oh for the love of--

I didn't think I had the STRENGTH to move. So I sort of stood there stupidly and then Alien Mother realized that she ought to follow her kid. So, and I'm not kidding, in three easy strides she was beside her daughter and was saying something about making homemade zucchini bread when they got home and I guess she threatened that Ashley couldn't have any because a few minutes later, Ashley dropped the phone.

I tried not to show my distaste as Alien Mom handed my phone back. (I mean ZUCCHINI bread? What about, I don't know, chocolate CHIP bread? Who wants bread with vegetables in it?)

"Sorry," she said in a honey-laced voice and handed my phone over.

"Oh, that's okay," I lied even though I had wanted to take Ashley by her ankles and swing her around my head until she dropped my danged phone.

But, let's be honest, I wouldn't have had the strength for that anyway.


  1. Child swinging is a GREAT workout, actually! Good for the biceps! :-D

    Glad you got your phone back!

  2. OMG. You had me in tears over your description of Unibrow/Gert/Ashley. That was hilarious!


Thanks for the comment!

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