Not Olympic material


Have you all seen the Proctor & Gamble advertisements where they thank the moms of famous athletes for their dedication, perseverance and sheer grit as they help their babies and toddlers become world-class athletes? I watch every single video with tears threatening to fall. My children are swimmers so I relate (rather want to relate) to that mom who wakes up at the crack of dawn, gently wakes her tiny little daughter, gets on a bus and takes her to swim practice. She sits there with love filled eyes and patient smile as her baby daughter learns to crawl in water (I either chat with other mothers or read a book or go to the gym when my children practice). Then she watches with pride and joy as her daughter, much older now, wins medals and makes her proud. In these advertisements, mothers of skaters and hockey players teach them how to skate, take them to innumerable practices, up on slopes, take care of their hurts, wipe their tears and eventually the proud moment comes – medal at Olympics. I love those ads. I feel part of a clan of mothers who dedicate their lives to the success of their children. Although I would LIKE to be one of them, in reality, I am not!

Sean wakes up at the crack of dawn to take Sahana to a 5:30 am swim practice. He, then, drives her to school, comes home, gets ready for work and then goes to work. While he does all that in the morning, I sip coffee in my comfy bathrobe, browse Facebook, look at the news and finally, lazily get ready for the day. Sean is an Olympic material dad. I am not. I have made it clear that when Sean travels, there will be no 5:30 am practices simply because I will not wake up at an ungodly hour to take anybody anywhere. But this past Sunday was different. I felt the children were not getting enough practice during the week due to my work schedule and Sean’s travel, so I had been readying myself and the children for at least four days that we will be going to 7:00 am practice on Sunday.

‘You guys make sure you sleep in on Saturday because I am taking you to practice on Sunday morning! Bright and early!’ I said on day one.

On day two, I said, ‘You know you are going to practice on Sunday morning, right? I don’t want to hear any grumblings!’

They WEREN’T grumbling. Although, I did hear a mumbled ‘That stinks’ from one of them.

I repeated something similar on day three as well – a dire declaration of ‘get your act together on Sunday morning cos we are going to practice’.

On Saturday evening, I made them get their swim bags ready by the front door. I warned them they better wake up as soon as I call them because WE ARE GOING TO THE MORNING PRACTICE ON SUNDAY MORNING!!

They casually said, ‘Yes, fine.’

I went to bed relatively early, sacrificing my reading time so I was bright and chirpy on Sunday morning. I was thinking of the mother who gently woke up her child for practice in the Proctor & Gamble advertisements. I finally felt I was contributing to their greatness in the sports arena. I wistfully smiled at the vision when they will attribute their success to their hardworking mother, who despite all, took them to practice at the crack of dawn and cheered them on as they trained.

My eyes opened the next morning, I looked at the clock – it was 7:30 am. Practice had started half an hour earlier!

My dream to be the sacrificing mother dashed to pieces as I got out of bed chuckling. Sahana woke up shortly, in a fluster. She came out of her room asking,

‘What happened?’

I said, magnanimously, ‘I decided to let you guys sleep in!’ Hey, why not make this faux pas into a generous act by a magnanimous mother? She was happy enough.

The serious swimmer, Ryan, woke up. My ploy of being magnanimous did not work with him though. That one is a work horse, he was unhappy that he did not get to go to practice.

‘I WANTED to go to practice! Why didn’t you wake meeeee?’ He whined.

I hate it when my ploys of being indulgent mother don’t work.

That same morning as I Skyped with the Olympic material father of my children, he wailed from far away land:

‘WHY ARE YOU IN YOUR BATHROBE??? Why are the children not at practice???’

I chuckled, ‘I overslept!’

And since I worked the weekend and he himself was in a far away land he was smart enough not to complain about it! I have written before, that dude is smart. He knows what’s good for him!

Long story short – if you do not see my children on the swimming block of an Olympic arena, it is not because of dearth of talent ( psssst….the older one reads my blogs, I had to write that), it is because their mama is not really the Olympic material. She does not have it what it takes 🙂 !

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