One of my happiest memories of our early marriage is holing up in the bedroom of our first apartment watching the Olympics. We channeled in The Games by carefully positioning the rabbit ears “just so”. As long as we didn’t move or breathe too emphatically, NBC came streaming in with only a teensy bit of black and white static, and we were in our biennial viewing glory.
Ah…the good old days… While we’ve now gotten ourselves all cabled up with far clearer reception, we’ve hit another glitch: CHILDREN. While the little loves are adorable, they have absolutely no interest in The Olympics. I know, ghastly incomprehensible.
For several days upon realizing this, I panicked that they weren’t actually my children, that the hospital had sent me home with the wrong set. It didn’t feel like this vein of thought was an over-reaction.
I’ve semi-calmed myself with the very likely possibility given their young age, there may still be more blissful co-viewing in our future. But I won’t lie; this serious stuff, people. I’ve never lived with a non-fellow Olympic psycho, and it’s a jarring shock to my aged 34 yr. old self. Colossal blow.
What’s a super fan to do? Hold my paper bag and pat my hand while I hyperventilate in the background, and I’ll fill you in on our game plan. Obviously, there are the usual bribes, retreating to individual electronic devices, and the old school move of trying to teach your kids something classy, like sharing the TV. But, this is The Olympics, so it’s time to get creative, people.
Play the athletic attire to your favor. Shamelessly. The figure skaters? Clearly princesses dancing on ice in those pretty dresses. And who says the skiers can’t be superheroes racing to someone’s rescue in their tight suits and fancy helmets? Use the cards you have.
Fall in love with the short events. The biathlon and the long program in pairs figure skating? They’ll be there in 20 yrs. Trust me. Does the biathlon ever go anywhere?? For now, get your short track on and time the diaper changes around the sprints. You’ve got this.
Bed time? Entirely negotiable. Let’s be real. You’ve now been snowed in with your cherubs for weeks on end anyway. What can they possible need to do with another hour to their evening? Bathe ’em up, read those night-night stories, and stash them in those beds.
Sure, as they get older, you can try to explain the sports and have them try to actually follow, but we’re working with a 2 yr. old and 4 yr. old. I have better luck with, “See who can guess the winner!”. Lollipop prizes are never a bad thing?
If you’re a die-hard, true story: the 3am broadcasting? NBC might actually not be that crazy. Maybe, just maybe, the programming execs are parents themselves?
Bottom line: the world is on the line here. Step aside, kiddos, Mommy and Daddy are needed to contribute to the global spirit of camaraderie. We all have to make sacrifices. It’s The Olympics.