While our Canadian athletes are racing, jumping and swimming for gold in Rio, a different type of event is going on right at home—the Parent Summer Olympics.
Working around the clock, sacrificing their social life and resigning themselves to snacking on goldfish crackers for years, these parents are our real heroes!
Here is a list of some of the Parent Olympics’ most grueling events:
Twin Potty Training:
In this event, the parent is unable to leave the bathroom for three weeks except to do soiled laundry. Employing a variety of different tools— technology, songs, books, stickers, jelly beans and pleading—the goal for these parents is to leave the house at some point this summer without getting peed on.
Only women in their third trimester whose feet have swollen to the size of misshapen cantaloupes can compete in this event. The challenge: trying to get eight hours of sleep in the scorching heat during a power outage. Crying in the basement with wet cloths on your head results in immediate disqualification.
Eating out with a Toddler:
“Oh no, honey, you can’t have a cookie for dinner.”
“No, the salt isn’t for pouring on the table.”
“Whoops! Don’t throw the salt on the floor.”
“You don’t need a steak knife, please give that back to Daddy.”
“Honey, that is too loud. No, don’t bang the fork on the table.”
“Do you want to look at Mommy’s iPhone?”
“Why don’t you come for a walk with Daddy and let Mom eat.”
“Can you believe it, that man is staring at us rudely because our baby has been screaming and beating her head on the table for the past hour? Honestly, what is his problem?”
Perhaps the most challenging event of the games, all the children are at sleepover camp, leaving a sudden huge swath of time that needs to be filled. Going to a movie and spending two hours eating dinner works for the first night, but then what? Points are deducted for every time the parent wonders, Do my children even need me anymore? Extra points are given for parents who can manage to go one hour without obsessively checking their cell phones to see if camp called.
Are you a Parent Olympian? Share your greatest parenting challenge.
This article was originally published in July 2012.