|Oscar knows best.
I’m pretty good at being consistent with my kid. Except for when I’m not which, when I really think about it, is a lot of the time. Case in point:
“Mommy! Jack says he won’t play with me any more!”
“That’s a bummer. What happened right before Jack said he wouldn’t play with you any more?”
“Um, Let’s not focus on that right now…”
“Okay, baby. Come here. Look at me. It’s important that we tell the truth. We need all the information so we can problem solve this situation. What happened right before Jack didn’t want to play with you?”
“That’s not what we do, baby. Go apologize to Jack right now. We don’t push. And we tell the truth.”
I must have done a good Wrath of God face because my four year old runs back towards the playground. “JAAAACCCCK! I’m not going to push! And I’m gonna tell the truth!”
I cross my fingers and attempt to rejoin the conversation with a knot of summer camp parents. The topic has shifted from birthday party venues to booty boot camp.
“Seriously, it’s amazing,” says the svelte, intense woman to my left. “I get up at 5.30a every weekday, do the class for 90 minutes, come home and shower, and I have so much energy!”
She’s greeted by a chorus of, “Wow! That sounds fantastic! You look great!” “That’s the one where they have garbage bins out in case you vomit, right? I’ve always wanted to try that!” “Does the gym have childcare?” “We should all go together!” And people actually start to make plans.
“What about you? What do you think?” They all look at me. My stoney silence has apparently failed to act as a cloaking device. I swear there’s a friend of a friend to my right eyeing my waistline to see if I’ve selected an A-line dress to hide a muffin top. Which I have. But still. Rude.
Obviously, like the rest of the planet, I understand that exercise is good for you which is why I begrudgingly engage in 30 minutes of it, 4 times a week and occasionally take up running in the laziest possible fashion. I get that that’s more like a half-assed effort not to become like the hover chair Big Gulp people in Wall-E than it is fully embracing the possibilities for awesomeness inherent in the human body. But, honestly, this is my relationship with exercise right now and I’m okay with that. The fact that no vomit is involved is just a bonus. But I don’t want to get into that with them.
“I’m a night owl.” This is true. So I’m not technically lying. Though I am sidestepping the crux of the issue.
“Oh come on, it would be good for you!”
“I’m sure it would.” My daughter and the rest of the kids are standing next to us now, demanding snack.
“And actually I think they do have a later class. Like at 7p, maybe?”
Dammit. Really? “Oh. Ok.”
“Maybe we can get a whole group together to check out the evening class. That could be fun, right?”
“I’ll email you.”
“Great.” Look, lady. I appreciate you being friendly but I feel the same way about my gym rat friends’ devotion to physical fitness as I do about my nerdy friends’ devotion to going to Comic Con in costume. I’m really happy this brings you so much joy and I’m impressed by your dedication. But I’m good over here on my couch watching Dr. Who on iTunes. No, I will not be going to booty boot camp. Stop pushing this.
My daughter chooses this moment to pipe up, “I apologized to Jack. And I told the truth. Because that’s what we do.”
“That’s great, baby. I’m proud of you.”
“Are you gonna go exercise with my camp friends’ parents?”
“I might.” No.
“Are you sure?”
“Maybe.” Hell, yes, I’m sure: I will definitely not be going to booty boot camp.
We say our good-byes and ‘I’ll e-mail you!’s and head towards the car. “We always tell the truth, right Mommy?”
“Right. When you get a little older I’ll tell you about Oscar Wilde.”
And speaking of truthiness, names and details in this story have been changed to protect the innocent and avoid the wrath that often comes part and parcel with scrupulously honest sharing of personal stories on the interwebs.