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Humor July 2015

The Grandparent’s Guide to Losing Weight

By Sy Rosen

You have to bend and crouch like a contortionist to get her buckled in, all the time making sure your little one doesn’t bang her head while you are constantly banging yours. I remember the good old days when my dad just tossed me in the back seat. It may not have been as safe but it was a lot easier.

I’ve noticed I’ve lost some weight lately which I’ve been trying to unsuccessfully do for years (apparently the pastrami and cheesecake diet has been discredited). I’ve come to realize that my weight loss has to do with my having a two-year-old granddaughter and the exercise program it entails, which I call Toddler-Aerobics.

Since my daughter and son-in-law are working (hoo-ray!) I help out by taking care of my granddaughter Summer twice a week. Here’s an example of our activities and the calories I burn keeping up with her.

50 calories – reading to her:  Okay this is supposed to be a passive activity but the books today are interactive. For example, you have to hop like a bunny, flap your wings like a bird, and scratch yourself like a monkey (or like my cousin Phil). After reading the same book four times I want to sleep like a sloth (or like my cousin Arnie).

80 calories – getting ready for the park: This includes chasing her, getting her dressed, changing her when she stains what I put on, packing her sweater, water bottle, milk bottle, snacks, diapers, wipes, bib, sunbonnet, and suntan lotion. It also includes trying to convince her not to eat her snacks until we get to the park, letting her eat her snacks, and then making more snacks.

40 calories – putting and taking granddaughter out of car seat: You have to bend and crouch like a contortionist to get her buckled in, all the time making sure your little one doesn’t bang her head while you are constantly banging yours. I remember the good old days when my dad just tossed me in the back seat. It may not have been as safe but it was a lot easier.

80 calories - the slide: This is helping her up the slide and then running to the bottom of the slide so you’ll be there when she comes down. I do this about 15 times. Add another 20 calories if your granddaughter insists on you going down the slide with her. And another 10 calories for a loss of dignity.

30 calories – sandbox time: Some of you may think this is also a passive activity but it includes getting in the sand with her, taking off her shoes and socks (and cleaning her toes and putting back on shoes and socks when she’s done). It also includes convincing her it’s okay to share her pail and shovel with other kids and then picking her up and cuddling her when she’s crying because she shared her pail and shovel with other kids.

400 calories – panic in the park: This is when you momentarily lose sight of your granddaughter and you run around like a maniac calling out her name. My heart is thumping as I run under the children’s bridge, past the monkey bars, under the overhead ladder, crawl through the rock tunnel, run past the spiral slide and the bumpy slide screaming, “Summer, Summer” while I’m thinking I’m her grandfather, I’m supposed to protect her. Finally I see her. She’s sitting near the jungle gym with another girl who is sharing her Goldfish snack with her.

20 calories – getting stern: While pacing back and forth I sternly tell her never to wander off again.

30 calories – love: I then pick her up in my arms, hug her tight, and tell her over and over again that I love her. Those were the best calories I burned all day.

 

Sy has written for The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, MASH, Maude, The Wonder Years, and Frasier. He has been married for forty-one years which is great because they say the first forty are the toughest.

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