Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Agreed to...... What?

I'm all for education. Seriously. I think all people should be educated and I think it is one of the few things in life that you cannot have to much of. Unlike liquor, the more education you take in the more you know and the better your life can be. So when Genea and Teena came home with these packets of permission forms from school to participate in a grant funded study, I signed away my permission. Educatin'! So important!

That was a few months ago. I think. I don't really remember. Fact is, I glanced at the bundle of paper and thought it seemed like a nice idea. Some extra thing they would do at school to contribute to society by allowing research results to be documented. I am also all about the research if you had not noticed from my last two posts.

Late last week, the bundle of chaos that is my daughter Teena exploded off her afternoon bus and announced at the top of her volumous lungs that I GOT MY THERBOMITER AND MAMA YOU HAFTA READ ALL THIS YOU SIGNED THE AMISSION SLIP AND ITS ALL RIGHT HERE AND I WANT TO PUT IT ON RIGHT NOW! And my eyes bugged out and my brain siezed up a little as I saw her pull some huge yellow envelope out of her backpack and dump a pile of papers all over the driveway.

Sweet mother of bloody mary, what did I do?

Inspecting the papers as Teena buzzed in circles around me, it appears I agreed to participate in a grant funded study about...... fitness? ........... ME? As Teena is still shrieking about the "therbomiter..... eggameter..... aglometer.... just read it Mama what does it say" I read on. Skipping over the extensive boring parts I realized I had agreed to allow my children to wear a pedometer for the next 4 days. I agreed to document their steps and fill out some other forms about what they eat. Shit. This is supposed to start the next day and oh by the way, this itty bitty thing the size of my thumb is the pedometer. To put on my 6 year old. Really. Um, is it going to measure every time she kicks and squirms because that is all day every day. Um, also, I hope it is not delicate because while I was reading all the stupid information, Teena swiped the pedometer and was twirling it by the string. Then, she lost hold of the string and the thing went skidding down the driveway.

As Teena insisted- INSISTED- that she was supposed to put it on right away, here comes Genea from her bus stop. And oh- bloody- hell what is that yellow envelope in her hand? And what is it she is shrieking about? A pedometer. And she is wearing hers. Argh. I have not even looked at these pedometers yet to figure them out and so I convince Genea to take hers off and give it to me. By convince, I mean she huffed and puffed and whipped out the Wango Tango right there on the driveway over the stupid thing. Got that? We are not supposed to even start until the next day and already we have issues.

It seems the other parents read through the permission packet more thoroughly than I, because both girls report just a few kids in their class "got to" have this deal. Smart parents. Also, even though they make a point of saying my children were chosen as part of a random sample, I have my suspicions. Particularly that the "randomness" is based on my well known aversion to the half day and my personal conviction that school holidays are designed to minimize parental bitching and complaining. And that it's all a conspiracy. Against me.

Now, I am not really a fitness- interested person. I am more of a couch- interested person. Donut- interested, fast food- interested, TV - interested. I tried yoga a couple of years back and it kicked my ass. That yoga shit is way harder than it looks. I might be more interested in fitness if I got a new handbag at the end of it, and my part was to sit on a bar stool and coach Brad Pitt (Thelma and Louise Brad, not Brangelina Brad).

Further on in the packet is a quiz about our eating habits. We are supposed to respond in regards to one days intake if we had yellow or green or orange vegetables and they specify that potato's count but french fries do not. It asks about soda (we don't give it) and junk foods (we do not share our junk with the kids). I wonder if that red gluey sludge on a frozen pizza will count as a vegetable. Ketchup seems to be okay too. I think, if I make an effort on one day of this study to throw a bunch of colored veggies at them we should be okay. After all, the kids names are on the reports and quizzes. It could all go in their permanent record. My kids are actually pretty good about vegetables despite the fact that I refuse to drown them in liquefied- fat- cheese- product or put ice cream sprinkles on them. It's the compliance of their mother I am worried about.

Really? I agreed to this?

Now I have to calibrate TWO pedometers in the morning by having the kids test- walk 10 steps. Sensitive little buggers those pedometers are and though I finally get them placed where they will be accurate I wonder how on earth they will stay there on a 6 and 7 year old. I also wonder, if Genea has a tantrum and does her thing where she wildly jumps up and down, will that register steps? When Teena lays on the floor and kicks her legs around, is that going to skew the numbers? I decide it doesn't matter. Exercise is being had when the Wango Tango is going down. Maybe that should be my permenant perspective. Hmmm. I will have to consider that later because I was way out of time what with all the testing and walking.

So Day 1 goes well for Teena. She has a kindergarten event and we walk home from there and her step number is around 8000 after school. The goal for both girls is 9100 steps a day. That may sound like a lot and it's because that really is a LOT. Genea comes home with close to 6000 on hers but we have until bedtime to rack up more steps. Fortunately it is a nice day out and I set up the girls kiddie pool which they take turns running and jumping into. Then, they go to their friends house on their slip and slide and race back and forth on that for hours. Obviously they cannot wear their delicate step measuring instruments in water so I give them credits and they both make the 9100 cut.

Days 2 and 3 it rains and the kids cannot go outside. Low numbers. This will reflect poorly on me somehow, I am sure of it. Coincidentally days 2 and 3 are the weekend where I am in charge. But I make sure to feed several healthy meals on Sunday so we can honestly check off the quiz saying we ate healthy stuff. It may have been cheating a bit when I threw a few bits of lettuce from my take-out salad over their chicken nuggets but I could still report with honor and maintain my integrity. Really.

So we wrapped it up tonite and I think we made it to our 9100 steps a day for both girls if you take an average. Woo hoo, rock on. I will sleep well tonite knowing that my family has so generously made this contribution to society.


  1. BWAHAHAHA! (Girl, surveys are for lying...)

  2. They expect you to lie- the build in allowances :)

  3. The pedometer thing is going on at my girl's school, too! Someone she managed to get her hands on two pedometers and likes to wear them both.

  4. so glad I live in Canada where our schools can not afford pedometers.

  5. Ah, I remember this well. We had the same pedometer thing, and if I remember correctly, it didn't go so well for me either.

    I just can't keep up with all the papers, reports, charts and other things that come home for the kids.

  6. Oh my gosh, as if you don't have enough to do. Please God, don't let that happen at my school.

  7. We all thank you for this generous contribution to society.

  8. Let's just say those results might end up skewed...

  9. Thanks for the sweet comment! Looking forward to checking out your blog.

  10. Your story was great!
    I could definitely see that kiddos would get excited to wear a pedometer :) Way to stick through it & make it through the week!!

    You have a great style of writing that just makes me laugh!



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