"Mo-oom," he whined,"can't I go watch TV?"
"Do a puzzle first," I said, handing him the easiest puzzle in the stack: Jumbo Dinosaur Puzzle, 48 pieces, age 3+. I was pretty sure my bright seven and a half year old could handle it.
He took it to the table, got out the pieces and just stared at it. "Mom, I can't do it. It's too hard."
"Liam, you didn't even try."
"Mom! Yes, I did! I can't do it. Can I have screen time now?"
"Liam, you can't have screen time till you finish the puzzle." Oh, yeah, I was drawing the line in the sand.
There was a temper tantrum, wailing, and something about the meanest Mom in the world. The storm seemed to blow over when I sent the kids outside for some good old fashioned fun.
|Buck naked kids in a cow trough with squirt guns. That's what 'good old fashioned fun' means to everyone, right??|
"No! You haven't finished the puzzle!" The pieces went flying across the room, the bench got tipped over, there was more screaming, and lots and LOTS of tears.
|I am the Worst. Mom. Ever!|
After dinner, Megan offered to help Liam with the puzzle. "Megan," I whispered to her, "make him do most of it." She was a willing accomplice.
As the puzzle came together, Liam looked at me and said, "Mom, puzzles are like fishing when you try to find the right piece. I like it. Puzzles are fun."
WHAT??!!?? Oh, I could punch that kid! "So should we give it to Goodwill now that you finished it?"
"No, keep it. I like it." Arrgh!
But we did decide in the 100 piece arena that the Tinkerbell puzzle was ready to go and we would just keep the two fuzzy baby penguins. Monday eight big bags of old stuff left our house: 2 for clothing recycling (too worn for anyone else to use) and six bags to Goodwill. (Or "Suckwill" as my son calls it, "because it sucks when you get rid of things we like.")
On Tuesday, when we were playing in the living room, Mac found a puzzle piece. I was devastated. "Oh No! That goes to the Tinkerbell puzzle!" Surprisingly, Mac shared my angst, "Oh, man, it sucks when you do a puzzle and one piece is missing."
I put the piece in my car. Today after work, I stopped by Suckwill, er, Goodwill and I scoured the puzzle shelf. No Tinkerbell. I cornered an employee and asked her where the puzzle might be; she didn't seem concerned. Maybe when you spend your days surrounded by the cast off junk of others, you come to expect a few missing puzzle pieces. But ultimately, she agreed to take the piece and go look in the back. I waited a bit but she didn't return in a timely fashion. I finally left feeling a little forlorn that somewhere Tinkerbell was out there with a missing piece.
It's been ten days since Angeles Crest and ten days since I have run a single step. I used to be very conservative when it came to training again after races. I took a lot of time off. But that rest period has gotten smaller and smaller during the last couple of years. And the training load has increased. I guess that caught up to me this year sometime around mid-June. The emphasis on rest and the minimal training between WS and AC proved to be successful and I am once again focusing on the importance of recovery. And so I went back to my old guideline: One day off for every ten miles of racing. And today, day ten, was the first day that I felt a little bit like the Tinkerbell puzzle, like a piece of me was missing. I'll be keeping things easy the rest of the month, especially because I think I have a little popliteal tendinitis (I am telling you, those downhills at AC are brutal, especially if you aren't trained for them!), but I am excited to piece some physical activity back into my routine.
|Finding my missing piece|