My kids are conspiring against me.
You know, ever since they were born, I’ve kind of figured this was the case. I’ve read enough Shakespeare and seen enough “Star Wars” to know how these things work. In the 12 years since Sophie was born and the 9 years since Maximilian was born, I’ve pretty much been waiting for the day when they were grow more powerful than me, then rise up and strike me down.
While I’ve always known my time was coming, I guess I’ve never nearly known what method they would use to take over the Fong family legacy (notice I didn’t say “Fong family fortune” — mostly because my kids are smart enough to know there isn’t one). Would it be pistols at dawn? Sabres in the moonlight?
Nah, it’s nothing like that. I think my kids have figured out a more subtle way to get rid of me and currently are fattening me up for the kill.
You know, it may be hard to believe looking at me now, but there was a time in the not too distant past when I was an extremely fit person. Then the kids came and it became an immediate race to see which would reach 40 first — my age or my waistline.
It’s tough to have kids and be not fat these days.
Sure, there is the most obvious reason, which is time. Every since my kids have reached the age at which they can start participating in various extracurricular activities, I’ve had significantly less time to exercise as I am forced to ferry them from event to event. The irony in this, of course, is that while my kids get fitter and fitter playing sports, I get fatter and fatter driving them around.
There are days when I take my daughter from Troy Pop Rocks jump rope practice to tumbling class to pole vaulting practice. In these days, she spends hours burning calories as she jumps rope, does back flips and sprints down a runway. The most exercise I get is pushing down on the gas pedal in my car as I take her to all of these events.
I have managed to find a few hours to squeeze some exercise into my day, however (although some days require me getting up at an ungodly hours the morning … 8 a.m., if you can believe that), but there’s the other problem with having kids and staying fit.
It’s not easy keeping kids alive by feeding them and expecting to stay healthy yourself. Let’s take going to restaurants for instance. More often than not, I try to make a sensible, healthy choice when ordering off the menu. My kids, on the other hand, pretty much live off chicken fingers (haha … chickens don’t have fingers) and french fries.
And that’s fine for them, because they have the metabolism of small children and, as previously discussed, get plenty of exercise. The problem, however, is the fact they pretty much never finish the food they order in the restaurants. Ever. I can usually count on them to leave at least half of their food sitting on their plates.
Sure, we can get to-go boxes, but guess what? My kids never eat their leftovers. So when we get home, I’m sitting there looking at about $20 worth of food that is going to get thrown in the garbage if someone doesn’t eat it. Would you take a $20 bill out of your wallet and throw it in the trash can?
Neither would I.
So invariably, I end up eating all of their leftovers. This isn’t just a restaurant thing, either. It happens at home, too, when I cook dinner. Even when I cook a healthy meal, I can always count on my kids to leave plenty sitting on their plates. Guess what? Even healthy food becomes unhealthy when you are eating too much of it so that it doesn’t get wasted.
This happens pretty much anywhere I take my children. When we go to the movie theater, they only want they popcorn drenched in movie theater butter, which I’m pretty sure is just yellow motor oil. When I take them out for ice cream cones as a treat, I know I’m going to have to help them eat it before it ends up running down their arms.
Yeah, yeah, I know — such horrible sacrifices I have to make for my children, right?
The good news is that since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes two years ago (Gee, wonder how that happened?) I have managed to get my weight, my diet and my exercise routine under control. I’ve gone from unhealthy to festively plump.
No thanks to you, kids.
Reach David Fong appears at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong