It's been a week since we last spoke about ACTIVE LIFE: EXTREME CHALLENGE, which I DO say all in capital letters, although I've finally learned how to say the words in order at least, putting my ability to learn right up there in the same category as my dog's. When we last visited, I was wondering if the kidlets would continue to pull out the game on their own, and if I would EVER defeat the EVIL ROCK CLIMBING game.
Well, no. And...wait, let me set the scene.
You know how kids go in cycles with what they play with? One week they're all Monopoly, all the time, and the next week it's bicycles or nothing? Well, this week all their Wii time has been devoted to an Indiana Jones game that has RILLY RILLY irritating music. The music thing is my perspective, not theirs.
Anyhow, the other night, after dinner, they were all milling about, in and out of the house, up and down the stairs, circling the kitchen, sniffing for loose food, generally acting like the semi-feral creatures they are. And I pulled out the Active Life game. I have passed all the beginner's level challenges (*sniff* not to BRAG or anything, you know. *sniff* Knocked them right out the park, as it were. Yup. *sniff*), and I wanted to get cracking on the intermediate level challenges.
I started out with some double dutch, which, can I tell you? I kind of hate double dutch. I mean, I'm sorry, but exactly how extreme is something I did on a playground some...what, thirty years ago? (Thirty...years...*whimper*...hold me...) And it's not that I'm a sore loser or anything, but that stupid game is hard and impossible and stupid a few more times.
Nonetheless, I started out with double dutch, and I KNOCKED THAT SUCKER ON ITS DOUBLE DUTCH HEAD, OH YES I DID.
At this point Tre wandered in and sat down nearby to watch my progress. I gloated for a few minutes, he indulged me a bit, and I moved on to wake boarding. It took me a few tries to dominate that one, but I did it, OH YES I DID.
By the time I started the third event, street luge, all three boys were gathered around me. Clay perched on the couch behind me, Sophia on his knee, and everyone was shouting helpful suggestions.
"You have to put both hands down to go faster," Clay called out.
"RIGHT, GO RIGHT!" yelled Tre.
"You keep missing the jumps, Mom! HIT THE JUMPS!" Max added.
"You want to get those green strips! They make you go faster! Not the backwards red ones! THE GREEN ONE, RIGHT THERE YOU MISSED IT WANT ME TO HELP?" I swatted Raphael's hands away from the mat.
"Bahhhhhhhh! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" bellowed Sophia, knowing a party when she was deafened by one.
The countdown clock was, well, counting down. I leaned and smacked the mat, leaned the other way and smacked again. Imaginary wind swept my hair back.
"You're not going to make it," Tre said.
"YES I AM," I yelled back, completely not believing I would. On screen, I bounced off walls and smacked through signs. "I AM GOING TO MAKE IT."
And then? With less than a second to go? The FINISH sign suddenly flashed above me, I sailed through, and I WON THE STUPID STREET LUGE.
My kids went completely wild. We all jumped up and down, they slapped me high fives over and over.
I swear, it is the closest to an olympic gold metal I will ever get.
But there wasn't much time to gloat because do you know what I still had to achieve to complete the challenge? DO YOU KNOW?
STINKING ROCK CLIMBING.
I dropped to my hands and knees, tossed the remote aside, and friends, I ATTACKED THAT ROCK CLIMB.
I slapped that mat, I reached and smacked and huffed and climbed.
"You're gonna make it!" someone called out. I refused to check my time, so LASER LIKE was I in my focus. Left, right, up right, up left, over right. GO GO GO.
AND I DID IT! On the very first try, after all that complaining last week, I BEAT THE INTERMEDIATE ROCK CLIMB.
And then I danced around the living room, singing at the top of my lungs, "I AM THE CHAMPION, MY FRIEEEEEEENDS! AND I'LL KEEP ON (raise my eyebrows to hit the high note) FIGHTING TO THE END! DUN DUN DUN. I AM THE CHAMPION! (eyebrow raise) I AM THE CHAMPION!"
"Can I try now?" Raphael wanted to know. "Can I have a turn?"
But no, he couldn't because it was bedtime.
So those are my lessons for the week. 1) Persevere. Do not let the rock climb intimidate you. YOU CAN OVERCOME. And when you do? SING. Even if your children pretend to hate it, they LOVE IT. Which brings me to my second point 2) Your kids will want to play and have fun and be active if you are, and ESPECIALLY if it's bed time. Of course, Raphael will happily regrout our bathtub rather than go to bed, but still. Kids will go where you lead. Show 'em how it's done.