What’s a Mother to Do?
by Ann Edwards Cannon
[p.138]On January 1st our eight-year-old-son, Dylan, decided to try his hand at making New Year’s resolutions. Later that day as I was picking up stray newspapers, old TV Guides, and Smith’s cheese ball wrappers from the floor, I found his list. These were Dylan’s goals for the year:
1. DRINK MORE PEPSI.
2. BUY MORE BASEBALL CARDS.
As you can imagine, I was very impressed with my young son. What a terribly clever boy, I thought, to set goals for himself that he might actually reach!
I don’t mind telling you that I was inspired, and I decided right then and there to make up generic lists of resolutions that will positively guarantee success for individuals from all walks of life. I pass these along to you, the reading public, absolutely free of charge.
New Year’s Resolutions for Guys
Do not stop for directions.
Do blame other people for losing the remote control.
New Year’s Resolutions for Women
Do obsess about your hair.
Do ask other people what you should do with your hair.
Do not believe other people when they tell you your hair looks fine the way it is.
New Year’s Resolutions for Fourteen-year-old Boys
Do not wear a coat in the middle of winter.
New Year’s Resolutions for Fourteen-year-old Girls
Do not, under any circumstances, be seen in public with your mother.
New Year’s Resolutions for Ten-year-old Boys
Do lie regularly when asked about brushing your teeth.
[p.139]New Year’s Resolutions for Babies
Do take your socks off in the checkout line at Albertson’s.
Do stick your fingers in people’s mouths while they are talking.
New Year’s Resolutions for Dogs
Do sit on the furniture when nobody is looking.
New Year’s Resolutions for Cats
Absolutely do not do anything you don’t want to do.
I had so much fun writing resolutions for everyone else that I went off the deep end and actually wrote some for myself.
As you already know, I make it a strict practice to avoid self-improvement schemes, primarily because I’m not very good at them. Still, I decided it was finally time to get serious about an exercise program. Yes, it was time for me to firm up and thereby get in touch with my Inner Babe.
True, it had been a few years since I embarked on a regular fitness program. The last time was in Miss Erkanbrack’s seventh grade gym class where we were required to do exercises to “You and Me” by the Turtles every day after roll call. Even after all these years, whenever I hear the words to that song”—Me and you and you and me, no matter how they tossed the dice/ It had to be”—I immediately start doing (a) jumping jacks followed closely by (b) squat thrusts. This can prove to be somewhat embarrassing if I am listening to Musak in places such as grocery stores or crowded elevators.
Still, I was undaunted, and I decided to get started on my new fitness regime by watching one of those morning exercise shows I’d heard they have on ESPN. I pulled on my sweats, turned on my TV—and gasped. I could tell right away that I would never succeed because I simply do not have the right accessories to exercise in the 1990s:
1. I do not have a wide black belt to cinch around my waist.
2. I do not have a gadget to monitor my heart and pulse rate to strap onto the belt which I do not have.
3. I do not have a head mike.
It was the head mikes that got to me. Here were all these very young, very buff looking men and women standing mere inches apart, [p.140]and they were all communicating with one another via their head mikes. It was like watching Janet Jackson in concert.
Actually, I’ve been seeing a lot of head mikes around lately. There’s that new television commercial with Kathleen Sullivan in a chopper, for instance, who tells us all about Weight Watchers through her head mike while she’s busy buzzing pedestrians below.
Also the managers at the McDonald’s where I always go to lunch wear head mikes. They dash about like secret service men guarding the president along a parade route. It’s pretty impressive to watch, actually, although I haven’t noticed that I get my All-American meal any faster than I used to.
So anyway I’ve given up the exercise thing for now because I don’t have a head mike and probably never will—I guess my Inner Babe will just have to wait.