Funny Mummy: November 2011- Parenting: The Ultimate Work Out

By: Kathy Buckworth

Parenting: The Ultimate Work Out

The holiday season is mere weeks away and our ambitions to fit into that cute sleeveless Little Black Dress gain strength. But who has time or energy to work out? Good news Moms: Turns out you already are. As a public service I just wanted to remind you of all of the exercising you’re already doing.

The Toddler Squat: If you are the parent of a child between the ages of approximately one and four, you will spend a huge and torturous amount of time squatting ungracefully in front of them in order to zip up coats, tie shoes, wipe noses, scrub away crusted-on ketchup, discipline (i.e. yell at them, in their face), and pull up unintentional low rise pants (yours), pull-ups that are pulled down at inopportune moments (theirs), and assorted other items that keep falling off, untying and getting dirty. Stand in your front hallway and squat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

The Arm Stretch and Tone: Children of all ages like to hide personal belongings, or even better, perishable food items, underneath and behind heavy immovable pieces of furniture in your house. This will require you to lie down, bend over, or reach behind these objects while performing arm stretches which threaten to remove your shoulder joint from its socket. Wiggling fingers is a mandatory part of this exercise. If you can practice this maneuver before the item actually makes its way under the furniture, the eventual recovery of said item will be much easier.

Car Seat Resistance Training: Almost from birth, and certainly up to the age of five, children will take every opportunity to fight car seat confinement. This is most effectively achieved by back arching, kicking, and arm flailing. It will take all of your strength and toning skills to firmly place the child in the seat while not snapping limbs (theirs), breaking plastic buckles or getting kicked in the face by a tiny dirty boot. You will likely even break a sweat on this one. You could recruit the family pet to help you with this one, but it might get ugly. You’re better off with a practice makes perfect approach, customized according to the appropriate child.

Butt-numbing “hold” position: As the parent of relative young children, you will sit on hardwood floors, cross-legged (oh, yes, you did sprain that ankle about ten years ago and it still hurts when you do this), playing innumerable games of blocks, trains, cars, puzzles, marbles, weird pointy plastic thingys and other assorted mind- and butt-numbing pastimes. (This is one occasion where a well-padded seat is a blessing.)

Bathroom sprint: An essential skill to master, the Bathroom Sprint should be practiced both from various locations in the house and in commonly frequented public places. Not motivated? Imagine yourself at 5 p.m., not having had a minute to go since 10 a.m. that morning. One good sneeze could ruin the only good pair of pants that you own. Or, picture this: racing around the store/library/mall/community centre trying to find relief for your “pee-dancing” four-year-old, who was fine when you left the house five minutes earlier. The best incentive of all? Knowing that once you dash down that hallway and leap into the bathroom, you might just find some peace and quiet for three-and-a-half minutes. Well, okay. They’ll discover that you’re missing after about thirteen seconds, but with a locking door you can extend your escape to close to a minute.

The Flying Urination Tactic: This particular movement is meant to ward off that charming attack preferred by infant boys (children still engaging in this type of warfare after the age of seven should be sent straight to boarding school). You know the one I mean-straight up into the mouth, eyes, nostrils or onto a favourite (and recently dry cleaned) silk blouse.

The Innocent Bystander Movement: Children who can hit a neighbour’s window-bulls-eye-with a softball can rarely hit their sister across the dinner table with a loaded spoonful of mashed potatoes, peas, or even mayonnaise. It will hit you, every time. Practice spotting the tell-tale catapult movement just prior to the attack. Then, duck.

The Flying Boot Maneuver: Sitting down and gently pulling off muddy boots takes up valuable time in a five-year-old’s day. The preferred method is to stand on one foot, grasp the antique hall table with a sticky hand, and shake the other foot until the boot is dislodged and sent flying into your new suede jacket, your head, or the sleeping infant in your arms. Duct taping boots to your child’s pants is a reasonable preventative measure to avoid strenuous ducking and dodging.

The Vomitron: Young children like to be on the move when throwing up-projectile or otherwise. In your attempt to save the area rug you may find yourself right in the line of fire. Some fancy footwork may be required to herd the puking child to the nearest toilet bowl while simultaneously warding off bodily fluids.

*Excerpted from “Journey to the Darkside: Supermom Goes Home”, Kathy
Buckworth, Key Porter Books, 2007.*

About the Author

Kathy BuckworthPhoto by CL Buchanan Photography

Kathy Buckworth is an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality. She is the author of five books, including “The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood” and her latest, “Shut Up and Eat:Tales of Chicken, Children & Chardonnay”. She is a feature writer for in their parenting, travel, and auto sections, and is also a columnist for ParentsCanada, Womens Post, Ottawa Families, Dabble Magazine, and GoodLife. She also regularly contributes to national magazines such as Canadian Families, Disney Playhouse, and Oh Baby. Her monthly “Funny Mummy” column appears on 25+ websites across North America. She is a parenting correspondent for CTVNewsChannel, and appears on shows such as CityLine and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Kathy is the only two time winner of the Professional Writers Association of Canada Award for Excellence in Humour, and is the 2010 recipient of the Mississauga Arts Award for Established Literary Arts. She is the Managing Director of and has over 18 years of corporate marketing experience, with CIBC, Royal Bank, Telus and Coca Cola Foods. She has acted as corporate/media spokesperson/social media consultant for blue chip companies such as Procter & Gamble, Research In Motion, Presidents Choice Financial and LeapFrog Toys. Visit or follow along at

Kathy’s latest book, “Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay” can be found at bookstores and online, everywhere.

Written By

Kathy Buckworth is an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality. She is the author of six books, including “I Am So The Boss of You: An 8 Step Guide to Giving Your Family The Business” (Random House). Warner Brothers Television has purchased the rights for this book. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Indonesian and other languages, and are available on and wherever books are sold. She is a columnist with Post City Magazines and contributes to the Metro News,, the Huffington Post, Zoomer Magazine, ParentsCanada, Canadian Living, the Travel Channel and GoodLife. She is the writer and host of the FamilyFocus series, and was a regular guest expert on CBC’s Steven and Chris, a regular contributor to the CTV Canada AM Parenting Panel, as well as appearing regularly on Breakfast Television, CanadaAM and CBC radio. She also delivers a bi-monthly travel segment (How She Travels) on Sirius/XM Canada Talks highly rated “What She Said” show. Kathy is a two time winner of the Professional Writers Association of Canada Award for Excellence in Humour, and is the recipient of the Mississauga Arts Award for Established Literary Arts. She was recently announced as one of Canada’s Favourite Moms by Canadian Living Magazine, and recognized by the Huffington Post as a top parenting Tweeter to follow. She has over 18 years of corporate marketing experience, with CIBC, Royal Bank, Telus and Coca Cola Foods. She is the Chief Family Advisor for Presidents Choice Financial and PCPlus, and has also acted as corporate/media spokesperson/social media consultant for many other companies such as Procter & Gamble, Maple Leaf Foods, Research In Motion, Pfizer and LeapFrog Toys. Kathy serves on the board of the Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee, as their public relations advisor. She lives with her material (four kids) and husband (more material) in the Toronto area. She is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, the Writers Union of Canada, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Travel Media Association of Canada.