Friday, May 08, 2009


I was going about my usual kind of day this morning when I was rocked back on my heels by a question that seemed, well, utterly random.

“Oh, you’re a runner?” The young clerk seemed greatly impressed. I blinked at him stupidly for a moment. Why on earth did he assume that? A quick scan of my attire revealed that I wasn’t even wearing my usual tennis shoes (they’re wet – the gardening was rather moist yesterday) but rather my “good” tennis shoes (leather, definitely not for running).

Add that to a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee (uh, the gardening is also a bit on the kneel-y side) (and besides, I’ve got a messy, jeans-ruining kind of day ahead here) and a t-shirt that is rapidly approaching tie-dye status due to accidental sloppage of dye that technically isn’t supposed to adhere to cotton and yet here we are, not to mention the fact that while I am on the slender side physically, it’s not a “well-muscled” kind of slender but more of a “with significant soft spots” – not exactly what you expect to see in someone who spends any amount of time wearing out their running shoes, if you know what I mean.

So, you know…uhhhhh, dude? ‘splain!…

“Uhhhhh…not exactly. Why, uh…?”

“Oh. I just assumed, you know, the watch…{shrug}…”

My what-now? I looked at my watch…which is a Timex Ironman Triathlon.

OH. Riiiiiiiiight. Sport-o watch. Only I didn’t buy it because I am a runner or triathlete or any kind of athlete – unless endurance parenting is considered a sporting event.

Which sometimes I really think it should be. Can you imagine the Olympics version of the sport?

“OK, and up next is Maude Cloverfield, four time birthing champion, ready for the Simultaneous Soccer, Piano Lessons and Girl Scout Meeting Event. Going to be a real challenge, with the baby so close to feeding time…”

“Right you are, Steve, but remember she’s been doing very well throughout these games. Her casserole performance set new records in both speed and palatability.”

“We were all very impressed by that…all right, she’s ready to start the first leg, Finding the Mislaid Minivan Keys Whilst Ensuring Everyone Has Shoes On…”

But I digress. I bought the sport-o watch for several reasons, none of them sports-oriented.

First, it was on sale for half off. Yay, last year’s model!

Secondly, it is water resistant up to 100 meters. This means that when I forget to take it off before doing the dishes, or plunge it into a bathtub while trying to get someone’s hair washed, or dive into a pool to rescue a child who can’t freakin’ swim but jumped into the deep end anyway, I don’t have to buy a new watch.

Third, it has the ability to set three scheduled alarms. So I can have one to remind me to pick up Child #1, another for #2-3, and the third for #4. They can be customized to be daily, weekday-only or weekend-only.

The function for timing laps I use for timing things like…how long Denizen #1 has been on the computer, how long Denizen #2 has been staring at cartoons, and how long I’ve had yarn soaking. Things that don’t necessarily need precise timing (that’s what timers are for), but things I want to keep track of so I have ammo. “Oooooooh no, you’ve been on that computer for 46:04:00:01, young lady! It is so your sister’s turn!”

The timer is essential. I’m pretty much using it all day long. Without timers, I am a lost soul, drifting aimlessly through my day forgetting all about the bread rising in the oven or the yarn baking in the oven (to set the dye) (because I know somebody is going to ask, “Uh, Tama? Why are you baking yarn? Is your budget that tight, that you’re reduced to eating your stash? OH GOD, please tell me you’re not serving acrylic to your children…!”). It helps me stay on task when I’m having a particularly ADD kind of day.

And being on my wrist, I can’t set it and then wander into another room and not hear it go off.

It even has a snooze function (of sorts): If I don’t manually turn it off, it’ll kind of hibernate for a couple minutes, then beep again. So if I’m Otherwise Occupied and can’t deal with whatever I was timing right now (like, say, I’m stirring soon-to-be-soap, which is a stir constantly until you’re done kind of deal once you put the lye-water and the fats together), I can just ignore it and it will beep again, thus reminding me that I was supposed to do something else.

Because I will have forgotten the bread dough even exists by the time the soap has traced and I’ve gotten it safely into a mold and am congratulating myself for messing around with lye and living to tell the tale, AGAIN! GO ME!!!!

I have never yet burned myself (or my clothing) with lye. Not even once. I am very impressed by this, because I have burned myself draining spaghetti and even while lifting drained spaghetti from the strainer to a plate (hot water, running down the tongs) (do not try this at home, folks, it takes a professional idiot to pull that one off), making custard (it burbled out of the pot onto my arm in large, napalm-like schallops) (it is too a word – a schallop is bigger than a dollop but smaller than a whack) and taking pies out of the oven. Spilling coffee, making toast, winding yarn too fast through your fingers, pretty much any possible way that you can ignominiously give yourself a painful and humiliating burn, I’ve done it.

Back in the Stone Age when I was a smoker, I even managed to achieve Expert Idiocy by failing to correctly take a lit cigarette out of my mouth. It stuck to my lip, and my fingers sliiiiiiiiiiid down the cig and ZAP! Tiny burn between my index and middle finger, right on that sensitive webbing. Nice. Such talent! I oughta be in pictures.

You know, the ones with captions that say, “Don’t Let This Happen To You!”

This is your brain. This is your brain if you act like Tama. Any questions…?

So anyway, it’s pretty deflating, going from high-fiving yourself for your crafty brilliance at 2:15 in the afternoon only to discover a blown-out wad of what would have been perfectly good bread if you hadn’t forgotten all about it until the yeast had eaten itself sick at 5:30.

Of course, the only thing worse than that is not discovering the wad until you smell something weird going on and then discover that the oven you just turned on to pre-heat for dinner had oh yeah!, bread dough rising in it.

Bonus points if it is was in a non-heat-resistant bowl that has now broken in half and/or melted all over your oven.

But I digress, again.

And am about to do it a third time, because it occurs to me that I never, EVER make soap when the Denizens are home. I am always completely alone in the garage, with the kids safely at school or Grandma’s house or Wherever, when I’m messing around with the lye I’ve never splashed onto my jeans or into my eyeballs. Coincidence? I think not...

ANYWAY. I’m not sure there’s any point here…except that I’m thinking perhaps Timex should consider an IronMommy line of watches. A couple more timers, maybe, and make that water “resistant” a water “proof”…it’s got to be small and nondescript enough on the wrist to escape the notice of curious toddlers, but big enough to be seen even if we happened to lose our glasses again. It should go with everything, have at least some fashionable flare, but remain rugged enough for a Navy SEAL because folks – the life of a parent is a rough-n-tumble kind of deal.

There is no room here for a pansy-arsed watch that can’t take being chewed on by a teething infant, stolen by the dog and buried in the flowerbed, dug up by the preschooler, washed by the helpful eight year old and presented to Mommy at 3:15 in the morning by the preteen who found it in the bathroom when she stepped on it barefoot.

Just sayin’.


Trina said...

Send that to Timex. Seriously. This is marketing they never knew they needed.

Louiz said...

I'd buy one (well, no I wouldn't because I hate digital watches, but apart from that, I would)

Steph B said...

You make me laugh so hard it hurts. Thank you!

Lydee said...

what a great use for that watch. my husband is a triathlete. he owns one of those watches. you put the watch to such clever use, I'm almost convinced to get one for myself.

they do make a waterproof one, because it's made to keep track of your laps while you swim. my husband owns that version.

Nicole said...

you shuld email this to timex... just to see what they have to say. hell, they might send you a free watch!
as a smoker, i have burnt myself in the same way. i often apply lip balm of some sort, and the cigarette sticks to my lips...
you are my hero, happy (late) mothers day!