Above: Adi and Elliot spin in circles on the tire swing at a local park. Adi barely gets dizzy but Elliot stumbles around like a drunken sailer for five minutes after a good tire spinning session.
The other day I was out in the garage and heard a peculiar sound, much like a wolf howling at the moon but with more rhythm. It was Janice yodeling in the kitchen! She usually does this when she’s in a good mood. I have often tried to get her yodel on video but she usually responds by chasing me around the house, much like a grizzly bear chasing a National Geographic explorer. Janice protects her yodeling talent like a mother bear protects her cubs. And the concerning thing is that Janice keeps getting closer to catching me because she’s been exercising.
“Being skinny is a fad.” I told her. “It doesn’t last long. Besides honey, I love you for who you are, not what you look like.” I nervously start backing out of the room, trying to be supportive but not too supportive. “But you can do it honey! If you want to do it, not because you need to do it. But don’t give up! Unless you feel you should.”
I can understand the benefits of exercise so I support whatever Janice decides she needs to do. I just don’t want her doing it because she thinks the results will make me like her more. I’d much rather live with a woman who is secure in her character than with an insecure, sniveling supermodel. In fact, I think that’s almost Biblical.
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.Proverbs 2:19
I’m not a Bible Translation expert but I’m pretty certain that “quarrelsome” could have been translated literally to “Instagram Health Nut.” It makes sense really. Instagram Health Nuts tend to be quite quarrelsome and irritable about things, especially gluten, sugar, dairy, artificial coloring, or being fat. Their favorite exercise is tearing down other people so they feel better about themselves. They’re also jumping on any bandwagon that happens by. The faster they can jump on some strange fad, the more trendy they prove they are. Instagram Health Nuts are so good at hopping on trend trains that they make traveling hobos jealous.
So naturally I’m getting concerned because Janice has been trying to rid our household of anything that comes from a bovine udder. I run my household with an iron fist and so I decided to put my foot down. I dropped to my hands and knees and began begging and sobbing. “Ok, fine! We’ll eat less dairy but please don’t ban gluten or sugar. Please. Oh Please, please, please, pleeeeeease!”
Maybe learning to go without dairy is good practice for living in foreign countries where fresh dairy is more rare than a bilingual unicorn.
Janice has also borrowed a set of exercise DVDs and so she’s been jumping around in front of the TV lately. She’s been hanging in there and doing it several times a week, even though she spends most of her time yelling at the fitness coach on the screen.
The perfectly groomed, buff exercise coach points a finger at his audience. “Breathe through your core!”
Janice yells at him between puffs. “I”m not a fish! I don’t have gills! I can’t breathe that way!”
“Dig deep. You can do this!”
“No I can’t dig anywhere. I don’t have a shovel. I’m sitting down now.”
“Don’t give up! Push through the pain!”
“Oh yea!? You never pushed a baby out! Stop telling me about pain!”
It seems to me that the exercise program is basically a more complicated version of the song Father Abraham. Even Father Abraham is too complicated of a routine for me to follow but fortunately I am a gifted horse impersonator. I don’t know if you realize it, but impersonating a horse gives you a considerable cardio load. I like to keep my talents low key and don’t just throw out my horse impersonation willy nilly (it seems a bit arrogant to do so) but occasionally when I kneel down to work on something, Elliot grabs my hair and climbs on my back while yelling “Ride! Ride!” Adi likes that idea and so she comes flying around the corner and jumps on my back as well. Suddenly I find myself roped into a half hour routine that involves jumping around the living room on my hands and knees and neighing like an idiotic horse. It’s either that or I have to disappoint two of the cutest kids ever made. Plus, it’s cheaper than having an actual horse. Also my friend Dave, who owns a horse named Chip, told me that horses mostly stand around and fart. So I have it on good authority that I’m actually fulfilling the role of a horse very nicely.
Speaking of exercise, recently we began an exercise in futility by trying to get Adi to talk about what she’s learning in preschool. We can see an improvement in manners and imagination but we can’t get her to tell us anything except there’s a boy named Jackson in her class. We hear about it when he gets in trouble or when he cries or when he needs to sleep some more. Trying to get information from Adi is like milking a turnip. Maybe that’s a bad analogy because they seem to be learning to milk all kinds of things lately; almonds, oatmeal, soy beans. I’m sure turnips are next. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Janice suggested some morning that I should eat cereal with turnip juice. Maybe I shouldn’t even suggest it because now some trendsetter on Instagram will think it’s a good idea and give it a go. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Adi is a master deflector. You’ll ask her about school and she’ll talk about the squirrel in the park. Or if you ask her if she needs to go potty, she’ll tell you that Elliot is naughty. Maybe she’ll be a politician someday.
That’s about all that’s going on around here right now.
Oh, except Janice is at a women’s conference right now so I’m a single parent with two kids for the weekend. The conference has to do with personality profiles of women and how they can utilize them to impact the Kingdom. The speaker is Sally Pickard. Her family served with MAF for awhile. That’s about all I know. A friend at the hangar knows Sally, or something like that, and Janice was invited to go participate. I was excited to let Janice go network with other missionary women. Pray that Janice would be encouraged, inspired, and God would speak to her. Bless Janice’s heart, she filled up the fridge with casseroles and taped a menu of options that are available in the fridge to the cupboard. I married a good woman!
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