Although I am not watching the Winter Olympics this year, it is impossible not to be drawn into the excitement and nationalistic pride associated with such international competitions. Everyone seems to have gone USA crazy. Even the blogging community has exploded with posts about watching the Olympics, not watching the Olympics, competing in the Olympics, whether or not your dog can compete in the Olympics. It’s everywhere.
I’ve even found a few posts about Olympic events for mothers of young children. This got me to thinking. Although mothers certainly deserve a medal for their herculean efforts on a daily basis, we are not the only members of the family with extraordinary athletic prowess. I think it’s about time we celebrate the toddlers of the world and create a Winter Olympic Games in which they can compete. Of course, since they’re toddlers, everyone wins, or else they go home crying! So, not much different from the actual Olympic Games.
So, here we have the first annual 2014 Toddler Winter Olympic Games. The events will be as follows.* Feel free to propose additional events in the comments below which the Toddler Olympic committee will take into consideration for the 2018 games.
1. The sled dive- This event takes place halfway down a sledding hill, when the toddler panics, realizes they can’t order the sled to stop moving, and so dive face first into the snow. Points are assigned for speed, of course. The faster they arrive at the bottom of the hill, prostrate, covered in snow, and approximately 6 inches from the spot the sled would have stopped if they had stayed on board, the more points they are awarded. They also receive style points for creative falling, number of somersaults, how many articles of clothing they lose, and whether they finish with a smile or not.
The snow boot shuffle- This is an artistic event akin to ice dancing. The first time a toddler puts on new snow boots they have to break them in, and the most efficient (not to mention graceful) way of doing that is to perform the shuffle. Points are earned for technical skills such as the dead leg drag, the round-a-bout, and the trip over your own toes. A second mark is given for creativity and vision: perhaps shuffling backwards, hopping on one foot, dragging their butt across the carpet, or refusing to stand up and kicking the wall instead. The scores are then averaged before announcing a winner.
The driveway skeleton- This event takes place when the parents of a toddler go so stir crazy in the winter that they attempt to take their toddler for a walk in the snow and ice. Immediately upon exiting the house, the toddler takes a nose dive onto the driveway and slides to the sidewalk on their belly like a penguin. Extra points are awarded if the toddler manages to spin 360 degrees in the process, or takes down mom or dad along the way.
Bladder control- This is an event requiring both endurance and discipline. Toddlers competing in this event must refuse to void their bladders all day, waiting until after their snow gear has been time-consumingly applied, they have taken three steps into the snow, and subsequently fallen over. Then, and only then, should they insist that they use the bathroom. Points are awarded for urgency and number of times they can repeat the process before their parents refuse to dress them again.
Snow eating- This event is similar to competitive hotdog eating contests, except there is an added obstacle of identifying the snow that has not been peed on by a dog, squirrel, bird, or big brother. The toddlers may use any part of their body or clothing to shovel as much snow into their mouths before their parents notice and intervene. Stealth and speed are key in this event, and points are awarded accordingly. Many toddlers find that they can compete in the snow eating and bladder control events back to back.
Hat and glove scavenger hunt- This is a multi-stage event, similar to the biathlon. Before the toddlers can go outside to play in the snow, they must first locate and put on their hats and gloves. The items could be hidden anywhere from the coat closet, to under the bathroom sink, on the dog’s tail, or even in the dishwasher. Not only must these items be located, but they must also be correctly donned. Anyone who has ever tried to put gloves on a toddler knows that they can, at any time, sprout extra fingers or fuse their existing fingers together. Once the hat and gloves are correctly in place, the toddlers must get out the front door. They must accomplish all of these tasks in fewer than five minutes, which is exactly how long it takes a toddler to lose interest in the snow and decide they’re rather stay inside and color.
The booger luge- This is one of the more controversial events at the Toddler Winter Olympics. Many would argue that it is more a game of chance than skill and athleticism, but if performed correctly the booger luge is remarkably challenging. In this event, the toddler must launch mucus from any oriface on their body and attempt to cover as many objects as possible within the set time limit. Points are awarded for distance of spray, creativity of smearing, and of course virus transmission rates. This event is played as a round robin tournament throughout the duration of the winter games, and can be competed as a team sport or an individual event.
I’m not sure whether any of these events will take off in the future, but you have to admit, any one of them would be more entertaining than curling.
* Note. I assure you, no toddlers were hurt during the inventing or writing of the events contained in this blog post.