It’s funny how my kids can motivate me to make bad decisions. I have three children: Tristan (age 7), Norah (age 5) and Aspen (5 months). I want them to think I’m Superman so badly that any chance I can get to impress them seems worth it. All of it reminds me of the peer pressure I got in high school. It always starts with a challenge, and ends with joint pain, or diarrhea. Below are a few examples.
Lift Heavy Things Over My Head: In the past few years my children have challenged me to lift many things over my head: bicycle, wood, sod, water bucket, TV, char, tire, Costco bulk items… you get the idea. Most of the time I can do it. But every once in a while I have to get out the hot pad and Tylenol.
Eat A Block of Cheese: Norah once asked me if I could eat a whole block of cheddar. I accepted her challenge. She totally lost interest half way through, but I felt compelled to finish what I started. I’m not lactose intolerant, but what I will say is that for the next 24 hours I deeply sympathize with people suffering from the ailment.
Back Flip: I was on my sister’s trampoline when Tristan asked if I could pull off a backflip. I didn’t exactly land on my head. More on my neck and shoulders. I’m not sure if I impressed him or not.
Climb A Fence: I once climbed over our back fence (5-feet) to get Tristan’s soccer ball. Half way over, Tristan said, “I can’t believe you can still do that!” I tried not to focus on the phrase “still do that” and rather on the excitement in his voice. Coming down on the other side, I sprained my ankle.
Ride A Wheelie: I was in the driveway when I tried to put my mountain bike up on one wheel at the insistence of my son. I’d done it a million times in junior high, and I think that really brings me to the crux of my problem with impressing my kids. Although I am in my 30s, in my head, I’m still a teenage boy. I will admit that I did successfully ride the bike on one wheel for about five feet; however, I suffered from serious lower back pain for the next several days.
Slam Dunk a Basketball: This was just sad. I’m short enough to live in a tree and make fudge. Let’s not talk about it.
Eat A Pound of Bacon: We went to this small café that was very generous with the bacon. More or less, they gave me a whole plate. I’m not sure if it was a whole pound, but it must have been close. Much like the block of cheese, I accepted a challenge from my children. Which I successful completed! Then we went to the botanical gardens. Mel had to leave me at the visitor center restroom.
Drink A Gallon Of Milk: I’m sure you can guess how this ended.
Jump Off A Waterfall: Tristan, Norah, and I were exploring a waterfall with a swimming hole at the bottom. It was about 25 feet tall. I climbed to the top as Tristan and Norah watched from below. The second I reached the top, both kids cried, “Jump! Jump!” I’d never felt more pressure to do something stupid. I know I should’ve been a better example. I should have used it as an opportunity to teach about wilderness safety. Instead, I jumped. When I think back on this moment, I realize that it was a really bad decision. But that icky feeling was completely overshadowed by the rush of pride I felt when I popped my head above water and heard my kids cheer my name.
What are a few of the stupid things you’ve done to impress your kids?
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