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To my neighbors' everlasting amusement...I jog every morning

Once upon a time, I scoffed at running. "Oh, la," said I, "I only run from trouble."

Technically, you could say that my daily morning run is, in fact, from trouble. We are trying to avoid the tardy Patience will get. She's got three, and I'm already in the sights of the Attendance Office for our Egregious Offense of taking a family vacation during the school year (forgive me my ignorant assumption that I, the parent, got to make these sorts of decisions). Then we had a little trouble getting back in routine after our trip, and, well, that's when we racked up the three tardies.


Once the worst of the hot weather allegedly broke (allegedly = I am still wearing tank top and shorts) I set this pretty hard and fast rule of No Driving, Our Feet Work Fine and We Care about our Planet Earth.

Scheduled departure time: 7:45 a.m.
School bell: 8:05 a.m.
School tardy bell: 8:15 a.m.

Actual departure time: "For goodness' sake GET DOWNSTAIRS NOW! I don't CARE that these are the orange socks not the magenta socks and NO you do not need the rubber lizard in your backpack today! What do you MEAN you are hungry, you ate a waffle, a cheese stick and oatmeal...GET TO THE DOOR...GO! MOVE IT! Put some MUSCLE behind the HUSTLE! MOVE IT LADIES!" 8:00 a.m.

So, there we are, already behind the 8 ball (no pun intended).

I shake out my legs and we are off. Patience is either on her bike, or riding the platform on the back of the stroller. Persistence sits in the stroller--a la Princess (which, by the way, is the only name she will answer to for the last two weeks, and you would not believe her wardrobe and the rest? You'd think I am making it up except I have (a) teacher backup here and (b) photographic evidence that I am in negotiation with the school to buy back. And you'll just have to wait patiently for this story as it requires signature authorization from the parent of the other child involved. I'll give you a teaser though: cross dressing.)

So there I am jogging down the main street. Every day. Somehow, always unexpectedly.

I assume my actions go unnoticed. I don't know why I assume this. Perhaps because I wish it were so?

Oh, oh no. My every move is duly noted...and is a frequent source of amusement. Case in point...

Tuesday Night...Neighbor's house, Friend brought the double margarita machine.

We were standing in line in Neighbor's living room and hallway, waiting for a personalized fitting from one of Oprah's top ten lingerie fitters. (No, I am not making this up.) Apparently we are all wearing the wrong bra. Apparently this compresses our lymph nodes and makes us sick. I can't have any more of sick, thank you very much. Plus, we look bulgy, saggy and Old Beyond Our Years. We need Pep. Perk. Cool wick. Convertible strap to strapless and some rubber like things that...well, let's not offend any delicate sensibilities. Suffice it to say, we too-busy-to-get-to-a-store-other-than-Target moms have brought the mountain to us, and the mountain will tell us our actual bust size and teach us how to do the La De Da jiggle so our bosoms are properly positioned in the proper size bra. (I am still not making this up.) (And I really, really shouldn't mock it because, well, it's all true. And the ladies were very knowledgeable, nice and helpful, and WOW, what a neighborhood bonding experience.)

There was little to do as we waited our turns except (a) refill our deceptively harmless margaritas and (b) gossip and gripe/brag about our kids.

"...and so while I was doing that she sneaked into the bathroom and got the toothpaste tube, which she practically emptied all over her hair!" I said, half still annoyed, half laughing.

"Oh my gosh," a friend laughed, "One time mine did that!"

"I don't know," I said, "With mine it's something every single day. I turn to take care of one and the other finds a marker or tube of toothpaste. It's insanity. So we're running late practically every morning."

"And she means running literally," quipped a neighbor, "I see you every morning, jogging. I pass you in the car and we're in a rush. I always think, 'Julie better turn into Flo Jo or she's going to get a tardy slip again!"

Everyone laughed.

Wait. You mean they have all noticed me running every day? What about the time...

Flashback, last week, morning, usual frantic rush to get out the door...

As usual we were on a tight timetable. "We have to leave in five minute," I called to the kids, "Are teeth brushed? Hair brushed? Hands washed? Faces washed? Potty done? Bums wiped? Toilets flushed? Clothes on? Do you have underwear on? Socks? Lunches in backpacks?" As I called out the checklist for morning readiness (and trust me, it all must be checked) I was hurriedly pulling on exercise clothes. Rats, I needed to do laundry and all my jog shorts were dirty. Too hot for yoga pants, hmm, how about these gauchos? They'll do. Yank them on, followed by sports bra, t-shirt, socks, and running shoes.

Personal hygiene checklist: hair in ponytail, puffy bruised sleep-deprived eyes behind sunglasses, ball cap to hide worst of morning hair frizz, teeth brushed, face good enough.

Spot check children. Little one shoeless as usual, garbed in PJs under two princess dresses. Check. Big one wearing vertical sherbert striped capris with light pink horizontal striped shirt. Socks, shoes, underwear, hair in ponytail, all looks clean and tidy. Check.

"Okay, ladies, let's haul ahhhh...err our bums quickly to school," I said, "Patience, you get your bike while I get your sister in the stroller."

To the street corner and beyond.

As I jogged along with the stroller behind Patience, who, I observed, was getting speedier and speedier on that bike, I began to notice a strange sort of sensation along my back. Something a bit like...air flow? The sensation moved south. I let loose of the stroller with one hand and felt...oh crap, my pants were falling off!

While standing still, the gauchos were simply roll top low rise. While running, they slid down my hips. Apparently, I've lost more weight.

So there I was...running late, running down the street, pants running down my legs. I hitched them up and tried to roll the top one more roll. Unsuccessful. I resigned myself to frequent hitching up. Hopefully discreetly.

Marvelous. Ahead of me? The group of junior high kids waiting for the bus. This meant (a) we were even later than I thought and (b) my discretion plan would fail. Junior high kids notice everything, maliciously.

One never grows up so much as to be immune to the taunting of tweens.

I gave a mighty hitch and prayed the pants would stay up as we passed the kids. No such luck. All the tugging, rolling and hitching made the stretchy fabric even more stretched. It was falling further, faster, now.

That's it, I thought, nothing for it but to push the stroller one-handed, hold the pants up with the other, and pray Patience doesn't get into a jam with her bike and need my help.

Down the main street I jogged as fast as I could, trying to keep up with Patience, keep up my pants and keep up some shred of dignity.

Neighbors drove by me, honked and waved. More neighbors rode by on their bikes, calling out "hello" and "better hurry up."

I couldn't wave back because that would mean letting loose of either the stroller or my pants, so I tried to do a regal nod of my head, instead.

All the while I kept thinking nobody noticed.


As I related this story to the very witnesses of my humiliation as if they had no idea it had happened, they laughed hysterically at me and cracked jokes. I may have been laughing the loudest.

Allow me to assure you that if you are in the middle of an embarrassing moment? Somebody always notices.

It was not for nothing though: Patience was on time.

P.S. Please feel free to share a similar story in the comments. Yes, feel very free.

Note: Make sure to come visit Moms Speak Up, where you can find me, Assertagirl Amy, Mommy off the Record Cristina, The Dana Files' Dana, Silent I Glennia, IzzyMom Izzy, Writing in the Mountains Kris, This Full House Liz, Ms. Booty Homemaker, Blogversary Sarah, BagMomma Shelli, Tere, and The Mummy Chronicles Victoria talking about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and many other hot topics of concern. We are women, parents, consumers, voters and much, much more and we're fed up with the "business as usual" attitude of politicians & greedy corporations. It's time for us to speak up and be heard!

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
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Anonymous said…

I've never had the sensation of pants falling off because I lost weight-what's that like? :P

Most of my embaressing stories are from my youth, so they don't really count.
Anonymous said…
Actually, I'm too busy being pleased you are making the choice to run to school instead of driving. Your neighbor in the car can't claim that...
Mary Alice said…
Ohhh weeping and sitting in a puddle! Thanks for sharing your pain.
Magpie said…
ROTFLMAO - Julie, you rock.
Anonymous said…
I am literally laughing out loud as I am reading this!!

I second Emily's post--kudos to you for running to school instead of driving.

Kyla said…
You and Flavia are indeed related! Horrifying jogging stories and all. LOL!
Sunshine said…
Being taunted by tweens. That is HARSH.

I used to be early to everything before I had children! Demon spawn, grrrrr.
Julie Pippert said…
Sunshine, luckily for us all the tweens did not so much as even twitter (by which I mean giggle, not text message).

Kyla OMG that's RIGHT, Flavia and her bum messages. Well her whole family has a bum thing. Don't forget her oldest daughter's big talent: writing the alphabet with her bum...and the i dot. ;)

I'm so glad our familial resemblance is evident through our embarrassing athletic stories LOL.

Lisa, thanks!

Magpie, thanks!

Mary Alice, that's me, always glad to help you make a mess and always glad to take one for the team!

Emily I figure it's two birds with one stone (can we get a less violent cliche???): save on fuel and be green, plus get needed exercise. Today I once again generated amusement as I tried to run fast enough to keep up with a friend on a bike as she told me a story.

Thordora, well, it's not pleasant! LOL And seriously, you do not humiliate yourself on a weekly basis? Well. Come sit right here. Plenty of fodder. LOL
Anonymous said…
So funny. And more importantly, excellent use of "Oh la." You NEVER get to hear that one anymore.
Lawyer Mama said…

My panty hose rolled off in court once. Oy. That was embarrassing.
Julie Pippert said…
LM, ROFLOL with you! See, WITH you!

Jeff, hey your Comedy Central bio is excellent! But what I want to know is WHY A RACCOON???? Shudder. I think I need to provide you with a link to my coon history. And as for "oh la" I do my level best daily to appear right out of the Regency period.
Kellan said…
Nope - no running for me. Never been a runner, but good for you! Take care.
Melissa said…
That happened to me in the gym not too long ago while I was on the treadmill. Fortunately I got some DUCT TAPE from the front desk and made a oh-so-stylish belt.
Leslie said…
Thanks for entertaining me! Reading this brought me back to the days when my kids were young and chaos reigned in our household -- seriously they were fun times... I never had the guts to run alongside my kids on their bikes to school - but I would drag our dog along the single file line of kids and it never dawned on me that people noticed... but they probably did - and now I wonder if my pants EVER fell down. hmmm, too late now!
Christine said…
oh julie!

first, congrats on the new weight loss. and two, this was a hilarious story, but not because you felt a bit embarrassed but because we have ALL been there.

and this: "One never grows up so much as to be immune to the taunting of tweens." so, so true.

keep running!
flutter said…
*snort* Oh Julie....
Anonymous said…
Har! But the "taunting of tweens"...? Oh, the very idea makes me shudder. Good on ya for running to school, even though it's thru necessity, not desire!
Aliki2006 said…
Oh, no! I don't have a similar story, I'm afraid, but I am both laughing and shuddering at yours...
Anonymous said…
Wow, you are just glutton for punishment w/ that story.
Julie Pippert said…
Blogversary, I'm not thinking or feeling like a glutton for punishment. It was one of those really silly moments that you just have to LOL about, so I am.

Aliki, it was pretty silly, LOL.

Omegamom, I am liking the solid heart-pumping exercise. I was getting a little bored of being stuck indoor using a machine.

Flutter, LOL

Christine, THANKS! And yeah, I figured we could all relate on some level LOL.

Minivan, you are welcome. Chaos does reign with young kids...but I figured that was SOP until basically, well, they grew up LOL. We take the dog sometimes too, but he's not small. He's over 100 lbs.

Melissa, LOL. A HA! Duct tape! Now I know what to add to the stroller. :)

Kellan, I still do not consider myself a runner, LOL.
Kat said…
You are a great story teller! I love people who can laugh at themselves. Thank you for sharing your story and giving me a good laugh.
At least you're all getting some good family excerise! And we all known not enough kids do these days. As for the duct tape, do pack some in the stroller - it's dead useful.
Laura said…
Let me catch my breath - from lughing and from the mad sprint I do with my 2 year old, 3 year old and 9 month old to the bus stop every afternoon!

My story is a bit different..but still shows the rush we as moms face. My little guy was in the NICU for a month after his birth. I went every day and my life was certainly up side down. One day the social worker was making rounds checking the mental pulse of each parenting unit. She came to me and we had a very brief exchange. I guess I passed her "test" but instead of getting up she leaned forward, then a little further - I thought, Dear Lord she is going to kiss me?!?!?!?!? Instead she leaned over to my ear and whispered, " Mom, your shirt is inside out!". I burst out laughing!

Thanks for a great post!
Bon said…
loved this, Julie...needed the laugh. thanks.

and those bras? will you post pictures?
Anonymous said…
And so now you've got all of us laughing. But in a good way, right? : )

That bra-fitting party is too much. I know the jiggle you're talking about -- where you lean over and cup the boobs and make sure they're firmly in the cups -- and I have to admit, I actually do it every morning. I learned it from the medela website when I was preggers.
painted maypole said…
we'll not call it running to keep from being tardy, we'll call it multi-tasking. and, apparently, enterainment. :)
Anonymous said…
You go girl! Screw 'em! I am lmao!!

Totally needed the guffaws and it brings up the recollection of walking into a drycleaner and getting exceptionally good service. The whole day had sucked and I was feeling like the universe was finally smiling on me. Alright then.

I get back in the car and notice as I pull the seat belt across my chest that the flap from my nursing top was still up from givng one of the kiddos a wheeze or two before we ran into the cleaners-- afraid we would be late.

Yup that nice young man was the one next in line with the Universe...not me.
S said…
ok, that bra fitting session story had me laughing and laughing...

and, not to make you jealous or anything -- well, maybe just a little ;) -- school here doesn't start until 8:30am. And from that point there are fourteen whole minutes to tardy!
Oh, lordy, lordy, I have a history of losing clothes:

1.) The half-slip that fell to the floor while in the hallway. I stepped out of it and neatly over it, pretending it was not mine.

2.) The bra pad (remember Wonder Bra) that fell out during an interview with a detective.

3.) The camisole I took off at work and stuff in my desk drawer after getting annoyed with a slipping strap. Weeks later, while looking for a notepad, my editor pulled it out of the drawer and held it up disbelievingly. The entire newsroom cracked up.

4.) The thigh-highs that slithered down my legs the first time I wore them to my summer office job. My dad was picking me up at noon for lunch, and by the time I reached the car, my stockings were flapping jauntily around my ankles and my dad was hunched over the steering wheel, laughing so hard that tears poured from his eyes. I was wearing a short, tight mini-skirt, just to give you the complete visual.
Julie, that's a classic! I loved it. Good giggle.

Heidi :)

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