Relay Race

Samantha and Ella, inspired by recent commercials they’ve seen about the Winter Olympics, have decided to train for the Summer Olympics (they realize they’re too young for the upcoming winter season). I was unaware how athletic and driven they are until last night, when their plan finally became clear to me.

I had just finished giving them both baths and getting them into their pajamas before bed. Penelope was hungry, so I sat in the rocking chair in the nursery to feed her, giving the girls instructions to pick out one book each to read before bed. They took the opportunity to practice for the relay race instead.

The rocking chair sits against the wall opposite the door that leads to the hallway. At one end of the hallway is our bedroom, at the other end is the girls’ room. Samantha had placed her seven Disney princess dolls on our bed earlier that day to prevent Ella from playing with them.

As I sat there, rocking the baby, I heard screaming from both girls. I then saw Ella, running to her room, legs pumping, a determined look on her face, holding Sleeping Beauty in front of her like the Olympic torch. Right behind her, tears from the pain of training streaming down her face, her own arms outstretched, screaming encouragement for Ella, came Samantha, feet pounding the floor as she ran. They disappeared into the room briefly, more screaming, then re-emerged. This time, Samantha was holding the doll with perfect form, running even faster than before, followed closely by Ella, screaming her own words of encouragement for Samantha, tears from the effort running down her face. I missed the actual baton hand off, but it must have been well executed because they were in their room only briefly.

Now, I will know when I am occupied feeding the baby, or changing her diaper, or trying to get two minutes to myself to use the bathroom, and I hear screaming, they are not fighting, but rather practicing for their upcoming showing in the relay race at the Olympics.

There are only two of them, and I believe they need four to qualify for the race. Penelope is coming up. She may be only a novice runner when the time comes, but I bet her sisters can catch her up to speed quickly, and will be able to compensate for their weak link with all the practicing they’re doing. As for the fourth, well, they’re just going to have to figure something out, because Sean and I will not be providing them with their final teammate.

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