Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name

That my friends is a
stationary bike.
I was listening the other day to this comedian who was going on about how uncomfortable the bike seat was in the spinning class she was taking.  This got me on a quiet inside my head rant about spinning, which I of course will share with you so it doesn't keep rattling around in there.

 Calling spinning class "spinning' is the ultimate in the usage of spin (See how I made a play on words using two meanings of the word spin?  Honestly, I just slay me).  Obviously the person who came up with the name knew that no one was going to take a class called "stationary bike riding to good music," or really, any class having to do with a stationary bike if they knew that's what it was going to be.  People love to try something new and be cutting edge.  Enter "spinning."

When this first came out lots of people were raving how fun it was and that it was a great work out.   I asked people what exactly was spinning.  After hearing what it was I said "So it's like riding a stationary bike?"  "No, it's different."  "How?"  I asked.  "Well,  there's different kinds of music."  "But, you're still just riding a bike?  That doesn't go anywhere?"  "Sort of, but it gets harder and easier, like if you were riding over hills or flat areas."   This conversation continues along these lines because NO ONE will admit it's a stationary bike.  I don't know why.  Maybe there is a rule that you will get kicked out of class if you tell the secret.

While I don't like being on the receiving end of spin, because we all know that it's just another word for "bullshit,"  I am the queen of creating it when it comes to dealing with my children.  Now that they are older, it's harder, but I have to say, I am quite gifted.  As my friend Kim would say, "It's all in the presentation."

Because we are such good friends, I thought I would share some of my better efforts with you.  Those of you with younger children may want to take particular note.  Also, feel free to let us know some favorites that have worked with your kids.  I will add that learning this skill is not too difficult because children are notoriously slow learners.  It will be years, if ever, before they've realize what's happened.

Children are happiest
 when they don't
 know the truth.

My kids were picky eaters, and wouldnt' try anything unfamiliar.  Bingo!  Just give something new a familiar or kid-friendly name:

Ziti with ricotta cheese (think protein) = White Pizza Noodles.
We like white pizza, we don't know the word ricotta, so immediate ricotta veto.

Apples = Apple Sticks
We want cookies not fruit, but we can play/build with sticks.

Mandarin Oranges = Doll Oranges
We don't know the word mandarin so no, but little doll food is BRILLIANT.  Yes!

Pigs in the Blanket   = Hot Puppies
We don't like the weird name, so can't taste that, but hot puppy sounds like a baby hot dog.  Perfect!  Akin to miniature doll food, we love it.

This child whined and complained
for 8 hours leading up to a
3 hour car trip, thanks to his
father's policy on honesty.
Embellishing is also important to do when there is something your kids are stuck doing they aren't going to like.  If a ride is going to take close to 3 hours, you don't want to lead with that.  You say "2 and half to 3 hours."  *Please note* It is important to let your husband know how this stuff works.  You don't want to give the above answer only to have your husband pipe in "Oh no, it will take at least 3 hours.  Maybe longer."

I am not saying to lie to your kids, I am just saying that with some creative vagueness, everyone's life will be happier.  The key is to say everything with absolute sincerity like there could be no other answer.  Do not hesitate or hem and haw.  I told you before, they smell weakness. 


  1. OMG! Isn't it too bad that Donkey wasn't around when I was raising my children? Just think of what the picky eater might have tried. I gasp to think of opportunities missed. Wish I could go back and try again. Just imagine how much finer my children would have turned out.
    Wait a minute. My children are perfect! I must have done that stuff and not known.
    Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.
    Love, Mom

  2. Oh, and I'm joining a zumba class. What have you got to say about that? I can hardly wait to hear what it REALLY is.
    Love, Marjorie

  3. Kind of like when we told the boys they could not go to California with Mommy & Daddy because we were not sure if kids were allowed...we were going to 'check it out first'. They were very happy to hear when we returned that kids ARE allowed. Who knew!! xoxo Jenni

  4. So funny! So true! I think every (smart) parent can spin a good one or two. One of my more successful ones was that broccoli is "little trees" that we plant in the snowy mountains (mashed potatoes.) Yeah, I let my kids play with their food. But they ate it.

  5. "No! Those aren't onions! Celery turns clear when you cook it!" (worked every time)- CLY

  6. My favorite spin on dinners was borne out of sarcasm. I was making a baked chicken with crushed Rice Krispes for the first time. Rather than have the kids reject the new food without ever trying it, when asked what we were having, I replied, "Monkey Brains." It is now their favorite dish.

    As for the Class In Which You Ride Bikes That Don't Go Anywhere, I'm still a fan. I know what it is that we do (or don't do) in there, but the music is good; I don't have to be out in the freezing cold; and you get to talk to your fellow participants much more easily than if you were actually going somewhere.


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