Two weeks ago the whole family went on a 4-day Disney Cruise, and while it was a magical and memorable time (even the worst meltdowns don’t feel so bad when you have a fruity drink in your hot-little hand) there was a single, massively disappointing moment in the family vacation.
The baby lost his first competitive race.
I know what you’re thinking. A race? He’s a baby. Where do babies race?
Apparently, they race on the high seas, surrounded by Disney characters and competitive eaters (okay that was just me, but whatever). Apparently, Disney runs a cute little race among the crawling babies on the day the boat is at sea. Apparently, it has something to do with the baby from the movie The Incredibles, but I never had to sit though that one because my mother-in-law took the kids.
Due to the fact that my husband and I, and my parents, and my brother, and his family, are the biggest group of competition people I know, we had to throw Heavy B’s sweat baby butt in the ring, or should I say, on to the track.
I mean, since the moment he could crawl, the baby has been trying to get away from us. Fast. Like, super fast. A crawling competition with a small plastic trophy at the end? We knew he was the favorite, “Baby! You’ve been training for this, YOUR WHOLE LIFE,” my husband murmured as he rubbed his broad baby shoulders.
Of course, with any plan for victory you need a fool-proof strategy. As the Master of Ceremonies announced the race rules, we were super excited when he said a parent should be at both the start and finish lines, and the finish line parent can hold anything they want to convince the baby to crawl to them.
We got this.
As I stood with Heavy B at the starting line, my husband, slowly and stealthily took his place at the finish line with our golden ticket. The key to sweet, sweet victory. He held in his hand… a single banana.
Listen, when you’re dealing with a 35 pound 15-month-old you know you can guarantee he is an eater. This baby can spy a banana at the top of Chiquita Banana’s hat, and scale that bitch to get to it. Surely this would be the secret to the victory dance, and the coveted diaper dash trophy, which I already had mentally built a new mantle in our house around. That triumph would be the feather in our competitive cap.
That’s when my 10-year-old approached me with a new tactic to assist his baby brother with the win. “Maybe we should have some paper or plastic for him to chew on with Daddy too,” although an amazing idea, the baby does love to eat non-food items as well, we already had a game plan. “Stick to the game plan,” I hissed.
As the MC introduced the other racers I knew we’d have our work cut our for us but Heavy B had this in the bag. He was bigger and faster than any baby I’ve ever met before or since.
“Poor babies, they don’t stand a chance,” I muttered under my breath as I glanced at the other children being placed in the starting positions. Now a large crowd had gathered. Nothing better than cold libations on a huge boat while you watch a little friendly competition among a group of children that have yet to stand up right. I’m not gonna lie, I would have loved some side bet action, but I didn’t push it. After all, I had birthed the favorite.
As the verbal cues were uttered to signify the start of the race, I looked adoringly at my ginormous baby, and when the “Go!” was called I could almost see his fat little bottom as it crossed the finish line.
But the baby didn’t move.
He just sat there.
Between the noise, and the crowd, and the fact that his dad was holding a very small banana a very far distance away he just Didn’t. Go. Anywhere.
When that skinny little baby from Canada crossed the finish line I could barely see through my tears… of laughter. As my husband walked closer Heavy B saw the banana and his father coming in his direction and got really excited. We fed it to him as we issued a post race talk about winners and losers. How the next one was his for the taking but he had to want it. We knew we’d have to start training pretty hard when we got back home.
“We should have used the plastic,” my husband said as we walked away from the baby’s first of many losses.
“He coulda’ been a contender!” I yelled in my best New Jersey accent.
“Babe, this is the reason no one understands what you’re talking about. Stop quoting movies from the 1950’s!”
Whatever, he knew what I was talking about.