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Tales of a Tireless Mom: Swifter, Higher, Stronger

A tireless mom's guide to easy and entertaining Olympic viewing.

Here at Chez Shumway, we’re in Gold Medal Olympic mode. While I’m sure that many of you are tuning in to those popular (and some obscure) Olympic events, if you haven’t had a chance to get caught up as a family, there’s still time to start.

To help those parents who are more than happy to change the channel from Sprout, Teen Nick or even Sports Center for a few weeks, here’s the Tireless Mom’s Guide to Easy and Entertaining Olympic Viewing.

  1. Women’s Gymnastics – I think it’s safe to say that these five tiny girls are the A-listers of the Games and we just can’t get enough. It’s funny to see how everyone views differently: Andy and I are constantly gasping and muttering “this is so dangerous,” while Georgia’s eyes sparkle as she cartwheels across the Family Room rug. She recently found out that she goes to the same dentist as Ali Raisman and is hell-bent on scheduling coinciding appointments this fall. Can you say “7-year old stalker?”
  2. Spoilers - Some of us like to watch the tape delay and be surprised (Mom), some watch the live events during the day (Dad) and others like to find out results, come home from camp and blurt them out to spoil it for everyone else (Georgia).
  3. Swimming – The world records! The smiling faces! The relay teams that come from behind! This year’s swimmers can teach your kids lessons about hard work, determination, and that if they pee in the pool then the whole world will find out.
  4. Beach Volleyball – Misty Mae and Kerri, with their friendship and mastery of the game, seem unstoppable. Now if only they could convince the rest of the world’s volleyball duos that one’s undergarments should not be worn OVER one’s shirt, then I’d be happy.
  5. Track and Field – watching the “Fastest Man/Woman” race is always a hit but 2012 brings one of the Olympics’ most teachable moments with South African sprinter Oscar Pistorious. AKA “Blade Runner,” this world-class sprinter happens to be a double amputee and runs on prosthetic legs.  We’ve told the kids that the next time they think something isn’t fair and contemplate giving up, just think of Oscar. He is truly inspiring.
  6. Archery – Not sure if it’s thanks to Katniss Everdeen or that they get the chance to try out a bow and arrow at Nobles Day Camp, but we’re intrigued.
  7. Fencing – Take it from me, skip this one. The constant beeping of the scoring machines will make you want to jam a pen in your eye. Plus, those weird masks they wear make them look like a creepy bug/human hybrid.
  8. Women’s softball – Wait, I forgot, THEY CUT THIS SPORT. However, they have recently added Synchronized Swimming, Automatic Pistol Shooting and Olympic Trampoline to the Games. And speaking of random events, did you know that even Tug of War was a sport until 1920?  *Shakes head*
  9. Soccer – We LOVE the women’s team! Alex, Abby, Meg, Hope and the rest of the roster are strong female role models who are insanely good and display great sportsmanship to boot. Their games are not to be missed.
  10. Table Tennis – We old folks know this as Ping Pong but hey, Potay-to, Potatah-to, it’s just fun to watch these little maniacs recreate the Olympic scene from Forrest Gump. The kids don’t get the reference but it’s easy for the whole family to get sucked in.

Citius, Altius, Fortius, my fellow parents . . . and enjoy the Olympic Theme song that’s sure to be stuck in your head long after the Closing Ceremonies end!

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