Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Pavlovian Response

The babies became conditioned to a timer I used when I would do sit-ups. They would learn what the timer meant and would want to play. Before I ran or went to the gym, I would do sit-ups. I don’t do sit-ups to have ‘six pack abs’. I do sit-ups to strengthen my abs and warm-up my back. When I was younger, I had back problems. I found that if I did sit-ups after running, my back would start hurting. However, if I did sit-ups before running, my back would not hurt. So, I would do sit-ups for the sake of my back.

I used a timer to do crunches for 3 minutes at a time. I could have done a set number of crunches but having to count would be a pain in the ass. Besides, if I didn’t have to count, I could watch TV making the time go by faster.

When I went to the floor and laid down, the babies would jump up and start to lick my face. After a minute or so, they would lay back down. I would start to do my sit-ups. I don’t know how long it took until the babies knew what the beeper meant. The babies knew that while I was doing sit-ups, they couldn’t bother me. However, they soon learned that the beeper sounding meant that I was not doing sit-ups. I was fair game for them to play with.

The babies would jump up. Andy would grab a toy and drop it in on me. I would throw the toy down the hall or into the loft; Andy would give chase. Meanwhile, Abby would lick my face and kissy me. Once I started doing sit-ups again, they would lie down and wait for the next round. When they started this routine, I was slightly annoyed. Soon, I would learn to like it and think of it as a cute thing on a growing list of cute things they were capable of.

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