The Long and the Short of it

I gotta start working on building the strength in my muffin top. I realize that the rest of the world may refer to it as their Core but let's be honest: some titles need to be earned. And I threw my core out the window while paying for my last pregnancy craving at the nearest drive-thru four years ago.

The only real irony here is that I'm busting my booty to get that ab strength back at least a little bit just in case I get knocked up again. I know. If I think about it too hard, my head starts to hurt, too.

So out comes the Gaiam Mari Windsor pilates DVD set again. I stretch. I concentrate. I make beautiful transitions from one movement to the next. I laugh when I get to that legs curled over the head move with the toes on the ground move because I'm nowhere near flexible enough to pull that one off yet. Instead, I'm practicing my yoga candle pose to pass the time while waiting for Mari to tell me what do do next to tone and strengthen the abs hiding below the formerly mentioned muffin top.

"Mama, you have your pillow, right?" Buttercup is sitting on the couch, playing something vaguely educational on my iPod while I Provide a Good Example for Her by working out to be healthy and strong. She's seen (and joined in on) the DVD enough times to know that I follow the modified moves, which includes a pillow for neck support."

"Yep, it's right here next to me for when I finish this move," I say, hoping she can hear the words that seem, for some inexplicable reason, to be muffled into the Muffin Top Upside Down Cake of a mess which was once referred to as my stomach. I start to count the rolls and decide that it's a blessing to all of us that our world is right-side up. Less trauma that way for the innocent passersby.

"Don't forget to modify. And breathe, Mom. You need to breathe!"

Why yes, folks. That is my four-year-old talking. Why do you ask?

I roll my eyes and lower myself as ungracefully as possible from my candle pose, awaiting Mari's next instruction. She says something about transitions being seamless and beautiful and firm tight buns (they sell those at the bakery?) and long lean legs and I nod and follow along, my eyes on the television screen, and not on the back of my head watching Buttercup's head shoot up, eyebrows furrow in a look that can only be interpreted as What the Hell?, and the corner of her mouth curl up in disbelief at what she just heard.

"Mama?" Her voice ends on an up-note.

"Yes?" I stand, the pilates DVD complete. "What do you need?"

She scrunches her face in a But How Do I Put This Delicately sort of way and then shrugs her shoulders because it's useless.

"You don't have long, lean legs."

I laugh and kiss her on the head, thanking the stars above she didn't pick up on the lack of firm bunnage. She's probably saving that one for next time.