Grandchildren – the ultimate cardio for seniors

Who needs a Fitbit when you have a 3-year old?

I got a Fitbit for Christmas and I think it’s just about had it. So you know, a Fitbit is a hi tech device you wear like a wristwatch. In addition to telling time, it counts your daily steps and records your sleep patterns. Nice to have if you’re focused on becoming more active and strive for better health.

Or, for $150 less, you can invite a three-year old to live with you for the weekend. Grandson Colin, a non-stop chatterbox that sprinkles words like “vehicle” into the conversation, gave my Fitbit a real workout during his weekend stay with Barb and me. If you are ever charged with the care of a three-year old, you can cancel your overpriced gym membership.

When Colin hangs with Grampy, he is not interested in eating which means Grampy doesn’t eat either, which, in turn, cuts my daily intake from 2,000 calories to about 26. The kid just wants to use me as his on-demand play buddy.

When I finally bribed him to sit for a meal by promising he could watch Paw Patrol after dinner, the real fun began. He seemed pretty excited that we would be making tacos for dinner. I bought a self-contained taco kit, prepped the lettuce and tomatoes, shredded cheese as Barbie cooked the seasoned ground beef.

“I don’t want meat on my taco, Grampy.”

“WHAT?! How about some lettuce?”

“I don’t like lettuce,” he said.

As negotiations approached a stalemate, Colin agreed to put some cheese on a warm soft tortilla, roll it up and eat it.

“Now can you put on Paw Patrol?”

Paw Patrol is an animated Nick Junior series starring puppies with overactive imaginations, which they need because they often find themselves in a fix. The show’s introduction explains that the themes encourage creative problem solving. Where was creative problem solving when my generation of cartoons, like Roadrunner, continued to have anvils dropped on his head in the middle of the desert?

And why didn’t Mr. Magoo find an optometrist who could write him a better glasses prescription? Here’s the problem. I never learned creative problem solving because of the baby boomer cartoon culture. Otherwise, maybe I could’ve gotten Colin to eat a taco with meat.

I liked Paw Patrol. Trouble is, Colin insisted on watching the same episode no less than six times over the weekend. Again, I failed as a negotiator when I repeatedly suggested we watch an episode or two of Shimmer and Shine.

“No, Grampy. I want the pirates and Paw Patrol.”

Between meals, naps and a bit of TV, I managed about 15,000 steps each day. I’m proud to admit none of those steps included strolling to my cupboard for a Jameson on the rocks.

After singing. “Yo ho ho, we’re on the Paw Patrol” about 50 times, Colin’s mom came to collect her son. As much fun as it was, I was ready to jump into my vehicle and find a Mexican restaurant for beef tacos and a margarita.