how to get in shape: ten easy steps.

1. When your son asks what you are doing, tell him that you are going to exercise. Try not to get too upset when you realize he has no idea what that word means. Mentally calculate how long it’s been since you last exercised. Quickly abandon that advanced math.

2. Set your laptop up in a convenient place. Or in your closet next to a bag from Banana Republic that you really ought to throw away.

3. Change into workout clothes, which will somehow teach your son that exercise means taking all your clothes off. Insist that your son wear his diaper even though he wants to “exercise” in the nude.

4. Yell EXERCISE a bunch of times because it seems like an exciting way to start.

5. Thrill your son by exercising along with the video. Mama is jumping around! Mama does pushups on the floor and I think that would be a good time to sit on her! I want Mama to hold me while she exercises! I want to hold one of her weights! Not that weight, the other one! I want to drink her water!

6. When your son looks at you and laughs, don’t take it personally. Laugh with him. Then laugh at him as he imitates you doing jumping jacks. Then laugh together.

7. Keep up the pace as much as you can while he serenades you with his guitar, as he tries on your clothes, and when he “hides” behind his dad’s pants. It is, however, okay to use him as an excuse to “get a breather” if you need one.

8. Limp around behind him for the rest of the day. Respond when he randomly yells the word EXERCISE! Yeah, exercise!

9. Ask yourself some questions: When was the last time you laughed during exercise? Do you remember when jumping around was fun instead of a chore? Can you think of an exercise session that went by so quickly?

10. When he asks you to exercise some more, tell him there will be more exercising tomorrow. Actually follow through.

11. But, seriously, son, you have to wear your diaper.

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