Forget boot camps and Insanity workouts! No need to waste money on barre classes, gyms or even yoga mats. If you want to burn some real calories, get your toddler dressed when you have less than two hours to get out the door, a limited amount of patience and a list of things to be accomplished out in the real world.

When Henry was an infant, I remember absolutely dreading having to put him in his pajamas before bed each night. My husband and I would argue over whose turn it was. We would do bath time, lotion, diaper and then he would go in his crib where I would brace myself for my nightly cardio.

Rookie Mistake #1: Buying sleepers with snaps, not zippers. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this crucial piece of parenting advice? And lining all the snaps up so their pajamas aren’t crooked or there isn’t a random extra snap at the top when you got to their neck was nothing short of a miracle.

I once compared getting baby Henry in his pajamas to wrestling an octopus. No, I have never wrestled an octopus, but I can imagine it is just as difficult and would also cause me to break an intense sweat.

After successfully wrestling my infant into his pajamas and snapping approximately 86 snaps, I would wipe the sweat from my face and congratulate myself for a job well done. I felt like I needed to do a cool down and then treat myself to a cheat meal.

I thought the effort of dressing my kid would improve as he got older. I was so wrong. As he developed his little personality and become mobile, it got substantially more difficult.

Let’s start with the fact that Henry LOVES HIS FOOTIE PAJAMAS! He has two favorite pairs, the orange pair with the bears he says are doing the Hot Dog Dance and the white pair with the monsters that are also doing the Hot Dog Dance. I try to make a point to make sure at least one of these is clean at all times, but I would be lying if I said I actually did laundry that often.

If I bring out the blue pajamas with the footballs or one of his other 26 pairs of pjs, he will lay on the ground and sob. I have never known anyone to have such intense emotion about pajamas, except maybe me now that I’m pregnant.

In the mornings, HE DOES NOT WANT TO TAKE HIS PAJAMAS OFF. I have to chase him around the house, grab him by any limb I can get a hold of, and pin him on the ground with one hand while peeling them off with the other.

This is why if you see Henry on the weekend he is most likely wearing his orange bear or white monster pajamas with a hat and rain boots. I choose my battles and relaxing on the weekends is key.


On some weekdays I can manage to get him out of his pajamas in under thirty seconds. On other days he will lock his knees so I can’t bend them to get the feet off.

Then comes the task of putting his clothes on. First comes the diaper change. This kid loves to be naked. Once his diaper comes off he is up and running like the free spirit he is. He normally heads straight to the dog bed to lay down, which I find odd and equally gross. I have strategically placed the dog bed in a corner so I can trap him. Then I have to wipe all the dog hair off his little naked body and apply a new diaper.

If I put on a diaper that has previously been unfolded, he will FREAK OUT! Those are the ones I put in his little backpack to take to the sitter and our parents so I don’t have to deal with that tantrum.

After the diaper, I move on the shirt. When I place it over his head for approximately four seconds, he screams and cries that he cannot see. No shit kid. Getting his arms through the arm holes normally takes a while because he locks his elbows and laughs. I think it brings him joy to watch me sweat and hear me cuss.

Disclaimer: Stop judging. I cuss in front of my kid.

After the shirt is on, he usually manages to wiggle out of my grasp and race to the playroom where he hides under his little art table and laughs. After a few minutes of bargaining that are always unsuccessful, I get my six-month pregnant body on the ground, grab him and pin him to the ground again for pants. Forget zippers and buttons, the kid practically lives in sweatpants. I don’t have time for bells and whistles people.

Socks are next. I have to make sure the toes are lined up perfectly on his foot or a major meltdown will occur where he cries saying his foot hurts. Which leads to him asking me to kiss his foot to make it better. Kissing a toddler foot makes me vomit in my mouth but sometimes it’s just necessary so you can move on with your day.

Next are shoes, which are a rare occurrence now that he has experienced rain boots. Blue rain boots with whales go with any outfit in our house, not matter the color. I have also let him wear them to church a few times.

We normally top the outfit off with a bucket hat or an actual bucket on his head.

By the time I get my child dressed in the morning, it has usually been a ten minute minimum with approximately nineteen real cuss words, twenty-three child-friendly cuss words and 678 calories burned.

So if you are ever looking for a true workout, come to my house around 7 am Monday-Friday and help me out. I would greatly appreciate it.

Until Next Time,