My husband and I are hard-working individuals. We spend our days running around, getting things done, and rarely have time to sit and relax. So you can imagine my surprise when I gave birth to a sloth, one of the slowest moving creatures to ever inhabit the earth.
It all started in the womb. I was pregnant with boy/girl twins and I would only feel her movement, never his. I spent my entire pregnancy concerned about his well-being but at every ultrasound, you could see our little girl repeatedly kicking him in the head, while he just sat there, relaxing and absorbing the blows. And naturally he was breach the entire last trimester, which meant I had to have a C-section. My daughter was headfirst, determined to come out, so she was delivered in no time, while the doctor spent quite a while just trying to find my son and dig him out. When she did finally manage to pull him out, he was just just hanging out, still enclosed in his amniotic sac and apparently oblivious to the fact that he was being born that day!
This “sloth” attitude has persisted into childhood and over the years he has become a master of conserving energy.
When he was 4, we noticed that whenever chores were mentioned, groceries needed to be brought in from the car, or anyone required assistance with any type of physical labor, he was suddenly stricken with debilitating stomach pains that seemed to dissipate just as the task has been completed by someone else.
When he was 5, he finally agreed to learn how to swim. And although after his lessons he was fully competent to do so, he preferred to move in his patented “side float” style. He would go down the slide and time it just perfectly to where the waves would gently roll him over the side of the pool and he would never have to actually swim at all.
When he we was 6, we moved to a new house that had a second story. For his birthday he asked for one of those wheelchair-assisted devices to take him up and down the stairs. He was being dead serious.
When he was 7, we discovered he suffered from a mysterious and self-proclaimed illness known as “nature sickness.” If he spent too much time walking around outside, he would undoubtedly have an episode. This ailment is so rare that so far he is the only known documented case.
When he was 8, he got a hoverboard for Christmas and I don’t think I’ve seen the sloth walk since.
He’s 9 now and he is still passionate about energy conservation. He wears native shoes year round so he doesn’t have to worry about tying shoes or putting on socks. He completely forgoes PJs and sleeps in his clothes for the next day so that he doesn’t have to put forth any effort into an unnecessary clothing change. He’s even been known to purposefully not drink water when he’s watching a movie because he doesn’t want to take the time for bathroom breaks. And if you ever take him shopping with you, you better make sure there is adequate seating or that you bring a stroller.
Future goals include becoming a YouTube sensation. He assures us that he will never move out and he means it. He will be the kid that goes to college, not to further his academic endeavors, but to join a fraternity. And I would bet money that he will make it through all 6 years of college without ever doing a single load of laundry because he will focus his efforts on finding a girl that will do it for him.
Although having a sloth for a son can be frustrating, there are definitely some positive aspects to it. Since reading is a sedentary activity, he has logged enough hours doing it to where he is reading several grade levels ahead. And if I ever need to find him, he is usually still laid out in the last place I saw him. Plus, he is always down to hang out. He would like nothing more than to grab a can of Zevia and talk about Minecraft for hours on end.
But mostly, sloths force busy bodies like me to relax, to not rush through life. If it weren’t for him, I would probably never take the time to sit and watch a movie. And sloths really are the best snugglers. He makes me realize that dishes can be done later and that laundry isn’t going anywhere. He teaches me to be present in the moment. I would say he helps me stop and smell the roses, but we really can’t chance a flare up of his nature sickness!