FitBit Shaming

FitBit Shaming on West of Home, South of Sanity

“Oh, FitBit. Where have you been all my life? Come on over here and let me strap you to my wrist, so we can make magic.” He obliges and folds himself snug against my skin. He’s small, but so cute, and I know he’ll be good for me.

For weeks, life was happy. FitBit didn’t complain once when I knocked him into things. He didn’t scold me if I didn’t make my intended 10,000 steps. Instead, he’d gently encourage me with little texts like, “You’re almost there! You only have 1000 steps left to reach your goal!” It was just the right amount of motivation and I was grateful for his companionship.

Life was so good that I decided to bring him along on a quick trip to Universal Studios with my five children. They knew he was in my life; it was hard to hide him. But they didn’t realize his power yet, so on the first day in the parks, I officially introduced him and pressed his cute little reveal side button to show the kids all he did for me. They were impressed and about an hour into day one, they asked for my adorable FitBit’s step count. We all wanted to see just how much we were capable of with FitBit on my wrist.

As I steered my son Nick, who has cerebral palsy, in his push chair through the parks, the kids would ask me to check in with FitBit. “What does he say? How are we doing?” I’d yell out the illuminated numerals and let FitBit motivate us through the crowds and heat toward more rides. It was exciting!

Then trouble entered paradise on day two when I noticed my little cutie wasn’t cooperating. He was physically there, obviously noticeable by the black strap on my pale wrist, but he wasn’t “there.” It was as though he was completely checking out and not paying attention to me. Maybe he was overwhelmed by the kids. I get it. They’re a lot to take on, they’re loud, but they’re mine, so he had to accept them. Just because I couldn’t take huge walking strides through crowds while pushing Nick’s chair didn’t mean I wasn’t walking! But there he was, not counting my shuffle steps. I briefly fantasized about not protecting him on the water rides.

I felt helpless. I’d brought him with me on this trip to keep me motivated and now he was checking out on our relationship. This was not fair to me at all! He was being a jerk for no reason, but I didn’t have time or energy to be mad at him. I had five children to keep happy, so I let him stay on my wrist (I mean seriously, how else was he getting back home?) and stopped pushing his button.

Day three was no better. He was a little responsive as we entered the parks, but then he started with the silent treatment again. While waiting in line for the Harry Potter train, I decided to test him. I would push his button, take a few steps and see if he noticed. Nope. Nothing. He wouldn’t even look my way. It was a though I didn’t exist.

Anger overtook my sadness and confusion. How dare he? Who does he think he is? Can he not give me credit for being the only parent on this trip who drove the majority of the 18 hours here? Through the darkness of night? Can he not give me credit for sharing ONE hotel room with my five children and not being alone in DAYS? Can he not offer extra numerals for my bravery of rushing roller coasters and extreme heat with complaining kids? Can he at least acknowledge the fact that I’m pushing a 60 lb kid around for miles each day? What a complete and total jerk!

I almost ripped him from my wrist and tossed his sorry ass in the trashcan outside Gringots. He deserved as much for ignoring my efforts on this trip.

Then I realized I didn’t want to breakup with him there in Orlando, Florida. I was angry and hurt, but he deserved a second chance. So, I brought him home with me and let him sulk and think about his behavior for a week in a dark drawer.

I am happy to report we found happiness together again, but I can’t say he’ll join me on my next vacation, especially since my husband will be there.