In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Steamboat Motherhood Olympics

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

Crunch!

Ugh, Cheerios. Even ground into the carpet she knows what they are. Nevertheless, Steamboat mother Jenny Jones ignores the Cheerios, ignores the sink of dirty dishes, steps nimbly around the toys designed to stimulate neural development scattered all over the floors and loads her two children, John, 9 months, and Jack, 20 months, into the double baby jogger.

And now the run!

Oops! She forgot the dog. She snaps a leash on Jasper, her golden retriever, grabs a sippy cup, a baby bottle and opens the front door.

And now the run!

Oops! She forgot her cell phone. She jogs back inside only to be interrupted by a piercing wail from the jogger. John needs his diaper changed. A blowout! Great. New diaper, new clothes.

And now the run!

Waaaah! A bloodcurdling cry from the jogger. Jack has managed to unsnap the childproof belt, crawl out of the jogger and fall on the gravel driveway, scraping his knee. She grabs the wailing child, cleans the cut, puts a Spiderman bandage on it and hands him half a banana.

And now the run!

She notices her neighbors' trash cans and recycling containers with cardboard boxes neatly broken down and stacked. Oops! Garbage day! She jogs back to her house, drags the trash can down her driveway, looks at the overflowing recycling containers and decides they can wait.

And now the run!

She jogs in place as the dog strains on the leash and takes a dump in the neighbors' yard. Forget it! She is not going back for the poop bag. Pushing a 50-pound baby jogger with one 10-pound baby and a 25-pound toddler, she begins the first hill climb. On the straightaway, she picks up speed. Fortunately, the two kids are asleep and don't even wake up as she zips across the finish line. The crowd roars and the judges award her a 9.5. Second place! She is penalized for forgetting the poop bag and not taking out the recycling. Still, she is a full 30 minutes ahead of the mother from Stagecoach and hours ahead of the sleep-deprived new mom from Silver Spur who ignored her alarm, rolled over and went back to sleep.

In first place is uber-mom from Heritage Park. Everyone suspects she is doping (mainlining caffeine), but so far she has tested clean. She has four kids younger than the age of 5 and all but the infant are potty trained. Cheater!

Jenny Jones ignores the cries of the crowd and moves on to stage two of the competition: the relay, also known as "the hand off." Into the arms of her husband go the two children. "Fed John at 5 a.m., he pooped at 5:15, changed diaper at 5:20, now you need to feed him again and put him down for a morning nap. Check the cut on Jack's knee, give him a snack (not Cheerios) and let him play for 30 minutes in the playroom. Watch him so he doesn't stick a toy in his mouth. Take the clothes out of the dryer and start another load of laundry, OK? Gotta go. Love you."

Done in 9.8 seconds, a new world record!

Jenny Jones moves into the final stage of the competition: the sprint.

Hoping to gain ground on uber-mom, she showers in less than 10 seconds and gets dressed while blow-drying her hair. Alas, she loses time looking for her Teva sandals. She finally finds them underneath Jasper's dog bed.

A bronze for Jenny Jones!

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