Years ago, when I lived in London, I prided myself on my ability to zip through the thousands of Saturday shoppers clogging up Oxford Street. I could negotiate moving crowds like nobody’s business – because challenging environments force you to adapt and evolve. Take parenthood: you’ll never evolve quite so fast as you will after having a kid. These days I am quite the parenting superhero. Behold, my superpowers…
1. Texting under a pillow. No idea how I manage to do this without more typos, but it’s a skill borne out of survival and a desperate need to connect with the outside world. (Essential after your third day without leaving the house because it’s raining and you can’t get My Pet And Me’s theme tune out of your head.) I don’t dare to text in full view of Charlie, because that’s the end of mummy being allowed to use her own phone until he a) loses interest or b) falls asleep. For the record, a) never happens. I suspect my child may be a genius because at 10 months he’s in there teaching himself shit. Last time he had my phone, he taught himself how to delete apps and I came back to find he had binned Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. He’s not very discerning.
2. One-handed cooking. After ten months of being a mama, I can cook a roast chicken with a kid on my hip. Or anything you want to throw at me. And once you’ve mastered cooking, retrieving things from a hot oven one-handed and opening the dishwasher and its sliding trays with your foot, you’ll find yourself being able to do everything one-handed with a baby on your hip, like putting multiple loads of washing on, mopping the floor, retrieving a dummy from under the fridge, washing it and stuffing it back in the baby’s mouth. You think I’m joking. I’m at the osteopath every second week, people.
3. Making a ‘meal’ out of anything. Granted, it’s not a meal you might sit down to eat yourself, but edamame beans, some scrambled egg and a piece of toast with hummus looks like it kinda ticks all the nutritional boxes. Of course, your baby will eat none of it, but at least you can put him or her to bed knowing you tried.
4. Working most productively at 11pm. I don’t know when my work day started at 11pm. Oh yeah, when I went back as a new mother. Which brings me to…
5. The ability to cram a lot into no time at all. Like a whole day’s work into 2-3 hours (amazing what you can do when you work non-stop without Twitter breaks). Or using a mere ten minutes while the baby’s catnapping to throw dinner together, put a load of washing on and blitz the house so it looks vaguely presentable.
6. Avoiding bubba-related injuries. Bubbas may be cute 95 percent of the time, but the other 5 percent they can inflict real pain if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like if they’re exploring your face with their fingers and stick a sharp fingernail in your eye. Or give you an accidental head butt to the mouth which leaves you seeing stars and nursing a bleeding lip. And don’t get me started on using your hair like a vine a monkey would swing on in the jungle. Charlie’s also going through a stage of slapping things at moments of hilarity or excitement, which could be the table, a book, an unsuspecting soft toy or my head. I can now deflect slaps like Neo in the Matrix, and I’m also super speedy in moving the discarded books, blocks and screechy battery-operated kids’ toys with my feet while beating back a path to the fridge. (We’re working on the head butting and hair pulling thing.)
What’s your parenting super power?