I admired my parents as a child. I thought they were the prettiest, best-dressed, youngest parents EVER. Now I realise they must’ve had other (less superficial) skills too to cope with four kids. I was a mere mortal before motherhood, but soon developed my own enhanced abilities vital for child-rearing. Parents are indeed superheroes, and here’s the proof.
I grew up with three brothers, so grossness is normal to me. Little did I know this is nothing compared to experiencing a small human’s faecal matter on your hands. After this their other bodily excretions such as projectile vomiting, is generally a breeze. Disclaimer: snot is my kryptonite.
You’ll correct every bit of slang, bad grammar and mispronunciation emitted from their mouths until they no longer embarrass you in public. Just like your own mother did to you.
You and your partner will perfect the spelling of swear words and invent secret code for relating grownup stuff not meant for innocent little ears. Disclaimer: this might beget a child who perfects the spelling of swear words at a tender age.
You’ll discover that consistently rewarding and praising them for every little fart only develops a misguided sense of accomplishment and entitlement. Not nice to be around and detrimental to the child. They sometimes need to bask in the quiet enjoyment of a job well done, without expecting validation from you.
Proof that parents are superheroes: because they know EXACTLY when kids are doing, have done or are thinking about doing something untoward. It’s one of the essential capabilities we’ve evolved as a matter of survival.
Think Daredevil at his peak, shadowing a baddie. Your ability to hear the smallest sigh or intake of breath is at 200% capacity. Conversely, also at 200% is the child’s inability to hear you calling them to supper or to clean up their mess.
“MOM, talk like Merida’s mommy again!”
Parents need to be highly entertaining or the child will seek entertainment elsewhere.
“Woman, it’s your turn to put the money in the slipper.” Disclaimer: sorry if your noisy knees out you as the Tooth Fairy one fateful night. At least you managed this move for a good 10 years.
Yes to cake, decorations, party packets, food for kids AND grownups for less than 1 grand. No to self-indulgent, wasteful kid’s parties that they won’t even remember, just to compete on social media.
Carrying a heavy child, your handbag, groceries AND unlocking the door with one hand, without dropping anything. Yass, queen.
Whoop! First prize for the dragon fairy costume and Easter bonnet. Ensure you have stuff like wigs, fairy wings, assorted frippery and the internet for Googling last-minute costumes. And a colour printer.
Arranging the sprog’s new artwork on the fridge in an un-shite manner is an asset. As is the artful display, curation and practical use of assorted preschool clay creations around the home.
Sometimes you run out of time or forget to do important stuff. Then you need to know how to wrap gifts like a nocturnal ninja without waking up the whole house.
Be handy with a needle or at least know someone who’ll sew for free. If you have a kneeling, shredding, clothes-killer, you’ll need to sew patches on the holey knees of every pair of little pants. And when you hear “MOM, I can’t wear THAT, it doesn’t have POCKETS!”, you’d better make bespoke pockets post haste.
The Matrix’s Neo’s got nothing on you.
The child: Mom, what’s a penis?
The mom: I don’t have one. Ask your dad.
The child insists on having a fringe, so you have to cut it despite this not being a skill. Do it in the vain hope that one day you’ll actually get to see her forehead (i.e. cut it skew on purpose). Also show her that moms don’t need to be stuck at the hairdresser while dads get to do cool stuff. DIY haircuts make trips to the hairdresser a treat, not a torture.
“Mom, what’s for supper?”
AARGHHH! Yes, providing decent family meals is expected of parents, but sometimes you wish you had a personal chef. It helps to have a husband who also knows how to cook. It behoofs you to learn how to hide veggies in meals for fussy eaters. Make sure you follow the 80/20 rule of 80% good food, 20% bad.
Apparently it’s natural for kids to lie. I lied constantly as a child, ditto my three brothers. As long as you know BS when you hear it. When they’re older, you’ll need to hone this skill because their lies might become life-threatening if undetected.
When you want to have secret conjugals without grossing out the child, you become super creative, extra stealthy and nimble. Decorum is the path to mystery. Ergo, I know for sure my parents only had sex four times.
Really, you need more proof that parents are superheroes? Just become one yourself and enjoy the transformation to god-like status. I hope you’re ready.