5 Parental Super Powers I Didn't Ask For
It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to get hit by gamma rays or get bitten by a radioactive spider. As a kid I dreamt of waking up some day and suddenly being able to lift heavy objects with my mind or shoot laser beams out of my eyes. Not this. Not these powers. Who wants the "magic" ability to smell their child's unique poop from across the room? Sniff sniff! "Oh, nobody panic. That's my girl’s poo poo!" Super Sniffer to the rescue!!
What am I supposed to do with that crappy super power (pun intended)? Sigh… here are four other super powers being a parent has given me, none of which, by the way, are flying – grrr.
Super Power: Parental Precognition
It's kind of like Spidey Sense, but it only works on my kids. I know just before something horrible is about to happen – usually because my kid says something like "Look dad!" or "Oooh! Gum!" or "Uh oh!" or things just get really, really quiet. Unfortunately, knowing something is about to happen and being able to prevent it are two very different things. Most of the time I have just enough precognition to say the beginnings of various words in succession. "Wai! NO! STO… ugh." Then I say other, complete words quietly under my breath.
Possible Super Hero Name: The Dammit Whisperer
Super Power: Super Distraction
This isn't so much a super power as it is a super skill. For some reason I thought that when I had kids I would just explain to them, in very simple and kid friendly terms, why they should do something, and since they were my kids, they would understand and do it. I was dumb. 99% of getting kids to do what you want is tricking them, and gently distracting them in the right direction. I would compare it to herding cattle since that is a completely accurate comparison, but people might get angry if I compare my kids to cattle. So I won't. See what I did there? Distraction.
I don't say "Want to go to bed?" I say, “Let's go read a book in bed.” I don't say, "Do you want to stop watching that ridiculous show that makes me want to stab my eyes out?" I say "Oh look! Your toy room is clean for once. Quick. Fix that!" By the way, the toy room is a perfect example of my wife's distraction skills too. It used to be my office, until she distracted me.
Possible Super Hero Name: Mr. Ooh Look Something Shiny
Superhero Power: Sleep Functioning
Any shlub with a predisposition for sleep disorders can sleep walk. I can work an eight hour day, go home, cook dinner, and only suffer minor third degree burns on occasion - all while half asleep. I figure that if I am half asleep all of the time, I don't have to be full asleep half of the time. Trust me, it makes sense when you haven't slept for seven months.
Sure, I'm a zombie. Sure, I nod off while reading stories to my kids. And maybe I do lie down in the shower sometimes and let the hot water running out be my alarm clock. A dad has got to do what a dad has got to do, even if it means living in a nightmarish half awake dreamscape from time to time. Isn't that right Mr. Flying Dragon-pig? Now let's hurry. We're late for the roller coaster eating contest.
Possible Super Hero Name: The Walking Dad
Super Power: Grossness Aversion – Gag Reflex Suppression
Nothing disgusts me anymore. Nothing. I have been baptized in endless baby piss and shit and snot and have emerged from the font of fluids a super parent. What does this power do for me aside from allowing me to clean feces out of my kid's various crevasses? Well, I went to Walmart with sweatpants on the other day and didn't feel embarrassed. I also dropped my breakfast sandwich on the floor and picked it back up to eat it. Basically, anything that isn't covered in poop is clean now.
Possible Super Hero Name: The Slob
So there you are: my powers. Will I use them for good or evil? That remains to be seen. For now, my dad sense is tingling which means that there is either a bottle of sunscreen being emptied on to my carpet or something far, far worse. It is too quiet. Gotta go.