how i became a ninja
When Wren was 9 months old, I took her to the park and sat her on a ledge that was a couple of feet off the ground and experienced my very first “I only looked away for two seconds” moment. I was merrily chatting with my husband and before I knew it, our child was falling backwards, her face an inch away from the pavement when out of nowhere, like some fucking supermom, my hand shot out and saved her from what could have been a whole lot of pain.
I don’t know how my hand knew what to do when most of the time it clumsily knocks over any (always full) glass of water that’s within a mile radius. But at that moment, I realised that motherhood had turned me into a ninja. A multi-tasking, one-handed-everything ninja. According to the Cambridge dictionary, a ninja is defined as a Japanese fighter, who moves and acts without being seen and usually carries a small sword. Ok. So I’m not technically a ninja but the likeness is uncanny. Maybe I’m more like Wonder Woman. I’m not saying that I am wonder woman, I’m just saying nobody has ever seen the two of us in the same room at the same time.
Here are just a few of the skills that I’ve acquired since becoming a mother:
- Telepathy. Not only reading Wren’s mind but anticipating thoughts before she’s even thought to think them.
- Human octopus. The amount of times that I’ve left the house and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror: child in one arm, purse, coat, trash for the curb, wallet, sippy cup, mail for the post office and — shit, almost forgot bunny, run up stairs, get bunny — bunny under armpit… and keys in mouth. I’m like an octopus but I only have two hands to do the job of eight so I’m BETTER THAN THE OCTOPUS.
- One hand can! You guys, I am so good at doing so many things with one hand. I can wash dishes and cook an entire homemade soup and butter toast with one hand. Do you know how hard it is to spread cold, hard butter on a flimsy piece of toast with one hand?
- Zen Buddhist. I can almost go into a deep meditative state when my child whines. I’m not quite there yet. I’m not even close to being there yet (have you read this post?). This takes my ninja quotient down a few notches.
- Ingenious. I can turn anything into a toy in an instant. Keys, a bottle cap, a napkin. And I’m well skilled at the ancient art of distraction. Instant results with flies on windows and dust motes in sunlight and looking through the tupperware drawer for lids to match containers, which is a rare thing in this household.
- Peace maker. I can buy myself five minutes of peace simply by opening the spice cabinet. Does that mean that I’ve had to clean the occasional spill of cayenne pepper and mustard powder? Perhaps. But it was so worth it.
- Bilocation. I am able to look like I’m completely absorbed in what Wren is doing while also doing quantum physics in my head. I’m kidding you guys. I can’t do quantum physics to save my life. But I can think about all the random blog posts that I could write while at the same making my child feel special by saying mmmhmmm to her that, that, that. This post came to me in one of those exact moments.
- Stealthiness. I know the precise location of each creaking floorboard in the house and can commando roll out of her room if need be. I learned this skill when she was a wee one and used to wake up at the drop of a pin.
- Sentient. I can be fully aware with my eyes closed and asleep with my eyes open.
- Cuddle mama. Probably my greatest skill as a mom. I really do give the best snuggles (according to Wren).
Although I’ve only held this position for 16 months, I’m sure that I’ve acquired many other very important and awe-inspiring skills that would look amazing on my CV. However, being super human does come with its downsides. Thinking on the spot means that I’ve occasionally been in situations where I’ve had to wipe bogey on my jeans (babies have industrial strength snot, you could bottle it up and sell it as crazy glue and fix all of your crockery with it). It’s also very tiring being a ninja — you often have do the late shift and the early shift and work nights. That’s why we wear those black masks… so that you don’t see the dark circles under our eyes.
But there is no greater honour. There truly isn’t. And if I wasn’t such a tired ninja, I could tell you all the reasons why. Perhaps that’s a post for another day.