Having a baby at home has made me respect parents everywhere, especially mine. For one thing, I think now about how little I know about parenting and all the challenges I’m currently facing, yet at my age, my parents had three hyper-active boys. Major respect.
Secondly, having Philip has let me into a secret that I’m only beginning to tap into. The secret has been going on for millenia, but I will now expose it to the world:
Parents have superpowers.
Yes, superpowers. Because how else could they do everything they have to in raising their children? Here are the powers I’ve discovered so far:
1. Supernatural hearing
The baby has finally gone to sleep. The husband and wife putter about the house on their usual routine. Suddenly they both stop and listen. Other passersby have missed it, but they’ve just detected a sound audible only to dogs and parents – their baby whimpered in his sleep. Being a parent makes you so sensitive to the slightest noise coming from your baby’s direction.
And for parents of toddlers and teens, the lack of noise is also something they’ve been trained to notice.
When it was just Carla and me, I would rampage through the house like a herd of wild horses. But now, especially when Philip is asleep, we’ve developed ninja stealth. We still do everything we did before, but much quieter. Because to fail and make too loud a noise could have disastrous consequences.
In short, parents have to be like that guy from Mr. Deeds – very, very sneaky.
3. Cry-deciphering mind reading
- He is still hungry.
- She’s just sleepy; she’ll drift off soon.
- He just needs to be burped.
- She’s crying because she saw a double rainbow.
- He remembers Biggie and his homies.
Mere mortals cannot distinguish between these cries. But like Aquaman being able to communicate with the fish, parents can comprehend their baby’s whimperings.
Parents now have more work to do around the house, but often with a child hanging on them. So they mutate this ability to do almost anything with just one hand while the burping, carrying, feeding, the child with another. You have no idea how dextrous your one hand is, until you’re forced to rely on it all the time. Like Mr. Fantastic or Plastic Man, don’t underestimate what they can do all in one hand.
5. Ape-like dexterity with the feet
Sometimes, even one hand isn’t available. When both hands are engaged, are the parents doomed? Not at all! Because there’s still the feet! Like Beast of the X-Men, parents are pushed to learn what their feet can do while both hands are with the baby. Pick up stuff from the floor, reach for your baby’s towel, text while feeding, manipulate a remote control or iPad – these are just some of their new abilities with their feet.
Yes, there’s a lot of sleepless nights. But how do these superpowered parents function? I did what many Filipinos do and asked Kuya Kim. He said,
“You do have less sleep. But you adjust and you realize you don’t need that much.”
So where mere mortals would be tired, parents can still rally themselves up to serve, to parents, to feed, to discipline, because their love for their children produces energy.
So there you have it! The secret it out! But let’s not stop here… These are the powers I’ve discovered so far. What superpowers did your parents have?
And be sure to appreciate your parents and thank them for using their powers for your good!