Frumpy Middle-aged Mom: Moms have superpowers — here are mine
You know how everyone’s obsessed with superheroes these days? Every other movie is some kind of person with magical powers who combats evil. Even Disneyland has gotten into the action with its new Avengers Campus.
Well, I was climbing the stairs to my front door yesterday, and it occurred to me that I, too, have a superhero power. Nowadays, I’m incredibly slow and gimpy. I walk slowly, I climb slowly and with great precision, I think slowly, well, you get the idea. The only thing I don’t do slowly is drink margaritas. I mean, there’s a limit to everyone’s abilities.
The advantage to my companions is that they have plenty of time to do other things while they’re with me. My friend invented cold fusion the other day while she waited for me to climb out of the car and get to the door. Another was able to paint her fingernails.
I’m not sure what my superhero name should be. Pokey Mom comes to mind. Or TurtleLiscious. I combat the bad guys by boring them to death.
Since I’m a mom, of course I have other superpowers finely honed over the years.
For example, with only my peripheral vision, I can see a water glass perched on the edge of the table in a restaurant that’s about to be knocked over, and swiftly move it to safety with my bionic arm. Now, sometimes it’s a martini glass and it belongs to my friend, and she doesn’t appreciate the significance of how I’ve just saved her, but that’s something we superheroes just have to live with.
With only my acute senses, I can tell when the circling, restless dog is about to go wee-wee in the house, and I usher him out into the backyard where he won’t stain my floors. Well, sometimes this works.
Even through a bedroom door that my son, Cheetah Boy has just closed on his way to the gym, I can use my X-ray vision to see that he’s left his overhead fan, his box fan, his video game system and his lamp on in his absence, apparently on the theory that electricity is free.
It’s the 4th of July, so I should mention one superpower I don’t have: The ability to find anything in our overcrowded garage. I sent two separate kids with a combined IQ of 250 in there to find our American flag, so I could fly it for the 4th, and none of us could find it. I don’t know what’s in there, possibly an entire village of chinchillas that my daughter Curly Girl sneaked in without my knowledge. This may sound ridiculous, but truthfully she once hid a litter of kittens in there that she’d found in a box outside of Stater Brothers.
My nice friend who’s a maniacal organizer even offered to come over and help me organize the garage, but it just seems too overwhelming. Maybe I can just burn it down. Do you think my insurance would cover it?
But I digress.
Another superpower most Moms have is the ability to know when someone has stuck his head in the refrigerator and is standing there like it’s a mountain vacation at Big Bear. I usually shout “Close the refrigerator door!” causing a kid to jump and wonder how I could possibly have known that.
Moms also have developed an acute bloodhound-like sense of smell, most often used in the old homestead.
Sniff, sniff. “What’s that smell?” I’ll ask the kids at least once a day, after detecting some noxious odor somewhere in the house.
“What smell?” they’ll ask, which is just flat-out bizarre because their olfactory glands are 40 years younger and newer than mine.
It could be anything. Burnt toast left in the toaster. Because why would anyone want to throw that away? A moldy orange at the bottom of someone’s laundry basket. Really? Really? You can’t smell that? It’s wafting through the house.
A gym bag that’s been left in the hallway to ripen like old cheese.
A special aromatic gift left by our dog, Lil Wayne, on the dining room floor or, ugh, on the couch. We’ve been trying to house train that dog for seven years and only partly succeeded. I recently bought this device that covers the couch and emits a sharp beep when he jumps on it. He hates it. That seems to have mostly spared the couch, but I can’t cover the entire floor, sadly.
Now, when my kids were younger, I also developed reverse super hearing. I was utterly inured to the sound of nonstop chaos and bickering in my house, but I had a keen sense of silence. When everything suddenly went silent, I knew it was time to investigate. And take the duct tape off the dog. And the Barbies out of the toilet. I know, it makes a good swimming pool, but, ick. And send the permanent markers to hell, after they’ve decorated the bathroom walls.
Nowadays, silence is the norm, because the kids are adults and always out and about. The only noise is the endless leafblowers in my neighborhood and Lil Wayne barking at delivery men. So I like a little noise around.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying being SuperGimp, because at least it means I’m up and doing things, even if I spend half my time shouting, “Hey, wait up! I can’t walk that fast!” to people.