We love our kids. We love playing with them, taking care of them, and just being with them. We have even been bestowed with superpowers to deal with every aspect of their lives. Right?
Okay, let’s face it. As mere humans, we can’t hope to match their superhuman pace and energy. Have you ever tried to catch a free-running toddler on the run from her/his own shadow? You simply can’t. You will look around, take a deep breath, hold on to the nearest wall and look for water like a parched traveler in the desert.
Kids have their own superpowers that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, laugh, threats, bribes, and borderline chaos, much like a ride down this giraffe’s neck. Do these superhuman powers sound familiar to you?
A Sense of when NOT to do something
Kids are finely attuned to their environment and can sense when everything is calm. They have this uncanny ability to wreak havoc at crucial moments. They will casually hook their fingers into your pocket and pull down your pants with such force that you would probably wonder if you should include fewer vegetables in their diet.
They will squirt you in the face with a water gun when you are dealing with delicate electronics. A water gun you bought for them because they threw a tantrum right next to the toy shop. You weighed the consequences carefully and got them the gun, probably thinking that they’ll use it to water plants. Parents often think the best of their children.
Hide the One thing that you desperately want
It’s a hot day and you can’t sit in the room. You reach for the AC remote, but it’s not there. Your YouTube video is going to end and there’s a cartoon show that’s about to start in 10 seconds. You frantically search for the TV remote to change the video before your kid notices. You can’t find the remote. The cartoon show comes on. Your kids settle into their favorite viewing spots. You shake your head like an old bothered elephant because your self-declared screen time goal has been shattered. You just sit there in a corner, wiping beads of sweat off your forehead as Masha and the Bear run around in circles on the television.
So, where are the remote controls? You ask your kids. At the 37th time of asking, they sheepishly smile and point to their toy box. But it is not a toy box. It is a well. A bottomless well with a million toys. And they are not big toys that you can easily take out. You’ll find shapes that you have only read about in chemistry books. After a few toys, you feel like you want to climb into the toy well, pile some toys on top of you and sit at the bottom where nobody can find you.
An Impeccable Sense of timing
I genuinely believe that kids have great control over their bathroom schedules. When you are about to go on a long drive, you would take them to the restroom to avoid surprises. And there they are, on the commode, happily playing with the hand shower, aiming to get the water stream into the nearest bucket (or their clothes). You naturally give up after a few minutes and think “I’ll deal with them during a rest stop”. The rest stop comes and goes. The kids firmly shake their heads seven times when you ask them if they want to use the restroom. Three minutes after you leave the rest stop, you notice one kid refusing to sit. She/he has a strange facial expression and you know what’s about to come.
Fast forward a few minutes, you are squatting on the side of the highway with your kid while you clean them up and wrap the soiled clothes in a bag. They take their own sweet time commenting on the shrubs and plants nearby. You get back in the car and ask the other kid. “I am good to go, Dad” is the response. Yes, good to go in the next fifteen minutes at another spot on the highway. You know what I mean.
It’s not just on the highway though. I have been through this exercise outside toy shops, pizzerias and even a furniture store.
I know you have a perfect family photograph. Everybody is smiling at the camera. Picture Perfect. I also know that it is digitally altered. In the original photograph, one kid was crying because the other kid was diabolically smiling at her/him. You took the decision to ask the photographer to alter the picture because 44 tries are one too many. If a kid miraculously appears to smile in one shot, the other’s face would be contorted to alien-like proportions.
Have you ever tried to silently take a picture of your kids while they are doing something really cute? They would be in their own world, concocting stories with accompanying hand gestures. The moment you turn on the Camera app on your phone, their subconscious minds will sense it and their faces will immediately assume a blank expression. Or an expression that says you just fed them bitter gourd. It gets worse if you ask them to pose. You will see a child so shy that you would start to look around for your original kid.
If you do have a perfect photograph, help me with the blueprints and tactical plans. I will give you a 500 GB hard disk but I don’t know if the plans will fit in them!
Sleep and Sensibility
If there were an award for mono-acting, our kids will win it hands-down. No competition. Especially for the many stories that they tell you when you are trying to make them sleep. They walk around on the bed, filling the pauses in their narrative with cute gasps and exclamations. It is endearing to watch. Also, you have 18 days of sleep to catch up on and you can’t sleep before they sleep. To make matters worse, their stories are actually interesting and don’t put you to sleep. When you finally hear the snore of confirmation, your sleep ship has sailed. Enter Netflix. Amazon Prime. YouTube. Suddenly, it’s 3 in the morning and you cry yourself to sleep, only to wake up two hours later because another day has begun.
People tell me that this cycle will change soon. In 18 years, perhaps.
I have left out one obvious superpower. Even after all the above, they still melt us. Our hearts are fragile little things and there’s not enough room in there to love them. So, naturally, we take pictures of their ‘sticks and spoons’ art from all angles possible. So now, there’s not enough room in our phones as well! This is why hard disk sales (and the cloud, of course) are through the roof!
Can you think of more superpowers? I am sure I can, once I catch up on my sleep! Do let me know in the comments below.