Often, we hear mothers being called “superwomen,” described as “amazing,” and tagged as “miracle workers.” And oftentimes we see them shrugging off the compliments as if they were unnecessary for something that is expected of them. But if you look closer, behind the shrug is a knowing grin, for they know they just pulled off another superhuman stunt.
Mothers, our kind of breed, is not rare. In fact, it’s so common no one notices how cryptic we can be sometimes. What is rare however is the ability to mutate into a version outstripping the average use of the human body.
Yes, your mother is an unmasked superhuman and her sharpest, most vigilant state was when you were just a baby.
Amid your afternoon tantrums and 2:00 AM senseless cries, she emerged triumphant, thanks to the following super powers she had learned to develop over the years.
Super Speed. Think Barry Allen. No, think Eobard Thawne, The Reverse Flash, the villain Barry can never defeat. In the new TV series, The Flash, Barry concedes to the fact that The Reverse Flash is always one step ahead of him. And true enough, the latter’s cleverness only make the hero look like a baby. This is how mothers are. They act fast and they think ahead, swifter than a mosquito lusting on their child’s flesh. Just before my seven-month old boy consumes his entire 120 ml. bottled milk, I expeditiously run to make another bottle before he protests of not getting enough. Changing his nappy while he’s enjoying twirling on the bed can only be performed when I remove-wipe-replace-fasten faster than a speed of light. I need to be faster than he is. A forty-minute shower can be four minutes of water-lather-rinse whenever he demands my presence ASAP. Babies often act abruptly and if you’re not fast enough, you may end up dealing with an un-fixable tantrum or worse, a bumped forehead.
Elasticity. Plastic Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Elastic Girl. They all have one common skill: elasticity. They are stretchy heroes that is capable of reaching any object within eyesight. Along with super speed, mothers need to be extra elastic, because how else can you reach your phone from the other side of the room to call for SOS when you’re breastfeeding your baby to sleep? Several times I find myself grabbing a bib or towel from five meters away, just in time before my baby’s dripping saliva touches his knee. How to better enhance this skill? Do some yoga and understand that insane flexibility may be your only option during moments of actual torture.
Stealth. Not all the time do superheroes appear via grandiose entrance. Sometimes they need to be sneaky to catch the bad guy off guard. In my case, I co-sleep with my baby. It poses a lot of risks, I know. But it’s the only way he can sleep at night. Sleeping in his crib is not an option. He’d latch on for bedtime milk, cross his legs over my thigh, and attempt to bear hug me with his tiny hands. With this, he’d slumber soundly but only if I do not leave his side—ever. Naturally, this is not possible as I always have to attend to my evening chores (including catching a movie). After all, the time he’s asleep is the only time I could do other things. Stealthiness therefore is a necessary skill. Every night, I have to very, very slowly move away from him while carefully replacing “my presence” with a pillow. And during daytime, when he’s awake and I need someone else to attend to him, I have to have the stealth of a cat burglar so he wouldn’t notice my presence when I pass by him.
Daredevil Skills. Nope, I’m not talking about how you want to be living on the edge. The most “extreme adventure” I’ve ever had after becoming a mother was probably when I experimented with my baby’s cereal by mixing mashed eggs in it. So yes, I’m talking about Matt Murdock, the vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen, fancily called the Daredevil. When he lost his sense of sight, his four other senses function beyond normal people and his blindness has allowed him to have superhuman “vision.” For mothers, all of the senses activate prodigiously when it comes to their little one. When you’re a mom, you don’t only hear your baby’s voice, but without looking, you can also identify him amid a sea of ten other crying babies. Without peeking into his nappy, you can tell if your baby had peed, pooped or just farted. Even the softest looking cotton sheet cannot deceive you when you touch it and feel a tiny strand of hair that might irritate your baby. Finally, when the lights go out at night, I swear I can still see my baby ever so clearly to constantly be assured that if everything is okay with him. I bet all mother can do so too.
Lazarus Pit. Technically not a super power any superhero possesses, but this is one of the best things about being Ra’s al Ghul, a prominent character in the DC universe. He’s Batman’s love-hate mentor and also The Arrows nemesis in the running TV show. In the series, Lazarus Pit, a phenomenon that instantly restores, heal, and grants mortality, is literally shown as a pool of regenerative water owned exclusively by Ra’s. I have found it very interesting how, despite having lack of sleep, muscle fatigue, and some clumsy cuts here and there, I always get re-energized everyday. I still wake up several times every night because my baby does too, and during these times I always tell myself I’d probably be too sleepy to function at work in the next hours. But amazingly, I don’t. I get up early in the morning, struggle through the traffic, deal with everyday deadlines, and still always have the energy to play with my little boy, put him to sleep, and prepare his stuff for the next day.
With their uncanny skills and determined souls, mothers do save the day. Their weapon of choice? Love, of course.♥