Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Every mother has superpowers. Any woman who has a child will tell you that. Mothers juggle the house, the kid/s, the husband, and the career, or any combination thereof, and do it all well, or at least properly. Everyone in the house eats healthy, laundry gets done, dishes washed and bills paid more or less on time. Multitasking is a woman's specialty; most men cannot manage it.

When the first baby is born, a new mum acquires several new skills while wishing for many more. First, she learns to do things one-handed - eating, typing, going to the toilet and even putting on makeup. Ambidexterity follows, as she learns to do all of these with either hand while the other holds on to the baby. Then comes the wish for elastic arms, so that while holding on to the sleeping or nursing infant, she can also reach for her mobile/book/glass of water/laptop. She also acquires super-speed, the ability to do everything from eating to grocery shopping even more efficiently and quickly (and often simultaneously).

Of course the ideal would be to be able to multiply one's self, so that one can look after the baby, the other go to work and the third take care of the household chores. We can always dream.

On television the other night, they were showing The Incredibles, one of my favourite recent animated films. Seeing it again, and for the first time since having my own child, made me realize how aptly the characters' powers are assigned. Dad is the strong one, protecting the family and keeping them safe from physical harm. Mum is the elastic one, the glue that holds them all together. The teenage daughter is self-conscious and shy while the young son is a bundle of endless energy, much like Little A. Finally, there is the baby who is elemental, able to turn into fire and stone as his emotions dictate.

Little A turns two this weekend. Another milestone. I wonder if this means a whole new set of mummy superpowers are in order.

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