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6 Super Stealth Skills Every Parent Learns

Photograph by Twenty20

You may have seen this video of a mom inching her way out of her baby’s nursery—on her back—after she finally gets him to sleep. We can all relate to this scenario, so fearful of making a sound and waking our little slumbering bundle that we develop crazy skills we never knew we were capable of. I started thinking about all the stealth skills we parents acquire that might come in handy someday. You know, if you’re ever at Target buying shampoo and are suddenly taken captive by a undercover agent from a corrupt empire.

1. Escaping undetected

Like the mom in the video, it takes great skill to crawl out of a room silently and invisibly. Imagine if there was a menacing armed guard who has fallen asleep after a whisky nightcap, and you’re a prisoner trying to sneak past him and bust your way to freedom. Only the armed guard is your baby and freedom is your living room and a glass of pinot.

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2. Holding your breath

If you’ve ever changed a diaper, you’ve already developed the ability to hold your breath at superhuman levels. This will be useful if you’re ever locked in a room with an evil villain and he releases a canister of deadly gas. Which is pretty much the case during every diaper change.

I’d like to see a hulking bully try to outfox a mom who’s just survived nap time with an eight-month-old.

3. Keeping a poker face

Have you pretended that the bowl of ice cream you’re eating was “grown-up food” so you wouldn’t have to share? Then you’re familiar with the importance of keeping a good poker face and making sure your expression belies any true emotion you’re feeling. You’ll be thankful for this skill when you’ll have to lie convincingly during an intense interrogation. Practice by looking in the mirror and saying, “I’m not Santa Claus.”

4. Deflecting a blow

Sleeping with a baby is not only good for them, it quickens your reflexes. After you’ve been kicked in the face a couple of times by their surprisingly hard tiny feet, you’ll become a virtual kung-fu master with your lightening-quick arm blocks and roll-over maneuvers. I’d like to see a hulking bully try to outfox a mom who’s just survived nap time with an eight-month-old.

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5. Spying

If you can decipher a playground conversation from 20 yards away or detect a toddler power struggle brewing during a playdate from the next room, congratulations, you might be able to work for the resistance as a mole! Your skills will even improve as your kids get older and will peak when they’re teens and are telling you they’re “at the library studying.”

6. Enduring extreme pain

Ever step on a Lego and live to tell about it? Your pain threshold is at around 11! Evil-doers will be amazed at your ability to walk on fire, come out unscathed and then sit down and casually sip on a chai latte. You might have to work on all the cussing and smashing things and threatening to “throw out all the Legos in the house,” though (See #3, ‘Keeping a Poker Face.’)

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