I can transport a
dirty diaper in my purse through a party undetected. I can make animal noises
so realistic you'd think you were at the zoo. And there are more like these,
the kind of skills I'd rather not bring up at a dinner party. Every
mother of a toddler posseses this list of embarrassing talents, though most
would never admit to them.
Skill #1 The discreet
transportation of gross and disgusting things. You live your whole life
with the instinct to recoil from things like dirty diapers, half-chewed food,
and mysterious green goo. Then you have a toddler and their mess is your mess. You
get good at finding ways to contain and dispose of them without flinching.
Skill #2 Animal noises. This skill is actually not
embarrassing. You know what is embarrassing? Making a pathetically weak attempt
at a cow’s “moo” that’s so bad your one-year-old looks at you like you’re a toy
that’s making wonky noises because its battery is low. That’s embarrassing.
That’s when you start practicing your cow “moo” until you could trick a bull into
thinking you were his soul mate.
Skill #3 You know that
public restroom “hover” that women do in order to avoid touching a sketchy
public toilet seat? Well, I can do the hover
while holding a 25-pound child. There are muscular men who could not do this.
It requires a very particular set of thigh muscles that I’ve been building up
for the past year.
Skill #4 Breaking off very
tiny bites of things. Can you make 50 bites out of a granola bar so that it
lasts an entire 45-minute care ride for a starving toddler? I can. (Again, I
realize these are not the most brag-worthy skills.)
Skill #5 I can make
anything dirty or obscene into a sweet and innocent story, immediately, on the
spot. For instance, "50 Shades of Grey" is about a splotchy puppy. I did take one improv
class years ago. I knew it would come in handy someday.
Skill #6 I know at
least 45 uses for a baby wipe. Obviously, a baby wipe is also useful as a
Kleenex and a napkin. But it’s also so much more. It’s a dusting cloth that
inspires my toddler to wipe down the baseboards. It’s a way for me to clean the
interior of my car at stoplights. It
cleans iPad screens and is one of the best makeup removers out there hands
down. And when it dries out, it becomes an excellent baby doll blanket.