Or “Things I Didn’t Learn in College”

Imagine a mother, sitting on her sofa, doing something very important on her laptop (okay, checking Facebook).  Suddenly, her ears perk up to the sound of the kitchen faucet on full blast. She realizes that, wait a minute, the only other person in the house right now is the special needs seven-year-old, and she definitely should not be playing in the sink.

The woman leaps into action.  Okay, she sighs, gets up and goes at a normal pace into the kitchen to see what her daughter is up to.  She finds that daughter at the sink, washing her hands.  Hand that are covered in white goo. Without panicking, or even worrying, this mother starts washing the hands.  Quickly she figures out the white goo is sunscreen.  She was right.

How is this possible?  Is woman some kind of genius? 

Well…sure.  I’ll go for that. 

No, I’ve just built up those mom skills that come in so handy.  I can define a cry in three seconds.  I can learn the perfect answer to that “But why?  Why?  WHY?” conversation.  I have Poison Control’s number memorized (800-222-1222).  I can guess a temperature by feel.  I can keep tabs on my child’s location by sound.  Plus other things like cake decorating, costume making, and that ever-so-important miracle making (you know, when our kids say “Mom!  I need this!” and you say “No way can I do that!”…but then you end up doing just that, because the other option is disappointing your child, and that is not an option.) 

My skills have evolved, developed, and gone rusty over the years.  At one point, I could guess the weight of a newborn just by holding them.  I’ve let that one go in favor of sneaking up on tweens and teens when they’re goofing off instead of doing what I told them to do.  I’ve upgraded “negotiating with a 3-year-old” skill set to the “negotiating with a 13-year-old” set.  I’ve stopped trying to get kids to eat – no, now, I’m trying to get them to stop! 

But I do believe I have an impressive array of skills – well, impressive to first-time moms.  After four kids with four very different personalities, with varying quirks and issues, I have learned a lot of different tricks and skills.  Like identifying the white goo today. 

Of course, I had to sacrifice those four years of French I took to fit all this new information I needed into my brain.  Oh well.  Oh well – it was a good trade.