For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a sci-fi aficionado. Particularly with a lot of affinity towards Superheroes (and superheroines of course). As a child, I’ve dressed up in my favourite (not to mention, self-made) super hero costume, jumped up and down on my parent’s king size bed, kicking the living daylights out of imaginary villains. And I’ve sprained many a joint as well, throwing uncomfortable round-house kicks and falling from the high wall of my compound. Despite my numerous injuries, none of which were imaginary by the way, I retained my dedication to all these costumed superstars. I even remember the phase, where I secretly hoped that my parents were some sort of retired superheroes who were maintaining normalcy (and secrecy), to shield me from a mega-villain. And yes, I was tempted to try and dig up any records which could potentially incriminate them as superheroes in hiding. But against my extreme desire to give into this temptation to follow in the footsteps of the great Sherlock Holmes, I finally resigned to the fact that my parents were just normal human beings. (I know, how boring right?) And that I had no super powers. Except the ability to fart and burp at the same time. Which to be honest, reveals more about my digestive capabilities than anything else. Oh, and the super power to put on weight by just looking at food. Anyway, I digress.
As I grew up, I had more sense knocked into me, and I started dismissing all those childhood episodes of “super-hero-ism’s” and ascertained that it was more to do with me being a single child. After all, I did have plenty of imaginary friends. So then, why not, super heroes and mega-villains. Fast forward to the present. I am now a proud Papa to an amazingly active and naughty toddler, who is often the main source of inspiration for most of my parenting posts. Including this one. And over the course of the past year, I’ve discovered that I’ve had some superhero-esque traits, all along. I just had to be a parent to release them. Now before you go about picturing me with my underwear over my jeans or trousers, let me make one thing clear. The only similarity between Superman’s costume and mine, is that there are times when the waistband of my boxers tend to play peek-a-boo over my jeans (as well described in my previous post, Fashionista). But that’s where the costume similarity ends. As for the powers, yes, there, “we” definitely have a few similarities.
Superhuman strength & stamina
Now, as some of my previous posts have boldly stated, I’m not what you’d call healthy. So having to often run after this little toddler of mine, is something that makes me huff and puff like the big bad wolf in those fairy tales. But surprise, surprise - I've discovered that I not only have the ability to carry my toddler son in one hand, but also a set of heavy grocery bags in the other and run after public transport too. As a parent, we can often go for a whole day or even more, without taking rest, just powered by pure adrenaline. After all, being the parent of an active toddler, means having to spend a lot of time on our feet. Because you can be assured that the moment we decide to put up our feet to rest, is the moment that something will go drastically wrong.
Superquick reflexes, alertness and the “need for speed”
As a parent, we are always alert. After all, there is a crawling/walking/running/tip-toeing mini-bomb waiting to go off, the moment we look away. But not on our watch. And this alertness manifests itself as an ability to react to changing problems or objects. Like, how quickly we'd jump into the water to save our child or how when s/he is on the swing, we know the exact moment when they’re about to jump off. Not to mention, the incredible power of hearing that we have, when our toddler is not within our eyesight.Oh yes, we parents can give “Mr.Spidey” a run for his buck, with our ability to suddenly dive to catch a toddler falling from the bed or from above the table, and the capacity to duck high-impact flying objects, such a sippy cup or sometimes even the mushy-mashy food that we just stuffed into their mouth. Of course, not to mention the speed with which we have to chase them around the house to make them eat or get them to do stuff. Even, “The Flash” would be so proud :)
Nothing every misses our eye:
Unlike the Man of Steel, whilst we may lack the synonymic X-Ray vision, when it comes to our child, we notice everything. And when I say everything, I mean quite literally, everything. Nothing ever escapes our vision and we are constantly on the look out for trouble, no matter what hideous form they might take.
The power of Super-Jumps (and occasional flights):
Having a toddler in the house is like being in a metropolitan city, without the beauty of the architecture. Regardless of our toddler’s tastes, or our intentions to keep the house spotless, we will invariably find buildings and objects of varying shapes and heights littered across every room. Though it mostly doesn’t cause us much harm, every now and then we may feel a stiff pain when our feet connects with these lovely objects. And soon, we too learn to jump over buildings and obstacles.
We have our own version of short, cunning scientists
Battling cunning, smart scientists is in a day’s work for a Superhero. Here again, we are very similar in that aspect. We too deal with 3 foot tall scientists, who are constant up to mischief and forever looking for ways to destroy the peace of the planet, that is our home. The only difference is that ours are way too cute for us to be angry with them indefinitely.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. And as each child is unique and different, each of us will also have a special hidden super power which helps us "tackle" our cunningly sweet scientist. So in a lot of ways, each of us as parents are not really far away from playing superheroes, all day, every day…well, maybe bar the costume.
On second thoughts, I might look into investing in a costume. A six-pack sounds fancy :)
Image courtesy : A very vigorous and tiring Google search The brilliant image on the front is from ANDRY "SHANGO" RAJOELINA - http://andry-shango.deviantart.com/ I stumbled on his site via Google image search, and he is a true master designer