I can do a French plait in two minutes. This may not sound too impressive, but Poppet wears two, sometimes three, French plaits in her hair on any given day. With all the hustle and bustle of a weekday morning, quick French plaits are necessary skill – especially for zombie moms whose coordination is affected by long-term sleep-deprivation.
This got me thinking about the other skills that mothers develop without really trying. Doing everything with one hand while balancing a baby on your hip is one of the first that appear. Before you realise it you’re making tea, cooking supper and feeding your child all at once. Sometimes, there is also a toddler hanging off your leg while the above is taking place.
Attempting an aerobics workout while children weave under your legs? No problem. Stomach crunches and pelvic lifts with a laughing toddler flopped over your stomach? Bring it on. Making a bed with two bouncing children doing their best to rumple freshly-unrumpled sheets? Piece of cake.
Motherhood also seems to bring out a woman’s inner Jedi. Catching your child before she tumbles headfirst off the couch, grabbing the cup as it is knocked off the table, pulling your little troublemaker away before she empties the cat’s bowl onto the floor … These are all useful – no, vital – abilities.
Motherhood also develops one’s inner sneak. I have learned how to eat a chocolate in front of my children without them even realising there’s anything in my mouth. (Feel free to be impressed.) I can eat a piece of toast in mere seconds because, despite identical snacks on my children’s plates, they must have what is on mine. I let my tea and coffee cool until almost tepid before I drink it – so that I can down it quickly before children clamber up to see what’s in the cup and knock it over me in an attempt to drink it even though they’ve got their own juice. Most of the time, I’ve resorted to eating and drinking – standing – in a corner of the kitchen in an attempt to avoid being seen by my ravenous offspring. Desperate times, desperate measures.
And yet, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Happy Mother’s Day, fellow zombies.