11 Skills I've Discovered Since Having Kids

Being a parent is all about responding to the needs and desires of your children, no matter how strange some of those needs and desires may seem (why would anyone choose to watch four grown men dressed in primary-colored turtlenecks singing about spaghetti and bananas?). Adapting to the needs and desires of your small creatures results in the discovery of several skills you never knew you had - skills you probably never knew existed or even needed to exist.

Here are 11 skills I have discovered since having kids:

  1. The ability to find within thirty seconds whatever item my children and/or husband misplaced and spent hours looking for (this does not apply to pacifiers when I most desperately need one).

  2. The ability to tie shoes, fluff pillows, comb hair, button things, zip things, and make scrambled eggs "the right way" (i.e., not the way Daddy does it).

  3. The ability to drive with one arm while the other arm is Stretch-Armstronging behind me to try to reach the pacifier/toy/crayon/other hugely important item that one of my kids dropped in the back seat.

  4. The ability to magically turn my shirt into a Kleenex or napkin when the situation calls for one.

  5. The ability to make a moderately nutritious meal out of the random things in the cupboards and freezer when I haven't been able to make it to the grocery store in a while. (Hot dogs and frozen broccoli counts as a moderately nutritious meal, right? Come on, they are the uncured, nitrate-free turkey hot dogs!)

  6. The ability to remember the names my daughters have given to each of their dozens of Barbies, loads of stuffed animals, and too many Polly Pockets to count, in addition to all the characters from their favorite TV shows. (But please don't expect me to remember your name the first time you introduce yourself at a PTA meeting or social gathering - this skill only extends to the inanimate objects and fictitious characters in my daughters' worlds).

  7. The ability to hold two to three conversations at the same time without getting confused. For example, I can talk on the phone with my mom about plans for tomorrow while negotiating with my 5-year-old over what she may have for snack and having a conversation with my husband about his upcoming work trip.

  8. The ability to make my husband invisible to my children as soon as I walk into a room. Daddy may have been good enough to open a string cheese or start a DVD when Mommy wasn't around, but when Mommy is near, no one else is allowed to help with anything.

  9. The ability to laugh in the face of seeming disaster. Poop on the couch? Hilarious. Vomit in my car? A laugh riot for months because that smell isn't going anywhere for a while. Permanent marker on my favorite sweater? I'm crying from laughing so hard, I swear.

  10. The ability to quiet a screaming toddler with the mere suggestion of yogurt melts.

  11. The ability to neatly fold a fitted sheet. (Just kidding, I'm not a wizard.)

What skills have you discovered since having children?