I’ve never been what you might call “coordinated.” My first clue (other than falling down a lot), was being picked last for kickball. I suppose I wasn’t really shocked. Deep down I knew I wasn’t the best kicker. Or the best catcher. Or the best runner—things I hear are pretty important when actually making it into the game. These days, though, I think my fellow 6th grade classmates would be surprised at how far I’ve come, because having a baby has improved my coordination exponentially.
With the grace of Gene Kelly (or at least the step-touch agility of Courtney Cox in the “Dancing in the Dark” video), I can dodge my son’s impressive Fountain of Pee while diaper changing. In less time than it takes me to scarf down a chocolate dessert, I can swoop him up from his Fisher-Price swing and cradle him in my arms. But my newest trick is sure to impress. I’m amazed to discover how many tasks I can perform one-handed.
I can open jars.
I can eat dinner.
I can pee.
Alright, I haven’t quite mastered that one yet.
I can do all those things (and more) with just one hand. Why is this necessary? Well, my other hand is full of baby. In my right hand, I am carrying my bundle of wailing joy. There are certain times of the day (he comes out at night mostly) when I hold a baby who has suddenly gone over to the Dark Side. With no warning, my usually smiley baby screams like he’s just seen those prequels to Star Wars. (We haven’t actually told him they exist. There are some things he’s just too young to know.)
I’ve read that I’m allowed to put down my crying newborn and the world will not end, but I’m not sure I believe that website. When I try to lay him down, his cries crescendo to such a height that I’m surprised the dogs don’t grab their suitcases and look for other lodgings—made out of meat. So, I’ve developed this new talent, which is sure to impress at the next party I attend. Sometime in 2022.
So, with my new-found dexterity, I’ve adapted amazingly well and most days feel like SUPERMOM, and I know I fully deserve all the accolades I’ve been giving myself. Unfortunately, it’s true what they say about the sound of one hand clapping.