Put your hands up (You don't need 'em)

By Published On: December 5th, 2011

Written by: Suzanna December 05 2011 Before Jacob became a […]

Written by: Suzanna

Before Jacob became a fixture around our house, I thought that having two hands was a necessity. I now know better. Anything that can be done can be done with one hand.

I discovered this during my first weeks of motherhood when I had a choice between toting Jacob around in one arm or having him serenade me with South American monkey-like shrieks. Much as I like monkeys and South America, I opted for the baby-toting. My ear drums insisted.

At first, I cut my teeth on the easy things—vacuuming, going to the bathroom, etc.

Then, I graduated to the tough stuff. I learned to eat, do my hair and makeup, and wash dishes single-handedly. In the beginning, more food fell on him than actually made it into my mouth. I frequently looked like a monkey did my eyeliner (a South American monkey to be exact), and I dropped a dish or too. But, I learned quickly and now I’m a pro.
It dawned on me that I had mastered one-handed living when I figured out how to open a jar with just one hand. (Thank the Lord for opposable thumbs.) If that wasn’t impressive enough, I have even learned how to floss single-handedly. (Besides being great for your teeth, it makes for an impressive party trick—assuming the party has a large number of dentists in attendance.)

Though most of the time I am able to free up at least one hand for whatever task is at hand (ba-dum-ching), there are times when that’s just not happening. For example, the other day, I was heading out the door to a doctor’s appointment, carrying Jacob’s car seat in one hand and a lidded cup of coffee in the other. His diaper bag was in the crook of my left arm and my purse in the right. I had forgotten to zip his diaper bag, and his blanket slipped out the top. Rather than unload, I slipped off my flats and snatched up his blanket with my toes (don’t worry, Jacob, I had showered that morning). Voila. Car seat and coffee were still in hand and I was on my way, feeling even more BA than usual.

Whenever my hands aren’t free and my feet aren’t suitable for the job, say when peeling bananas (only South American monkeys can get away with that), I have discovered that teeth are another invaluable resource to a new mother. Contrary to what your dentist has always told you (say it with me: “Teeth are not tools.”), teeth can be tools. I have gone mother-cat more than a few times in the last seven weeks. I have yet to try carrying Jacob this way, but stay tuned for more on that next week. (If you’re lucky, I’ll include a picture.)

Having mastered all five of my built-in resources (hands, feet and teeth), I’m feeling pretty accomplished these days. For a challenge, next week I’ll try typing out my blog posts with the tip of my nose. Let’s just hope I don’t have a cold.