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The Invisible Man

July 30, 2009

It’s a question everyone has answered at some point or other in their lives. You were probably about six or eight when you answered it for the first time, but I bet, if you have kids, you still ponder the possibilities. If you could choose any super power, what would it be?

Since becoming a mom, I’ve often wished for the stretchy strength of Elastigirl from The Incredibles and Mr. Fantastic of The Fantastic Four. This sounds especially good when either driving in the car with my kids strapped in their seats, asking me to hand them something, or finally sitting down to the dinner table only to hear, “Mommy, can I have more milk?”

When I recently asked my husband what power he’d like to have, he chose the ability to fly. I think this is a pretty popular choice. The freedom, the speed, why not?

But what he doesn’t realize is that he already has a super power. The power of invisibility.

No, it’s not by choice and I don’t think he is even aware that he possesses this much-coveted ability. But he is The Invisible Man. How else could you explain the way the kids can’t see or hear him when they are in need?

I have been downstairs, in the basement, doing laundry while my husband is in the living room with the kids, only to hear little footsteps behind me. I turn, with my arms loaded down with wet laundry as I’m transferring it from the washer to the dryer, and my son asks, “Mommy, where is the new Transformer that Nana gave me? I can’t find it.”

Now, I know, if my son could actually see my husband, he would have asked him for help, right? I mean, he was in the same room with him when searching for the lost item, and Daddy is completely willing and perfectly capable of helping him. So it must be my husband’s power of invisibility that causes this phenomenon, right?

And I know I’m not alone, either. We just had a playdate with another mommy friend and her three kids and she was saying the same thing. Her husband could be standing in the kitchen with the kids while she’s all the way upstairs, but her kids will seek her out, holding an empty cup, asking her for a refill.

Seriously? The man of the house is right there, in the room where a) the kids already are, and b) the need of a drink refill needs to be addressed in that very location. So the only logical explanation is that the kids just plain can’t see their daddies. That must be it!

As moms, we need to figure out how to cultivate this power of invisibility. I know there are quite a few of us who would LOVE to become The Invisible Woman for a change. And this is totally on the kids. The dads, if asked, would be more than happy to step up and fill the need, whatever it may be.

This is one issue that is not husband bashing in any way. Instead, it’s more jealousy. We moms WANT this power. Even when we are not physically visible, they still seem to find us. I can’t even hide for two minutes behind a closed bathroom door, much less be unseen in the same room.

The only super power I seem to have is that of Mute Mommy. No matter what tone or volume I use, or how near I am to my children, it appears I have the ability to speak in a frequency undetectable to my kids. But I don’t really want this super power. So is it really a power or a handicap?

Maybe it’s my kids who are the ones with the ability. Yes, that must be it. My kids all have the power of selective hearing. They’re able to tune out any instructions or directives that could alter their ability to play, but can hone in on the lowest whisper when someone is trying to keep something from them. Yes, that’s our family. I’m Mute Mommy, my kids are the Auditory Aces, and I’m married to The Invisible Man.

So dads, share your secret, will ya? Help us learn your technique. And kids, if Daddy is standing right next to you when you discover you need something, how about asking your father for a change?

In the meantime, moms, we can just continue to dream of all the other super powers we’d like since the invisibility market has been cornered by the dads of the world. Now if only I could just channel the Elastigirl flexibility to reach that sippy cup to my kid, three rows back in the minivan while still driving. At least that would be something!

One Comment leave one →
  1. ashleyinnc permalink
    August 4, 2011 7:50 AM

    My dream is definitely to have the go-go gadget arms for the car. I have a good girlfriend who swears that moms eventually have one arm that winds up longer than the other just from all the stretching we do attempting to reach something while still safely operating the motor vehicle! I am so with you on the Invisible Man thing, though. And the Auditory Aces. And the Mute Mommy. Great piece!

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