I’m Not Doc Ock

Knowing that your kid thinks you can move mountains is a good feeling, right? They believe in us more than we believe in ourselves, even after six shots of Fireball, and that’s saying something. No matter what problem comes up, they think we can fix it, whether it’s making their ouchies better with the healing powers in our kisses or ridding their room of monsters with magic swords.

There are times, though, when they overestimate our abilities and times when we really wish that they weren’t so confident in us. Like when Baby Girl lets her popsicle melt into a sticky mess and asks me to fix it — I can’t do that. When God was handing out parenting superpowers, he totally skipped giving me the ability to instantly revert a liquid into a solid. No sorcerer powers here. I can’t snap my fingers and make the sun stop shining too brightly, either. I do have Spidey like reflexes when it comes to catching a kid’s vomit before it goes all over the couch, though, which is severely underappreciated.

One time the kids really tend to overestimate just how much I’m capable of is when we’re in the car. They expect me to be Doc Ock while I’m driving, and since I prefer us all arriving wherever we’re going in one piece, I often disappoint them. (Not that this disappointment stops them from believing in me, though.) Here are some of the things they’ve requested over the past few months:

This from the child who once told me that I wasn’t any good at doing Transformers? I wouldn’t even if I could.

This one was tempting, just because he bragged about being better at Mario than me. The ability to gloat was just slightly edged out by not wanting to put my car in a ditch.

That’s a cheesy roll-up from Taco Bell, in case you’re wondering — something she has no trouble managing in the car. She was watching me doodle and requested that I show her eating that, so there ya go. More recently she’s requested that I feed her ice cream. She insisted on a cup of ice cream, even though I told her she couldn’t eat it in the car and that she’d have to wait until we got home, but she thought I could work my parenting mojo anyway. Nope.

At least she didn’t ask me to rub her back this time, I guess?

Baby Girl also frequently asks me to pick up things she’s dropped. Now, if she dropped things like a normal person, I could reach behind and grab whatever it is at a stop light or stop sign since her car seat is behind me. However, she typically drops things as far away from my reach as possible. So, not only am I not Doc Ock, I’m not Elastigirl, either, even if my crappy doodles do make my arms look ridiculously long sometimes.

So, dear kiddos of mine, I greatly appreciate your confidence in my abilities, but let’s cool it on the requests while I’m driving a one-and-a-half ton car down the road at 55 mph (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), okay?


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Directionally Challenged

Remember those drug commercials from when we (those of us around 30ish, anyway) were kids? They’d show an egg and say, “This is your brain.” And then a skillet would smash the egg to bits and then they’d say, “This is your brain on drugs.” Or something to that effect. The point was drilled home — drugs make your brain explode.

That’s me.

Except without the drugs. Instead, that’s my brain when trying to process directions. The whole “yolk splattering” thing and ensuing rage definitely resonates.

I like to think that I’m a pretty bright person. I always did well in school, I can usually learn new things easily, and logic and I are besties. (Except for when anxiety takes over, so it’s more like logic and I are a step above being casual acquaintances.) Unfortunately, all of that goes out the window when I try to wrap my mind around driving directions. Put a map in front of me or try to tell me how to get from Point A to Point B, and you might as well be speaking a different language.


That in a nutshell.

I’ve lived in the same town for 30 of the 33 years that I have been on this earth. Yet if you asked me for directions to Walmart, I’d likely falter. And, heaven forbid, don’t ask me to read a map.

My husband finally figured out the answer to my problem one Christmas — a GPS! I was about 7 months pregnant with Little Man, and I didn’t know how to get to the hospital that was 20 minutes away. Since he was concerned about me going into labor while he was at work, he figured I should probably know how to get to the hospital, so he got me the GPS. He was pleased with himself until I called him at work crying a month later because I was lost in the town that we lived in.

“Did you use the GPS?”

“Yes!” I said between my dry heaving. “It told me to turn at a median! There was no road!”

Eventually, my husband finally figured out a way for me to get from point A to B without a) having to drive me or b) me getting utterly lost in the process — write out the most detailed directions in the world. You think the instructions for that bookshelf from IKEA you had to put together were long? You haven’t seen my driving instructions.

I might still have to call to clarify one part of the directions, or for driving back (I don’t do reverse directions well, either), but that’s it. Great success!

So, yeah, that’s me — Mrs. Directionally Challenged. Can any of y’all relate?

Bonus:

Here’s the This Is Your Brain On Drugs video. When I saw this as a kid, I was a bit terrified — who wants to turn into a dishes smashing lunatic, right? But now the mom in me — whose family mostly uses the nicer plastic take-out cups to avoid broken glasses — is going, “WTF, Baby-Sitter’s Club chick?! Stop that shit now!”

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