a peek inside the fishbowl

30 Mar, 2016

What are your parenting superpowers?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

It was still dark. I had no idea what time it was but I was lying in bed, asleep, when I heard a distinctive click. I processed that bit of information, chewing it over in my mind. Was this something I needed to worry about? The click was the only sound breaking through the stillness of a sleeping household. There was no dog barking, no creaking stairs, no child crying. So what was it?


I decided to get up to pee, and investigate along the way.


As I made my way to the bathroom I noticed the time: 6 a.m. Then I noticed the light was on in our youngest daughter’s bedroom. Mystery solved. It was later than I thought and she was getting ready for school. I suddenly understood where the clicking was coming from. It’s the sound her markers make when she’s snapping the cap back on.

I realized right then and there that this amazing sense of hearing is a superpower that I did not have before having children. It wasn’t until I had put in some serious time being a mother that I learned to hear everything, and deduce everything from every sound. I could even hear trouble brewing in the silence that comes when the kids have been quiet in the other room a little too long.

That’s not my only super power. The other day I was standing in front of the fridge with an armful of odd-shaped packages and bottles when I suddenly dropped one. I didn’t even stop to think, I just reacted. In a flash, in a swoop, I caught the package (I believe it was sliced ham) before it even touched the ground. YESSS!

I think I got the most practice with the ol’ fall n’ catch routine when the kids were spitting out their soothers and dropping their lollipops and popsicles hither and yon. I know for a fact that I also caught the KIDS on numerous occasions, especially when they were learning to walk or run, jumping off playground equipment and hurtling down a slide or a toboggan run.

So SUPER HEARING and SUPER REFLEXES are the big ones. A lesser known power (but no less appreciated) is The Power To Make Dinner Out of Nothing. Or maybe that’s not a super power… just magic. ;)


6 Responses to "What are your parenting superpowers?"

1 | Claudette

March 30th, 2016 at 2:03 pm


Or catching puke from a spewing toddler with your bare hands. When, as a young adult, I would have run the other way! lol

2 | Anne

March 30th, 2016 at 3:28 pm


Super hearing is a huge power that all mothers must learn along the way. My husband says I know every sound in our house and can hear it from another level and know exactly what that noise is. Drives him nuts but it is useful.

3 | Carly

March 30th, 2016 at 5:52 pm


Hmm, I’m with Claudette, I think. Though to add to that, the first time our eldest got a stomach bug he was about 5 years old. We were sitting at the kitchen table and I said, “Hmm, J doesn’t look so good.” My husband took a look and pronounced him fine, but I was insistent. “No, I think something’s off about J”, I said again. And just as I leaned over for a closer look, he threw up – into my hands.

My other super power? Ignoring/tuning out the noise that comes with having two young boys in the house. So, the opposite of super hearing. LOL!

4 | Carla

March 31st, 2016 at 10:48 am


I think my superpower is to know what a cry means when the little ones can communicate a little but still can’t be eloquent. For example, my 4yo fell last year and my husband thought he was crying later because he was tired. But his cry was different and I was sure it meant he broke his arm. My husband thought I was overreacting but I packed the kid up in his PJ’s off to the ER and yep, fractured arm near the wrist.

5 | Jen_nifer

March 31st, 2016 at 6:18 pm


Calm in the face of panic. Whatever the injury, my kid or someone else’s, I am super calm and appear to know exactly what I’m doing to treat the injury. This usually brings the perceived level of injury down significantly, and allow adults to better assess exactly what happened.

I am very happy to have lost my super-hearing around the time my son turned 8.

6 | andrea tomkins

April 1st, 2016 at 10:22 am


Good ones everyone! You are all super!
I do however, think that catching vomit falls under the REFLEX category of super powers. ;)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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