21 Completely Non-Marketable Skills I Have Perfected Through Parenthood

S Ralph

By: Shannon Ralph

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  1. The incredible ability to separate even the tiniest of fused Lego pieces using only my teeth.
  2. A healthy mistrust of silence in all its forms.
  3. Perfect recitation of the phrases “uh-huh,” “go on,” and “I see” (essential skills for any parent hoping to effectively fake interest in a child’s passionate discussion of video games lore.)
  4. Catching vomit in my hands.
  5. Practicing the lost Zen meditative art of Not-Losing-My-Shit-While-Combing-My-Daughter’s-Hair.
  6. Effectively rationalizing the five second rule despite having not swept or mopped my floors in recent memory.
  7. Notable culinary expertise in the preparation and presentation of hot dogs, Kraft Easy Mac, frozen chicken nuggets, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
  8. Folding myself into unnaturally contortionistic positions that rival anything Houdini could have imagined to hand my child a piece of gum in the back seat of the car while driving 65 miles an hour down the interstate so he will please—for the love of all that is good and holy in this world—stop asking.
  9. Innately surmising the location of everyone’s eyeglasses at all times (4 of the 5 people in my house wear glasses; 3 of the 4 never know where they are located).
  10. The ability to cut the crust off a peanut butter sandwich in 2 seconds flat, using only a toothpick and the nail of my right pinky finger (because all of the knives in the house are in the dishwasher that I am currently refusing to empty as part of a doomed passive aggressive battle of wills with my children).
  11. An appreciation for the “solo pee” that borders on religious fanaticism.
  12. A startling proficiency in the ancient art of “Febreezing the funk away.”
  13. Juggling daily homework assignments, monthly reading logs, permission slips, doctor’s visits, school lunch accounts, karate practices, choir rehearsals, dental cleanings, chore charts, and swim lessons with the precision of a Secret Service entourage
  14. Hulk-like upper body strength that enables me to carry a lifeless 60-pound nine-year old from the couch to her bed as if she were a weightless infant.
  15. Packing school lunches that are nutritious, delicious, hit all of the major food groups, and are inevitably destined for the compost bin.
  16. A special flare for speaking at a decibel level that (in addition to causing my dog to cower in the corner of my living room) can be heard through the ear buds that have taken up permanent residence in my son’s ear canals.
  17. The ability to recite the entire script (Word. For. Freaking. Word.) of all 15 Pixar movies…to date.
  18. The capacity to communicate a lifetime of disappointment to my children with a single, stern flick of my eyelids.
  19. Cursory knowledge of 1,457 different dinner recipes–none of which my children will eat.
  20. The feigned gasp of excitement that is necessary to effectively communicate my immense pride in my child’s artistic ability when she brings home another what-the-hell-is-it art project from school.
  21. The ability to sleep eight sound hours with a knee in my back, an elbow in my side, a foot in my crotch, and three fingers up my two nostrils, AND to awake refreshed enough to chaperone a school field trip to Dante’s nine circles of hell our local Children’s Museum.

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