By Lisi Lopez
If you are a parent, chances are you can add “ninja” to the long list of hats that you wear. Instead of the show American Ninja Warrior they should rename it “Parent Ninja Warrior.” This show is a parent’s day to day reality. We are real ninjas…or at least the Hollywood depiction of one.
As a contestant, stealth is a necessity to survive. The moment you wake up, you are most likely greeted with a surprise attack from one of your kids. It can also begin to get a little dangerous when your tiny ninjas start flinging around their throwing stars. This can range anywhere from a small yet heavy phone to a giant pillow they somehow managed to swipe from under you. If you can wrangle these little attackers off of your bed and to a nearby TV, you’re already one challenge closer to becoming a “Parent Ninja Warrior.”
Another tricky obstacle course that will require maximum coordination is “The Walk of the Fallen Toys.” When walking into any room, be prepared to whip out your foot-eye coordination. Avoiding serious foot injury by stepping around the many camouflaged pointy toys is no easy task. Don’t even waste your energy on complaining about the mess, as this will only throw off your concentration. If you can prevent a painful stab to your foot, count your blessings and just keep moving along without looking back.
Once you pass this foot-eye coordination strength, then naturally you will need to be prepared for a challenge that will test your hand-eye coordination. The simple, yet complicated, task of changing a baby’s diaper is no laughing matter. Don’t be fooled by those cute eyes or chunky thighs. Changing a baby diaper is like trying to put on lipstick on a roller coaster. You think you are being crafty and prepared by slipping a clean Pamper under the dirty one before you open up the package. Truth is, no matter how sneaky you are, you need to always be prepared for that sudden hand that makes its way over to the toxic waste. You can hold feet, you can distract hands, but if you can’t complete this mission in under 20 seconds, you may as well throw in the towel.
Now let’s talk about birthday parties. These are sneaky challenges. They may seem like a good time to socialize or relax, but the reality is that one single second can set you back from the game. You can’t ever let your guard down. There is no time off for a parent ninja. If you have an accident-prone kid, you probably have received a fifth-degree black belt by the time they turn 1, so this challenge may be easy for you.
Let’s discuss next what happens if someone attacks what you are hired to protect, aka your kids. As a parent ninja, any physical or verbal attack will most likely render the swiftest death of the attacker. We don’t even think twice about it. This one probably hits closest to our hearts, but as ninjas we’ve been trained to brush it off for the sake of our kids. Our pain tolerance builds up over time and our reflexes to rush over and protect our kids never fades.
If you can survive a day as a parent ninja, then you will need to prepare yourself for the most suspenseful minutes of your day. When the lights go off and the kids fall asleep, we know that any slight noise or sudden movement from us means the mission is compromised. If this happens it is possibly one of the greatest disheartening feelings ever, so over time we have developed a secret talent for becoming one with the room as we exit it. We have evolved to learn to crawl, tiptoe, or even walk backwards slowly in order to make this happen. Some parents are even known to be able to hold their breath for long periods of time as they try to escape the room.
Being a parent ninja is a daunting task, but the rewards are wonderful. What’s the prize you may ask for a parent ninja? Honor and humility. We are honored to be given the opportunity to fight for our kids and their safety and happiness. We are humbled that we were chosen to raise them up as best as we can to be good people and possibly, one day, parent ninjas themselves.
About the Author
Lisi Lopez is a Latin mom to three kids under seven years old and wife to her college sweetheart. She graduated with a BS in Industrial Engineering in 2013. Four year later, she got promoted to stay-at-home mom by her second child, who happens to have Down Syndrome. A few months after he was born, she started an advocate Instagram account for him, @ourextraluckyworld, and also has a blog: https://ourextraluckyworld.wixsite.com/blog . Her days involve figuring out this journey of motherhood and enjoying all of it’s fun surprises, even on the crazy days.