EXTRA SENSORY PATERNAL (ESP)
I swear to you; from the minute your child is born, all of your senses become more acute. I won’t claim that I can see through walls and hear a cry for help from 100 miles away, but I am definitely more attuned to my surroundings. I now present for your reading pleasure, the 5 senses and parenting.
I can smell a poopy diaper from fifty yards out in a crowded mall. Which, coincidentally, is primarily where the poopy diaper occurs. They never happen when you are playing at home in the middle of the day. Usually they will rear their ugly smells during a long airline flight, right after you get everyone buckled in the car and start the engine, or, my personal favorite, in the middle of a grocery trip with the cart half full (Is the cart half full or half empty?).
I challenge you to try that baby food and make a pleasant face, encouraging your young child to eat the gruel you are endeavoring to feed him. They are smarter than you think. They recognize the disgust underneath that phony smile and besides, they can smell the pancakes on the griddle.
No sense becomes more acute to your child than your auditory sense. Remember when you could sleep through a thunderstorm? With children, you can hear their sheets rustling in the middle of a stormy night and have an irrepressible urge to go check and make sure they are still covered.
A friend of yours is showing you some photographs at a party, you are half watching the ball game on television, your wife is trying to signal you something from across the room, and somewhere behind you, your two year old pushes a little girl. And you saw the whole thing: Your child went on a time-out; Jimmy G got the first down on third and seventeen; your friend bought a new boat; and it looks like your wife is acting out a movie title, two words, first word Dark! Don’t ask me how, but your children are never out of your sight (or at least they shouldn’t be! Where are they right now???).
Forget silk, forget fresh cotton sheets, forget the cool feel of a marble statue, nothing rivals a baby’s skin. Nothing is as soft or as gentle as skin that has never had a mosquito bite, been sunburned, or scratched. And there is no comforter in the world that radiates the warmth of a child’s hug. It is totally without inhibition, a selfless act of love that is not judgmental or contingent upon receiving something in return. They love without expecting any compensation except your love. And isn’t that the purest form?