There are hundreds of articles and pieces of advice out there about what to expect from your post-baby body. Changes in hip and waist sizes (ugh!), changes in bra sizes (fabulous!), hair loss, tender joints and sore lady parts…. You name it, someone out there is postpartum and feelin’ it.
But nobody told me about Mommy Ears. Not visible to the naked eye, Mommy Ears is a curious phenomena that only newly-minted mothers can appreciate. (Fathers are, apparently, immune.)
It results in a heightened sense of sonic abilities – some are so powerful they could land you on the cast of Heroes or X-Men. You can hear the tiniest peep from your little one several rooms away and at all hours of the day or night. You can instantly distinguish your little one’s cries amid all the other noise at the shopping mall or your mommy group meeting. You can sleep through earthquakes and natural disasters, but never through your little one crying.
This is some serious Superhero stuff.
Take, for example, my experiences over the last several nights. Lille Per Christian is teething up a storm, so everything I knew about his sleeping and eating habits has flown out the window. Damn.
So I’m deep in an exhausted sleep and wake suddenly for no reason at 2:50 am.
I lay in bed, body tense, holding my breath.
30 seconds…. 90 seconds…. three minutes….
Whew. Nothing. Roll back over to sleep.
But NO! There it is. A small whimper from the nursery. A pint-sized stirring that warns me my son is awakening at a most unappreciated hour. I leave him for a few more minutes to make sure, during which time his small murmurings become much louder and more insistent. A few more minutes to make double-y sure…. Yep. The little guy is up.
How is it possible that those tiny sounds can travel through walls and sealed doors to snatch me so abruptly from Slumberville? I can sleep through all manner of drunken debauchery on the streets outside my bedroom window, but I wake at this?!
Mommy ears, I’m telling’ ya.
I’m unsure if these abilities will intensify or weaken as Per Christian gets older and I grow more comfortable with my Superhero powers. I half-expect he’ll be a 27-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in the Zambian outback and I’ll still be laying awake at night for the sound of him waking.
But I guess that’s all part of being a Mommy (aka Superhero).