Let's talk for a moment about the 5 senses, shall we? These are a human being's God-given abilities to perceive information. That's my very own definition. I could practically be wikipedia, but let's keep my brilliance to ourselves for now.
The 5 senses include:
I will even go so far as to say that I have a favorite. My sense of smell. Not to brag, but it's acute. It's very, very perceptive. I can associate all kinds of things with smell. Smells warp me back in time to happy memories or sad ones. A certain smell can trigger a wide range of emotions for me. For example, I love the smell of Scotch tape. I love it. My friends and I call this one of my quarks. The smell of Scotch tape reminds me of teenage Christmases and staying up into the wee hours of the morning wrapping presents with my family. (Realness Alert: I may or may not have been known to stick a piece to the end of my nose while wrapping presents just because it makes me so darn happy. It's like my little Christmassy drug.) Example #2: I once burned a particular Scentsy fragrance for the first time on the same day that Hubs and I got into an argument. Now every time I smell that particular scent, I get a little knot in my stomach, not because the fight was so terrible (and it was long ago resolved), but because it takes me back to a not so happy day. Which is a bummer…because it's a great scent! #3: It makes me thankful for Hubs' addiction to cologne. We were obviously meant to be. Smell is my favorite, and he smells GOOD! ;)
Then came children. And I was a mom. And low and behold, THE super-power sense was born. I now have Momsense. If I may become your personal, imaginary wikipedia again, Momsense is a mother's God-given ability to perceive information with a heightened sense of awareness. It is almost supernatural and has the potential to cause awe and fear from children and husbands alike. Momsense is a super power. Momsense is awesome. (Sidenote: Momsense is one of the many reasons that all mothers should be allowed to wear their superhero capes in public. Because it gets annoying stuffing them under our shirts.)
Momsense applies to all of the 5 senses. It is technically not a 6th sense. It is more like a component that puts all of the 5 senses into hyperdrive. Let me offer some examples:
Sight: We've all heard the phrase "moms have eyes in the back of their heads." Enter Momsense. This is the ability to see your kids with freakish peripheral vision that may possibly wrap around your entire body. It is the ability to see who stuck who's tongue out at who and who pulled who's hair from the driver's seat while driving down I35 at 75 mph. It is the ability to see the 386th drawing on a piece of notebook paper without even looking up from the dinner you're preparing. It's the ability to see your child fall down the stairs 3 steps before it happens (and you may or may not actually do anything about it.)
Hearing: This Momsense is particularly awesome as it can be turned on or off at will. This super power occurs when 4 voices are speaking, whining, crying and/or laughing, a dog is barking and the phone is ringing all at the same time, and you're still able to read a book or take a nap. It is the ability to hear even the faintest whisper of evil scheming going on upstairs and can often be amplified with a properly placed baby monitor (that's not actually part of Momsense…it's just smart.) It is the ability to hear the faintest "clicking whirry" sound coming from the engine of the mini-van (too bad Momsense doesn't come with a Mechanics degree!) and the ability to know if your child is the one crying in a park full of children from 30 yards away. This Momsense also includes the ability to hear tiny tipping toes sneaking down the carpeted hallway in the middle of the night while dead asleep. It can hear an infant cry 5 seconds before it actually happens and can pick up exactly when lack of noise = disaster.
*Sidenote to husbands: if your wife is juggling 12 tasks and you're trying to tell her something, she is probably taking in every single word you're saying and could repeat it to you verbatim even though she hasn't glanced up at you yet. Wives: stop what you're doing and look at the man. He doesn't understand this super power and most likely never will. And don't look annoyed when you do it.
Smell: This Momsense may be most commonly employed in the diaper years. It is the ability to know if a diaper needs to be changed, when baby is actually finished and how many wipes will be needed. It is the sense that takes away the embarrassment that SHOULD accompany the fact that you just picked your child up by the leg and sniffed an area that should not EVER have such close contact with your nose. It is the ability to recognize when a flat iron has been left on upstairs or dirty socks are SOMEWHERE IN THIS ROOM! It is the ability to overlook the smell of the mom-mobile, otherwise known as the Minivan Funk, and the ability to recognize when your child has eaten one more Skittle after she's already brushed her teeth. It is the ability to overlook morning breath when they're little and demand better dental hygiene when they're older. It is the gift you get when you're still using Baby Magic or Johnsons and Johnsons, because oh they just smell so yummy!
*Sidenote: the lack of this particular Momsense can occur when you are dealing with allergies…let's say Cedar allergies. Be aware that this can be a fairly life-threatening Momsense to lose if you depend on it regularly as it may cause you to leave your gas stove burner on for 4 or 5 hours. Since the Momsense is diminished, you may not notice the food permanently bonding to your saucepan until it's time to make dinner at which time you thank the Lord up in Heaven that you have not all died from carbon monoxide poisoning or just plain fire.
Taste: This Momsense gives you the ability to tolerate years worth of eating at McDonalds for the sake of the playground. Although you do not personally consider the meat-like products at this establishment to be actual food, you are willing to defile your body and choke down soy something for the peace and diminished whining that may accompany it. It is the ability to overlook the fact that your child's runny nose may or may not have left residue on your fork and the ability to realize that food no longer needs to be hot or your own as every meal of every day will be shared with at least one other mouth. It's the ability to sample anything to test it's temperature or level of spiciness no matter how odd or unappetizing it may look. It's the ability to be satisfied even though your breakfast, lunch and/or dinner may consist solely of the leftovers on your children's plates.
Touch: This Momsense is the ability to recognize the mere touch of your own child's skin when you're not looking versus that of a child that does not belong to you. It is the ability to realize that you have picked up the wrong baby tugging at your pant leg in the church nursery before your actually nurse him but not before you've done everything in preparation to. (Yeah, this actually happened.) It is the ability to feel pain when your child falls down and scrapes his or her knee and the indescribable ability to feel peace in an embrace. It is the ability to be the ONLY one who's "cushiness" is just right for snuggling and who's mommy sway is just what the doctor ordered on sick nights. It's the ability to take a temperature with your lips on a forehead and know exactly which child just walked up next to you simply by feeling a hand on your arm.
Although every mother is aware of Momsense, I felt it was my duty to educate the rest of humanity. So the next time you see a mom using her super powers, just let her know that her cape is showing. And, Dad's, download a theme song…she should have one of those too!