My parents are in town, and we’re loading my two kids into the car after lunch at Food Truck Friday in downtown Phoenix. My dad fumbles with the buckles on two-year-old Champ’s car seat. My mom wrangles the lunch leftovers while cooing over the new baby girl. I break down the fancy stroller — it’s so fancy there’s a song about it — and load it in the back of my beefy crossover.
It’s taking forever, and my mom asks, “How do you do this by yourself?” The truth is that when it’s just me and the kids, I can do all this in half the time.
You see, I’m a ninja.
I don’t mean that I have any stealth ability or martial-arts training, and I’m certainly not calling myself a “ninja” the way overzealous marketing types do on their LinkedIn profiles. And while I hope you like my little drawing, I would never attempt to pin my son to the wall with shuriken.
I’m referring to the Inverse Ninja Law, the old Hollywood cliche that a large group of ninjas presents no more challenge to a hero than one ninja all by his lonesome.
I slice up some high-level parenting tasks when nobody else is around. As I write this, both my kids are napping. I’ve fed both tots simultaneously while they were sitting nearly six feet apart, holding a baby-food pouch in my right hand and a wobbly forkful of pasta in my left.
Do I ever do this when Mom is home? Heck no. I’m prone to turning on sports and pulling out my iPhone. My inner ninja knows that she’s better with a katana, so I hang back while we attack the little heroes one at a time. It makes for a more entertaining movie.
People ask all the time how I handle being at home with two tiny kids. Now you know. I’m a ninja.