Thanks to everybody's favorite mutant turtles, and pop culture in general, a couple of my boys are slightly obsessed with ninjas. (I'd kinda like them to idolize something other than covert assassins, but their dad is a good role model on the opposite end of the spectrum so I'd say it evens out.)
What they're most impressed with is how ninjas sneak around. They're always trying to do it, although they're about as sneaky as elephants walking on bubble wrap. Kids are only quiet when they're up to something, and in those cases the quiet itself is like an alarm going off, so they're screwed either way.
But if you're a mom - or have a mom - you know that ninjas' sneakiness skills have nothing on mothers'. Because although they may appear unassuming, moms possess an amazing ability to carry out just about anything they want to, completely undetected. Take these sly Mom maneuvers for example ...
The Sneak and Snack. This is useful when you have a snack that you absolutely do not want to share. Because you know that the second you break it out, you'll be surrounded by little scavengers who are all like, "Weeeeee want a bite!" With the Sneak and Snack, even the crinkliest wrappers are opened with complete silence. Child heading around the corner? The snack mysteriously disappears until said child is out once again out of sight. One caveat: you must remain silent for a little while after eating your contraband goodies, lest a kid catch a whiff and say suspiciously, "What does your breath smell like?" with those accusatory eyes.
The Stealthy Sleep-Saver. This tactic is useful across different age groups. For babies, it's the ability to get out from under them without waking them, which is tricky. For older kids, it's the ability to sneak across creaky bedroom floors to turn off a lamp or something without so much as a footstep. (I even amaze myself with that one because seriously, y'all, I am not a petite little thing.) When you value your sleep or alone time and you know that if your kid wakes up - again - that you're not going to get as much, you can do amazing things to ensure that they stay asleep.
I can't even do the splits normally, but this is pretty much me trying to get out from under my sleeping toddler without him noticing.
The Swift Spart Snatch. Remember back in the day, when I wrote about "sparts?" That was like two kids ago. And now that I've got four, I have more sparts - spare, nondescript parts of random toys - than I can shake a stick at. Luckily, moms are the best at stealthily snatching up those sparts and quickly dispatching them to the garbage without any kids noticing. Because when kids have a closet full of actual, working, recognizable toys, why on earth would they want to play with a ... a ... what the hell is that, anyway?
The Trashing of Treasures. I love the things my kids bring home from school. Really, I do. But if I saved all the finger paintings and construction paper hats and worksheets with stars, I'd have to rent out a storage locker. (Or twelve.) And here's where this ninja mom skill comes in handy. Because if your kids see you throwing away the "most awesome thing they've ever made, EVER" ... well, there's probably a therapist's couch or an appearance on the Jerry Springer show in their future.
The Character Creep. Moms have to be great at playing Santa Claus. And the Easter Bunny. And the Tooth Fairy. And the Elf on the Shelf or whatever other character creeps into your child's room under cover of darkness to leave surprises. This skill takes the Stealthy Sleep-Saver up a notch to advanced level because not only do you have to slip in and out - and leave stuff behind - completely unnoticed, but you also have the added pressure of ruining your kid's childhood if you get caught. Unless you're really good at making up on-the-spot excuses for why you're sneaking around in the middle of the night with an armful of "Santa's" goodies.
So you see? Kids might be fascinated by the sneakiness of ninjas, but if they knew what their boring old moms were actually up to, they'd probably think we were a whole lot cooler. We can't blow our covers, though, so we have to appear as regular and Mom-ish as possible.