Clark's Friend With Sticky Fingers

The search Clark Kent is almost over. Most of the clues have been found and with a few more, the whereabouts of Kent could be revealed. Even so, investigators have left no stone unturned to include questioning Clark's mother, Martha Kent, still living in Smallville, Kansas. But as she's always done, Mrs. Kent has been careful not to reveal the secret identity of her son. She's put too much time into her son to make a mistake like that, even though I'm sure it wasn't an easy task raising a child that could run lighting quick while plowing through walls.  There's probably a whole lot Mrs. Kent would agree with in talking to Clark's friend, Tara, who's raising two kids in England, and writing about it at Sticky Fingers.   


Nobody really tells you the truth about being a parent. They glamorise it and make it sound all romantic and cool and like you’re joining some exclusive club, but they don’t tell you the whole story. The whole sordid story.

Sure you know you’re going to love your child, but you never fully comprehend the all-encompassing, almost crippling love that you feel and the surge of emotion that overcomes you whenever your little one simply smiles at you or hugs you or says ‘I really love you mummy’. No one ever really tells you about the soaring highs. Probably because words alone cannot express it.

Likewise, no one ever tells you about the crushing lows. That you will never be able to read a tragic story again which involves a child in any way without tears painfully pricking your eyes and a sickness overcoming you. That you will experience the very worse kind of tiredness when your little one has woken up for the fourth time in the night and you've got to get up for work at 6am. That you will know real fear when a terror seizes your very being for that split second when you cannot see your child in a busy shopping centre.

These are the things that you can never truly comprehend until you are a parent, no matter what you are told beforehand. But there are some things parents could share.Stuff they lie about to make life with children seem more, well, palatable.

1. You forget about the pain of childbirth.
I recall every minute of both of my children’s births, every scream, every sensation, every swear word I shouted at the midwife to get this goddam baby out. I CHOOSE not to share it around because, well, childbirth is a wondrous and natural thing that all mums-to-be want to enjoy and not have some harpy go on and on about how it hurt rather a lot and how it is actually hell on earth but because you get handed an angelic baby at the end of it, you kind of don’t mind. It’s a bit of an unwritten rule that you don’t mention it.

Women, it is said, are biologically predisposed to forget it all once that beautiful little creature is put in their arms, because let’s face it, if they didn’t they would never do it again. You can forget birthdays and telephone numbers and school trip money, but how do you forget a pain that feels like someone is hacking bits off you off and then asking you to sew them back on. With a blunt needle. I also once read a book that said crowning would feel like ‘a slight burning sensation’. Hmm, how shall I put this? Are you f***ing kidding me?

2. You will get your life back
You will NEVER get your life back. I’ve been pretending to have it all figured out for 6 years now. The first couple of years I totally bluffed my way through and hoped for the best. First off you will never ever stop worrying. About everything, anything. From the minute they’re born you worry about them not breathing in the night, through to not feeding properly, falling out of bed, choking, right up to dating and smoking. And that’s just the start. What about how you’re going to afford education, and have you done a good job with them? Your answer to the latter will always be no.

You will never have any money again. You may as well just arrange to have your salary paid directly to your local supermarket’s head office. And you will absolutely and very intimately come to know the meaning of ‘sleep deprived’. You will discover hours of the night you only ever stayed awake for when you were young and clubbing and had a bottle of something alcoholic in one hand. This time around you will have a bottle of milk in your mitts and you will be so tired you will actually forget why you’re sat there clutching a bottle of milk. You will actually understand what ‘tired bones’ means.

And even when you’re not nursing a tired and emotional baby, you will still find yourself standing there, anywhere, doing the mummy rocking backwards and forwards thing from one foot to the other like you’re soothing. I’ve actually done that in the supermarket when deciding whether to go for satsumas or clementines. You will probably be doing this for the first 5 years of their lives, by which time they will have started school and then you have someone else to blame for their behaviour (sorry Vodka Mom!)

3. Your body will snap back into shape after 9 months.
Whoever told mums 'it takes nine months to get your body like this so give it nine months to get back to normal' should be shot. How about nine years? And don't even get me started on those celebrity 'pregorexics' who are wearing their skinny jeans just weeks - WEEKS - after giving birth. I wore my maternity wardrobe for months after having children. I've probably still got a couple of things in there now. Kidding, kidding.For months, Ok Ok, years after giving birth I felt like they’d left something in there.

Breastfeeding just made me really really hungry and all I wanted was comfort food. Your body will never ever be the same again. You will bear the marks of birth like battle scars and, the thing is, they are beautiful. Every stretch mark maps the journey your baby made into this world. Every stitch punctuates the pain you endured to make sure your precious cargo was delivered safely. If someone had told me this earlier, I may not have spend so much time believing I was ‘ruined’.

4. You can find a balance between parenthood and your previous life.
My car is large, practical and the back seat is covered in so much crap I’m too embarrassed to let anyone see it. It’s like my children took a whole bag of crisps, scrunched them up into teeny tiny crumbs and liberally sprinkled them over the upholstery. Then jumped on them to make sure they really were ground in. My car is expensive, brand new and there is a pencil jammed in one of the air vents. My car was a joy to drive, now there is glitter spot welded to the footwell, there is something sticky clogging up the cup holder and the back of the drivers seat looks like a work of art from Picasso. In mud. In any of those sentences did you read ‘balance’?

Also you will never be able to leave the house looking presentable every again. No matter what you put on it will end up with snot/puke/breakfast stains on it and you won’t actually notice it until it’s too late to clean it off and you end up in the toilets at work trying to scrape it off with a fingernail and you’re just too tired to care WHAT it is exactly you are scraping off.

5. You learn to live with the mess
- Smear Weetabix and jam over your sofa.
- Tip the contents of a carton of sticky apple juice on the rug.
- Draw random crayon marks all over the windows.
- Hide a half eaten banana behind the TV. Leave it there for 3 months.
- Empty the contents of your wardrobe on to the floor and leave it there.
- Used to it yet?

6. You learn to control your emotions.
When my son started school I looked at all those tearful mummies hugging their children at the playground gates and snorted with derision. Soft, silly women. You know your child will be fine and that they’ll make new friends and have a fabulous adventure. What on earth are you blubbering for? When I dropped my son off at the gate, I got in the car and cried all the way to work. Parenting will make you a big softie. Any movie – no matter how lame – will have you reaching for the tissues before the credits roll. At the start.

You will also have to accept frustration as your new best friend. Imagine if you recorded someone saying ‘mummy!’ on a loop and then playing it constantly and by constantly I mean it’s repeated at least every 5 seconds and there is absolutely NO escape from it. Even when you’re sat on the toilet. And that’s another thing. You will never get to use the toilet alone again.

Wise words from a mum who knows, although Clark Kent can make no claims on the matter of breast feeding. But the rest of it he could vouch for. Well, not the stretch marks. The breastfeeding and the stretch marks he wouldn't know about, but that's it. No wait, he wouldn't admit to the crying. Only Chuck Norris using a BB gun can make CK cry. The breastfeeding, stretch marks, and the crying he would have no clue about - actually Clark would make for a lousy mum. But in all of this it was announced on the radio as Tara drove to school that a tenth clue was found: the power cord to Clark's laptop. 

Authorities wanted to remind everyone that the REWARD offer has yet to be claimed but to tune in Wednesday to review all the clues and make their best guess. 

Many thanks to Ed, and his alter ego, The Fit Dad for Friday's timely tips on working off a few pounds using a little common sense (Poor Starbucks). 

Tomorrow: Lois Lane makes a public statement!

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