What Parental Superpower Do You Wish For?

Did you ever wish for superpowers when you were a kid? The ability to fly so you didn't have to walk a mile to school carrying a 200-pound French horn?

No? Just me?

To be fair, the French horn didn't really weigh 200 pounds: more like 110, 120 tops.

But flying would have been cool, with or without the French horn. I could have soared over the treetops, flown a direct path between home and school, and pelted my bullies with water bombs. Or French horns. And football would have been a breeze: Just hand me the ball, and I'd glide into the end zone.

Super speed would have also been cool. I could have been a running back or set the stolen base record. Most importantly, every day, I would have gotten home in time for the Three Stooges.

That fantasy never really goes away when you get older, at least it hasn't for me. Even now, I'd like superpowers, but I've set the bar a lot lower as I've gotten older.

For example, I'd like mind control powers, but I would only use them to get bumped up to business class on a flight. Or get a library late fee waived. Or talk my way out of a speeding ticket. Or talk my wife into pizza two nights in a row.

With mind-control powers, I could get my kids to stop watching so many videos on their phones. Or get them to turn down the TV. Or go to bed at a decent hour.

(And before you ask, my kids are all older, which means these things are more or less optional now. I just want to be able to make them do it.)

I could even make them share their candy. Next time I wanted some M&Ms, I could just "ask" for some. Arguing over the last Nutter Butter cookies? Not anymore. I could enjoy them peacefully with a glass of milk.

I know what you're thinking: Why is a man my age even asking his kids to share their candy? Why can't I just swipe it when they're not looking?

Unfortunately, I can't turn invisible, which is another superpower parents need.
The author, now invisible, hard at work.

In fact, invisibility is the number one superpower many parents wish for. I recently read a story in The Scottish Sun newspaper (official motto: "The Scottish what? Are ye daft?") about parents and superpowers.

The Vitabiotics vitamin company surveyed 2,000 moms and dads and asked them what superpower they wished for.

Among the results, they found that nine out of 10 parents wish they had some kind of superpower, which made me sad for the other 10 percent.

Are you seriously that boring? Who drummed out your sense of fun? If you can't imagine stupid stuff like having superpowers, are you even truly alive? Or interesting?

Of the remainders who managed to keep their childlike sense of wonder, they found more wanted invisibility as their top choice.

Anyone who has ever had children can relate to that feeling. When you've got little kids, you can't even take 30 seconds to go to the bathroom without some tiny fist pounding on the door and a tiny foghorn bellowing, "DAAAADDY, ARE YOU IN THERE? WHERE ARE YOU, DADDY? WHAT'S THAT NOISE?"

Superman had his Fortress of Solitude, not because it was a far-off secret place to keep his Kryptonian mementos, it was because he had young kids who pestered him when he was on the can.

The next four superpowers were flying, time travel, teleportation, and super strength.

Super speed clocked in at number 8, which was frankly a bit surprising. When my younger daughter was little, we needed super speed just to keep up with her, but even that wasn't enough.

Being able to get ready — showered, dressed, clean teeth — in a snap came in at number 16. Which is still super speed, but only for a very limited, and rather lame, use.

"Never fear, citizens! I'll save you by putting these pants on really fast!"

Others wanted superintelligence (10), which is not enough when you're trying to outwit a three-year-old. Throw in telepathy (7) and never feeling tired (11), and you may have a chance.

Next, I asked my Facebook friends what superpower they would want. Several said invisibility, while others said the ability to talk to animals, which was number 9 on the Vitabiotics list. A couple said time travel, and one said sound-blocking headphones, which is not actually a superpower. It's something you can literally buy right now.

One new mom said whatever power would get their kid to stop whining and crying.

That power is called whiskey.

Most of us who are of a certain age had parents who had that superpower, especially if we were sick. Just pour a little bit into a sippy cup, and your kid will stop whining and crying and drop right to sleep.

Another one said he wished he could have "super patience."

Again, behold the wondrous powers of whiskey.

Technically, it's not a superpower either, but it'll make those boring non-superpowered people seem a lot more interesting.

Photo credit: Erik Deckers (@edeckers on Twitter)

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available on Amazon. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.