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Motherhood comes with its own set of superpowers

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Moms are pretty incredible creatures.

I realized this once I got over the initial shock of having my first baby and found that I could do things I never dreamed before.

I can be up and energetic on two hours of sleep. I can care — I mean really, deeply care — about the color and consistency of poop.

I can pick out my baby's specific cry from across a crowded church.

So I was excited to see a book by Katherine Ellison titled "The Mommy Brain," which documents how mothers actually do have special mommy superpowers.

Moms, for example, are better at reading facial queues and are better equipped to feel empathy.

Mothers also get a brain boost to help them focus and complete complex tasks thanks to an infusion of estrogen following childbirth.

Perhaps this is why I have become a multitasking maniac since becoming a mother.

I can cook dinner while breast-feeding one daughter and completing a craft with the other. This is also why I have little patience when my husband gives me a helpless expression when I ask him to set the table and he says, "I can't. I'm holding the baby."

Are you serious?

Are we talking about the baby I've been holding all day while cleaning the house, making dinner, writing an article and scraping an unidentifiable substance off the coffee table?

Is THAT the baby we're talking about?

He usually finds a way to set the table while holding the baby. Way to go Super Dad.

So now that I know superhero mommy powers are legitimate, I've been thinking about some of my greatest gifts since I first laid eyes on that scrunched up face in the delivery room.

Making Stuff Up: Now that my daughter is 3 years old, she takes approximately four breaths every day. The rest of the time she is too busy asking a ridiculous string of questions about why the moon is out during the day, where babies come from and what that sign said that we just passed on the highway going 60 miles per hour.

Her questions are often loud and often embarrassing. such as when a repairman was at our house and she asked very loudly why he smelled so bad.

Faced with this litany of musings, I've become a master of making up stuff that I know isn't 100 percent accurate but sounds good enough to get by.

So if you ever come to our house, you'll find out that it's important to drink milk so your little sister doesn't get bigger than you. Also, the repairman smelled bad because he had just been playing outside with his friends, not because he had clearly just been chain-smoking on our front porch.

Kissing Boo-boos: This is perhaps my favorite mommy superpower. One little kiss from mom can make that cut hurt less or the bonk go away.

It will be a sad day when my kisses no longer pack such a concentrated dose of healing power.

Inducing a Milk Stupor: I don't know if this is isolated to nursing mothers or not, but there is a moment when you are nursing an infant to sleep when you feel like the most powerful and wonderful mother on earth.

Your baby's body goes limp, her eyes roll back in her head and that little bit of milky drool slips down her cheek. I swear I've heard baby angels applauding me at this moment while holding signs that say, "Best. Mother. Ever."

Morphing into Mama Bear: Of all my mommy superpowers, I have to admit that the Mama Bear instinct surprises and scares me most.

I had always heard that mothers will instinctively risk their lives for the babies and will run headfirst into danger to protect them.

Now that I have children, I know I would; I wouldn't even think about it.

I have these two little children who depend on me now and there's nothing that would stop me from giving every last breath and effort of my life to protect them.

And I know that's the way nature intended it.

After all, what else are super heroes for?

Erin Stewart's blog, Just4Mom, can be found Tuesdays and Thursdays at our website. E-mail: estewart@desnews.com