My Dad has said before that he hopes to live long enough to embarrass his daughters, a lovely sentiment that I will carefully consider as I select a Father's Day gift for him this weekend.
But the really
unfair part of the scenario is that, while it will take my Dad 70 years
to embarrass me, my children made an art out of it as soon as they could
walk and talk.
courtesy of Cael and Graham, were what came to mind when I was reminded
of one more "Fifty Thousand" post idea asking me to write about the boys' most
I thought about it for awhile and came to
the conclusion that, because my children seem to have no shame, they
also have no embarrassing moments or even a proper sense of what is
embarrassing. So I looked into the deep well of my most embarrassing
moments that took place as a direct result of my boys' inquisitive or
otherwise questionable nature.
Since you've already heard about
Cael's filterless interest in people's body parts, I'll skip that story
despite the fact that it was probably the single most embarrassing
motherhood moment I've experienced. But there have been so many others
Take, for example, the time I strolled through WalMart,
perusing the aisles and stocking up on diaper wipes and Teddy Grahams.
Cael was still a toddler, probably almost three, and Graham was still my
baby and riding in his carrier. As we passed by the women's clothing
section, a very large woman in a very small shirt stepped out from
within the racks of clothing ahead of us to reveal not only her stature but a
hanging belly that had escaped the confines of her stretchy shirt.
it or not, Cael can (usually) exercise enough tact now not to say something in a similar
situation. But back then I would immediately panic, knowing that a
response would be inevitable. So I pushed the cart faster and was ready to pass the woman before Cael spoke, allowing me one brief
moment to think I'd averted a disaster.
But as we came within
three or four feet of the lady, Cael pointed a chubby finger in her
direction. Oh, no. I pushed his arm down and tried to distract him
with whispered promises of candy, but his attention could not be drawn
away, and his mouth began to open.
"Mommy! Look at dat lady. Her tummy HUGE!"
wished for death. Seriously, being struck by lightening inside WalMart
would have to be less mortifying than apologizing to this woman for my
son's hurtful words. And trying, unsuccessfully, to scold Cael for
stating the obvious as passers-by smiled at my two toe-headed boys was
not the highlight of my day either. If only I'd known then that Cael
would be pointing out people's features, public or private, for years to
come, I might have developed a thicker skin from the start.
of making private things public, my most embarrassing moment involving
Graham happened just a couple of months ago. I had made arrangements
for my nephews, Ethan and Keaton, to stay the night, watch a movie, and
eat the huge spread of "appetizers for dinner" I was preparing. While I
stuffed mushroom caps and toasted raviolis, Joel and the nephews were
finishing up some yard work as the rest of us avoided the heat in the
house. I was juggling seven or eight different dishes and thought my
kids were quietly watching a movie in my room.
But it was just a thought, not reality.
reality of the situation was that Cael was pulling books off of my
bookshelf, while Graham explored the bedroom and bathroom. He dug
through dresser drawers and nightstands, the bathroom closet and
medicine cabinet before emerging from my bedroom and walking straight up
to my Dad.
And that's when Graham handed my father my birth control.
could have been worse, I suppose, and since I am married with children I
am doing nothing wrong. But of all the items in my room, and all the
people in my home that day, Graham found a way to align the stars in the
manner that would embarrass me the most.
Now that my kids have mastered the art of mortification, I guess I can look forward to the unique and exciting ways my Dad will choose to embarrass me in the years to come.