Monday, June 11, 2012


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.

Those embarrassing moments, 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 embarrassing moments.

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 as well.

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.

Believe 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!"

I 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.

Speaking 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.

The 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. 

"Here, Papa."

And that's when Graham handed my father my birth control.

It 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.

1 comment:

Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.