My kids have good manners.
I mean, I taught them good manners and they use them
sparingly on occasion when they feel like it pretty much never in public.
It’s not like I didn’t teach them about having good manners and being respectful and stuff.
I did as best I could. I model good manners, I remind them to use their manners in public settings, and
when they aren’t fighting over whose touching whose side of the couch we even practice being cordial and courteous with each other at home.
But, some how they are somewhat sketchy about using them when it matters.
Like when you are at you’re father’s retirement party. Or at a parent-teacher conference and you had to bring your toddler because your husband was at work. Or pretty much anytime they are around people who are talking to them or me.
So I’m working on it.
But, as an added precaution, I’m developing a number of quick response techniques for those moments when my children and their manners suddenly disappear into oblivion, leaving me standing there, mouth agape, shamed into never showing my face in that (or possibly any) establishment again ever.
It’s best to be prepared.
Dumb Mom’s Guide to Not Letting Your Wild Children Embarrass You
Scenario 1: While at the beach minding your own business and enjoying the evening sun, your three year old walks up to the armed security guard, taps him on his gun and says, “Are you my grandpa?”
Response: Take a moment to wonder why your child can’t even recognize his own grandfather and then inconspicuously let your puppy’s leash go so she tears across the beach and ruins another beach goers’ evening picnic by romping through it and stealing their steaming hot meat. The security guard will be distracted, all of the people surrounding the security guard will be distracted, and the family who had their chicken dinner ruined will probably forgive you because your puppy is adorable. Once your puppy is collected, take a moment to thank your lucky stars that he didn’t ask the security guard if he was his father, like he did with the random bald man he spotted at the bank.
Scenario 2: While at the pool minding your own business your son says he has to go to the bathroom. You give him clearance to go take care of that and turn back to
talk about last night’s episode of True Blood with your fellow swim mom mind your own business only to hear gasps followed by the sound of someone pouring water on the pool deck please say that is the sound of someone POURING water. Of course it’s not water. It is your son. Who hates you. And truly wants other people to also as his pee slides into the filter of the baby pool.
Response: Drown yourself in the baby pool. It will take some time and commitment since the stupid thing is only 2 feet deep at it’s deepest, but still. It’s worth the work because even though all of the moms wave away your apologies and act like they “totally understand” because they’ve “been there” you know they are lying and that they are SO gonna talk about you tomorrow at the gym.
Scenario 3: While at your father’s retirement party minding your own business by talking to a group of your father’s colleagues, your 6 year old son comes up to you and says, “Hey, Mommy. Do you know what nookie is? I do!”.
Response: Say, “HUH!” as loud as you possibly can and then shove a piece of cake in his mouth and hope he chokes on it. Not a lot. But a little. You know, so saving him can distract people from the fact that he just used a slang sex term in the middle of a room filled with prestigious business men and women.
Scenario 4: While going into your job just to pick up a couple of papers and then continue about your day of minding your own business, your 2 year old sees your boss and begins to cry and make a break for the door. When you ask him what the problem is he points and screams in horror, “He is scaring me!”
Response: First, note that your boss is not a man. He is a woman. Attempt to explain to your boss that your son is afraid of everyone, including scary women that look like men. And also, he has a little pronoun confusion too. Swear. He really does.
Scenario 5: While getting onto an elevator at the library where you fully intend to mind your own business while your son looks for a book in the children’s section, your 2 and a half year old gets into the elevator already occupied with one suspicious looking woman and says, “I can’t be in here, Mommy. It smells like do-doo,” as he starts to gag a little
Response: Gag with him. Because, frankly, he is correct. Then, glare at the dead-inside-sneaky-elevator-farter who ruined your day and possibly your next 3 meals as well. I mean, really. I couldn’t even blame #1 for that one. It was offensive enough that I took it personally. Sneaky farters deserve to be called out by vocal two year olds.
Have an embarrassing kid story to share? Please do so I know I’m not the only one who has kids who are systematically trying to shame me into hiding.