My kids have publicly embarrassed me more times than I can count on pretty much every appendage the human body possesses.
I mean I know I’m not the only mom whose kids do this stuff.
Okay, probably I am. I mean when’s the last time your child sang a fat song about you at the grocery store? Or asked if the check out girl-boy-person was a, um, girl or a boy within clear view and earshot of the gender questionable individual?
And, don’t even get me started on the dressing room antics. The mommy-where’s-your-peepee-is-that-hair-I-see-your-boobies-that-lady-has-a-big-butt-I-can-see-her-under-the-door-she’s-NAKED running monologues make me want to hang myself from a Target purse hook.
I swear if I never have to take any of these small humans into a public disrobing room (that includes bathrooms, dressing rooms, and especially, swimming pool locker rooms) ever again, I will be a happy woman.
I don’t need diamonds. I don’t need pearls. I just need the opportunity to try on a friggin jumpsuit (I kid, I don’t wear jumpsuits and probably never will) without commentary, interjection, and/or exploding from the room while I’m halfway butt naked courtesy of the peanut gallery (and for the record, stores with curtains instead of doors with deadbolts, clearly are sending a message to moms every where that they, and their spawn, are not welcome in those retail locations).
My kids embarrass me. And my relatives. And innocent bystanders. And probably even you if you ever accompany us to a public location.
Mama Kat asked us to post about a time our children embarrassed us in public on this week’s Writer’s Workshop so I’m sharing a repost (it’s the ninja one, so if you’ve read it, feel free to go hang out on Pinterest instead) because, fortunately, I’ve not had the pleasure of being so humiliated since this episode. Which either means my kids are finally learning about discretion, or I’m due for a massive incident.
I’m guessing the latter…
Dude #3 is obsessed with ninjas.
He’s spent a good chunk of his afternoons perfecting the “ninja jump” (must be a soft-so-you-can-barely-hear-it landing), the ninja kicking-punching-with-spooky-fierceness sequence (pretty much just wild movements, simulating attacking with a pair of invisible nunchucks), and the ninja eyes (not anywhere near as threatening as they sound).
He even briefly considered being a ninja for Halloween.
But, somehow Scooby, and Wolverine, and Box-Bot, and some-other-random-costume-that-I-didn’t-have-to-purchase won out.
Last Christmas we shot up to PA to enjoy A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place.
The park was relatively uncrowded and we spent a full day there having a blast.
Climbing all over the rope things like bumbling idiots all agile like…
Throwing up the deuces with the holiday themed props…
What? Oh, yeah sure, the kid was there too. Kicking it on Sesame Street…
And, telling Santa he wants a giraffe for Christmas. A REAL one. To keep in his backyard (thank you Santa for saying giraffes don’t really like to fly in cramped sleighs)…
Everything was going according to plan.
Right when we were sprinting over to the tea cup ride while everyone else in the park set up to watch the parade (yes, we employ Stage 5 amusement park techniques at all times), a ninja showed up!
#3 busted into his ohmygosh-I-can’t-believe-my-eyes-this-is-SO-stinkin’-awesome happy dance.
He pointed frantically, grinning ear to ear, and yelled, “WOOK MOMMY! IT’S A NIIIIIIIINJJJJJJJJA!”
Only, you know what folks?
It wasn’t a ninja.
It was a lady clad head to toe, with only her eyes peeking out, in a jet black burkha and abaya.
Pretty much just like this, minus the cellphone…
And also, horrifying.
Because she was standing right. Next. To him. And people from all around us turned to look (seriously, they were just as excited to see a ninja as he was).
Of course my first reaction was to kick his hand and tackle him to the ground while clamping my hand over his completely unfiltered and unnaturally loud mouth frantically hush him while attempting to stifle my laughter because seriously, it was sorta funny in a not-really-funny-because-I’m-mortified-sorta-way and I have a serious problem with inappropriate laughter apologize to the ninja woman. And all of the onlookers.
For the actions of my presumably uncouth child.
But, in my his defense, he truly wasn’t being mean or insensitive.
It was just his first time seeing a real life ninja.
Or, what he assumed was one.
And, he’d certainly never encountered someone dressed like that.
So you can’t blame him for his mistake really.
But I guess you could blame me?
His outburst just got me thinking.
Have I done enough to expose my children to people with differences?
We’ve discussed people that have physical differences; like little people (they saw one at the circus and thought he was a kid with a mustache and they wanted to immediately grow one too) and people who use wheel chairs (they are actually jealous because they don’t ever have to walk anywhere) for example.
Plus, they know all about being different from first hand experience. They’ve been “the only” many times before and have had other kids point it out to them in ways that made them ask questions and feel uncomfortable.
So, yeah, it’s come up.
But, we’ve not covered EVERYTHING.
I like to think that I generally have done a good job of teaching them to save their questions for later and keep their pointing fingers in their pockets. We talk about how behaving that way is a demonstration of both your poor home training and your ignorance. Plus they hurt!
And make mommy look like a loser which we just can’t have!
Pointing, gaping, staring, and other such behaviors are discouraged and reprimanded.
But, this was different.
He was just so overwhelmed with excitement at seeing his celebrity crush in the flesh (I’d point too if Justin Timberlake walked up in this piece) that it got the best of him.
Plus, we’d spent the previous 3 hours pointing and yelling with excitement at Elmo, and Big Bird, and Cookie Monster as they paraded through the park, I guess he just assumed the ninja was another one of the characters Sesame Place was rolling out for his enjoyment. Never mind that there isn’t a ninja on Sesame Street (although, I’d like to argue that there should be).
That hopefully doesn’t reflect on my parenting skills, or lack thereof.
So, how do you deal with these situations in public?
I seriously considered sweeping his leg, but I’ve heard that sort of thing is frowned upon as a legitimate behavior modification tool?
Don’t have any advice? Feel free to instead share your most horrifying kid moment; you know, to make me feel better!
*Today’s post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.