The things that often keep me going though, are the cringe-worthy moments – the parts where I’ve looked, with wonder and shock at my kid and pondered if it would be possible for me to change my name, leave the country and sign up to sell surfboards in Bora Bora rather than be there, at that time. In retrospect, they are some of the funniest moments of my life, and I’m grateful for them – even though, at the time, I really wanted to disappear.
My mom used to regale me with a story of when I embarrassed her and my dad. I was an exuberant artist as a young child, and I loved the colour pink. One day, in about Grade 1 or 2, I created and painted a pink creation out of egg boxes. This was great, until you turned it upside down, and the piece very closely resembled a comforting female bosom, complete with nipples. And it was on display, in an art exhibition. I was most offended as a 7-year-old when people laughed at it, because I was very proud of what would go on to be called the “tit-table” in family legend. It was only much later on in life that my mum finally told me why everyone found it so funny and I collapsed in giggles all over the lounge floor.
My daughter’s made me do the red-faced shuffle before too. Like the time she, in the midst of potty training, regaled our local pharmacist with an altogether “TMI” retelling of my morning bowel movement. Or the time I had a new friend over for tea and my daughter, proud of her newfound potty abilities, took her potty, sat before my new friend, and produced the largest pooh ever created by a young person. All whilst grinning and keeping locked eye contact with my newfound friend.
Or the time, when I was waiting for an all-important, work-related phone call and quickly nipped to the bathroom. And my then 3-year-old, unbeknown to me, took the call. I’ll leave it to your imagination how that went down.
There have been the times she repeated the things I wish she’d never heard. You know that children will repeat everything you’ve said, at exactly the wrong time? Yep. I did have to endure having my kid say: “Oh Hi <insert name>, my mom says you’re a complete tool. Does that mean you have a toolbox? Are you like Bob the Builder?”
Now that’s she’s a little older and more aware of social graces, we’ll sometimes giggle over these funny little moments that, retrospectively, are some of the funniest events to punctuate our life together. I feel like the red-faced shuffle and hand flapping I went through are worth it. Don’t you?
What’s the most embarrassing thing your child has done to you?
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