I can't believe you said that!

Diane Cassells
Photographer: Diane Cassells

As parents we're well aware that our kids sometimes seem to be out to embarrass us. Whether it's a temper tantrum in the shopping centre or a badly-timed poop in front of a friend, we know that sometimes our children will embarrass us. I like to think though that it's our given right that we'll embarrass them too at some point.

Hooray for number two!

When my daughter was potty training, every trip to the toilet was seen as a celebration. She took a keen interest in transitioning from nappies to underwear and potty trained relatively easily. It didn't happen without a litany of embarrassing stories though. Whenever I went to the toilet, she'd follow me in and then thoroughly congratulate me on my success in the bathroom, as I always did for her.

A then-new friend of ours popped over for tea one day. My daughter, happily roaming the house in her underwear, took it upon herself to proudly show our new friend what she could do. Before I could dissuade her, she set her potty down directly in front of us adults and proceeded to produce the largest poop ever seen. Considering that my new friendship was still very much in its infancy, I was mortified. My daughter, on the other hand, beamed with pride at her "work" and proudly showed off her accomplishment. Thankfully, that friendship is still watertight and my daughter now goes to the bathroom without an audience.

Around the same time, I fell ill with quite serious flu. Whilst at the pharmacy to pick up some medication, we were talking quite comfortably with our all-too-familiar pharmacist. Let's face facts here - when you have a kid, your pharmacist becomes your best friend.

We were just joking together about how often I seem to be in there when he turned to my daughter and said "and how are you, darling?" She smiled her beautiful toddler smile and proudly said "Mommy just did a big pooh". I cringed, hard. Luckily, he took it in his stride and simply said, "As your chosen medical professional, I'm glad to know your bowels are functioning well".

You can't be angry with a toddler for embarrassing you, especially when their potty training endorses celebration for every successful toilet trip. All you can do is cringe, laugh it off and hope nobody thinks you've completely lost the plot.

Payback awaits

I fully intend on rolling out my book of embarrassing stories one day, possibly at her twenty-first birthday celebration. For now though, I'm content in the knowledge that one day soon, in her teenage years she'll say "mom! I can't believe you said that!"

Have your kids ever made you blush in public?
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