Well, being that we’ve been on a bit more of a serious stride the last couple of posts, I figured I’d stick this entry in to lighten it up a little. It’s actually not the most ladylike of stories, but I’m hoping it will at least fill your day with a little humor.
So has anyone else out there reached the illustrious milestone mentioned in this post’s title? I mean, I know I’ve always been capable of doing embarrassing things, but now my kids notice it, and loathe it.
Usually it’s my lack of good driving/parking skills that starts to trigger the “I don’t know her” vibe in our kids. I mean, why can’t all the parking lots have angled parking spaces, rather than the perpendicular spots which allow you no room to swing wide? I’m usually averaging about a four-point back-and-forth pivot to get the car centered correctly. All while the kids slink lower and lower in their chairs. Oh, we also have a lovely scrape down the side of the van, due to me being completely oblivious to the cart corral in the space next to me when I pulled out… sharply to the right. And my crowning moment was backing over a mailbox during the annual “Scouting for Food” canned food collection put on by the Boy Scouts. My husband went back the next weekend and rebuilt the person’s mailbox. (Thank you, Honey.)
Now, I would say the lightbulb moment for me (as far as realizing my kids are reaching the humiliated level) took place a few months ago at our kids’ homeschool P.E. class. It happened to be ‘parent participation’ day, and the sport being played that day was basketball. Of course, my first thought was, “Yes! A chance to re-live my middle-school glory days out on the court!” Actually, I was very reserved, thank you. (I didn’t knock anybody down.) And… I scored a basket. BUT, the main part of the story is that after the game, when we were all walking off the court, I happened to be right behind my daughter. She’s 10. And I, in my usual overbearing and encouraging way, suddenly cheered, “Good job, Sissy!” (might have even used her real name - equally as bad) to which she turned around with a horrified look on her face and just stared at me. So the wheels in my head suddenly started turning very quickly and it finally dawned on me that she’s now past the point where loud, jubilant parent-cheering (from 5 feet away) isn’t quite a welcome act anymore. Oops.
No major harm done though, thankfully. And, surprisingly, it wasn’t too much of an emotional hit for me… just more of a realization of sorts. Wow, I thought. She’s really growing up. Better start minding my p’s and q’s when I’m near her social circles.
However, many more moments keep occurring, to their dismay. Like just last week… We went for a swim at the in-laws’, who were out-of-town. And for fun, we brought along our puggle, Chloe, who made sure to take full advantage of the spotless backyard, the way dogs do. So I made sure to clean up before we left. Now… what to do with the bag of goods? I certainly didn’t want to leave it in their trash bin to ferment over the next week. So, I did what any creative (and tired and sunburned) homemaker would do… tied it to the roof rack of the minivan for the drive home. (We live a very short distance from them, thankfully.) All this was bad enough for the kids, but it really turned a corner when a very nice neighbor driving down the street honked and pulled over as I was backing out of the driveway.
“M’am! You left something on the roof of your car!”
“Oh, I know… It’s nothing – I’m not worried about it.” (I didn’t know what else to say.)
“No, seriously… you have something on the roof of your car!” (This being spoken louder, like maybe I didn’t speak english or something, and now accompanied with hand gesture pointing upward.)
“Um, it’s… it’s ok…it’s, uh, actually just a bag of dog poop.”
After this final comment, the look on his face was a complete mix of “Pardon?”/”What is wrong with you?”/and “Don’t drive any closer to me.”
Then the car behind him stopped as well and started gesturing to the top of my van. I think he was afraid I didn’t understand the first driver. I just sort of smiled and waved, and kept driving. What else could I do? By this time, our kids are beside themselves, and our son finally blurts out, “Can they see us in the backseat with the tinted windows?”
Oh man, too funny. Poor things. SO, the lesson here is that we will all be embarrassing. It’s inevitable. Just try to be aware of when your kids start noticing, and whenever possible, avoid it. And then chalk the rest up to good memories that your kids will laugh about… someday.
I told you this wasn’t a very ladylike story. But hopefully it will help start your week off with a laugh.