Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Parenting & Public Embarrassment

Any parent knows that public embarrassment is one of the aspects of having children that cannot be avoided. It comes differently for different people - a blushing moment when a child cries out in church, a knocked over display at the grocery store, bleeding in a public pool and causing a temporary shutdown for cleaning, an infant screaming through an entire 3 hour flight. But like I said before, public embarrassment as a parent cannot be avoided. We might as well embrace it and learn to laugh at our mishaps before they happen, because as my mother always says, "There is no use crying over spilled milk." Life is too short to let the little things get to us.

On that note, I'd decided that I'd better keep track of these public embarrassments, because they will offer a good piece of evidence in the future. One day when my daughter is embarrassed that I even exist (as I know that day will come, though far down the road) I will remind her of these public embarrassments that she caused her father and I to have when she was a youngster. My hope is that we will laugh about it, and she will realize that mom and dad aren't really that lame after all, and that there are much MUCH funnier public embarrassments.

Our First Public Embarrassment

On July 3rd of this year, my husband and I were waiting for his parents to come into town when we decided to stop in a new local restaurant for some lunch. We each ordered a sub sandwich and a 48 ounce (ok, not my proudest moment) drink. I chose sweet tea, which has somewhat become a staple to my southern living since we moved to Virginia a little over a year ago. Our daughter was starting to fuss, so I had my husband change our order from "dine-in" to "to-go" and even though they had said it was no problem, when our order came out it was set for dining in. OK. Instead of making a scene, jumping the line and asking yet again for our order to be changed, my husband and I decided to just sit down and eat quickly. Our daughter, who was 7 months at the time, was still being a little bit fussy, but she wasn't disrupting anyone except for her dear dad and me.

I took charge of baby and dad took charge of setting the table up with our food. I guess there must of been some sort of miscommunication then because just as I sat AJ down in her highchair, she (somehow) grabbed the sweet tea cup, tilted it toward her like she was going to take a sip, and the top came flying off. A shower of sweet tea bathed our daughter from head to toe.

And it just so happens that this little cafe was very narrow, and the area that AJ's highchair backed up into was the ordering line. Thank goodness we didn't get sweet tea on anyone else, but the puddle that we created wasn't exactly the friendliest welcome to new customers. My husband asked behind the counter for a mop or something and the girl who came out brought us a tiny, 8X8" wash cloth. Um, yea, I don't think that is going to work. The manager finally brought out a mop, and after the employee struggled with how to use it, my husband dutifully took it and mopped up the majority of the mess.

At this point, our food was still untouched and still in "dine-in" mode. The restaurant was full enough to where we couldn't move to a more discreet location.... aaaaand since we weren't planning on dining at the restaurant in the first place, I had not packed an extra outfit or diaper for our little girl. Crap!

I think it was at this point that my husband and I looked at each other, cracked up, realized that it couldn't get much worse, and went about eating our lunch. We stripped AJ down to her diaper, which at this point was about 10 lbs because it had soaked up all the sweet tea, and I gave her a pickle to gnaw on to keep her from fussing. She was sticky and sweet smelling the rest of the day.

The next time we ate at the local sandwich shop, my husband made it very clear that our order was To-Go, while AJ and I waited patiently in the car.

Please share your stories of public embarrassment and parenthood! We could all use a good laugh!

Make sure to stop by again on Thursday, when we launch a very special giveaway, courtesy of Little Tumblebees!

3 comments:

  1. I guess I never told you about how when Paige was about 2 she pulled down my shirt in Discount Tire on a BUSY Saturday and proudly announced "Boobies!" did I?

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  2. OH, I have had so many of those days (like yours NOT like Heather's... I have NO words for that. WHOAH!) I don't even know where I would begin. Raising kids is a humbling journey. I like the idea of documenting it so that you can show her that she humiliated you first... over and over. That's brilliant.
    Oh and by the way Holly, I almost did tag you... next time I get tagged, I am totally tagging you. ;-) You've been warned.

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  3. Alex and I were in Tropical Smoothie and while I was ordering he said, "Mom, look at my butt. I have an itch on it." (He was referring to a mosquito bite.) I looked down to see that he had pulled his pants down and was mooning everyone in the cafe!
    My other embarrassing moment happened at Walmart when he was much younger. While I wasn't watching he opened a box of tampons and started chewing on one of them. A guy walking by said, "So that's what you use for teething rings?"
    The list goes on....

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