Let’s face it. You’ve got to have a sense of humor to be a mother. It starts from the very beginning when you check your shame at the door and deliver a child in front of a group of strangers. From there, you suddenly have to deal with the bodily functions of your bouncing babe on a daily basis, also in front of a crowd of strangers.
But those are the natural aspects of motherhood that you go in expecting. What about the embarrassing moments of motherhood that no one warns you about? There are, of course, the embarrassing moments that are easy to laugh at – and then there are the moments that make you cringe, shudder and want to crawl under a rock in shame.
When my oldest was one, we went to a local air show. We laid our blanket out on the grass amidst the rest of St. Louis and watched as he toddled about enjoying the excitement in the air. It happened in slow motion. I saw it coming and I knew what was happening, but I just couldn’t stop it in time.
The girl sitting in front of us was wearing an extremely low-cut pair of jeans. Extremely low-cut. And she was sitting cross-legged on a quilt directly in front of us, her half moon screaming at the world behind her. I tried not to look and I foolishly assumed my baby wouldn’t notice. But he did notice and with arm outstretched he did his little Frankenstein walk right toward her. I scrambled up and stumbled over to him just as his chubby little finger plunged into her crack.
She yelped and jumped to her feet. I yelped and snatched him up. He crumbled into startled tears and both of us girls mumbled embarrassed apologies and sat back down on our respective blankets with her hiking her pants up along the way. That was my first real embarrassing moment as a mommy. I’ve had many more since then…
Like when my son was obsessed with women’s chests (which for some reason he calls a nest) and would point and comment on every “nest” he saw from the grocery store to church. Or when my daughter looked at a larger woman and told her she was a “big fat baby head.” Or how about the time we were at a restaurant and the waiter asked if we needed anything else and my son blurted out, “No I’m fine. I just tooted so I feel great now.”
Of course, there’s also the ever unpleasant grocery store meltdowns that make me want to walk away and pretend those out of control children aren’t actually mine.
So what about you? What embarrassing moments have made you want to crawl under a rock? Which moments are so funny that you recorded them specifically so you could share them at your child’s wedding rehearsal dinner someday? Do share with the rest of us. May we all laugh together as one and remember that motherhood, though a lot of work, is fall down, clutch your sides, laugh till you ache funny. And the funny is sometimes all it takes to get us through the day.