I learned very early on as a parent that having children was going to create some awkward and embarrassing situations, so I shouldn't have thought twice about it recently at the grocery store when my 4-year-old daughter loudly noted that the man in line ahead of us had a 'fake' arm. And that she wanted one when she grew up.This continued on for several minutes, with her asking him various questions ranging from Where did you buy it? to, Can you eat with it? This all finally ending with her marching around the checkout aisle, mimicking a robot, stiff arms and all. I could have died.
No, thinking back upon the near daily embarrassing events that occur in my life, this shouldn't have phased me. Or surprised me really. My kids oftentimes say and do the exact opposite of what I want or expect them to do. Most times probably. But I like to think I'm not alone.
This particular joy of parenting started minutes really after I gave birth to my first child. Fifty-two hours of labor, including three hours of pushing later, my first baby finally arrived in this world. I held him immediately and snuggled him and then exhaustingly passed him off to a nurse. He was being weighed and getting cleaned off while I delivered his placenta.
Afterward, my doctor was sewing me up, happily chatting away about how he couldn't believe I didn't end up needing a Cesarean section to deliver and how proud he was of me; it really could have been an amazing moment. But all I could think about was the tiny piece of afterbirth that was hanging from my doctor's beard.
G R O S S.
Honestly, what are you supposed to say? Um. Excuse me doctor? But you have a little placenta on your face.
Yes early on I learned that having kids would embarrass me. From my oldest son loudly farting in the middle of Mass during church, to my youngest innocently yanking down the collar of my shirt and exposing my (thankfully) bra covered breast to a fellow grocery store shopper. It just doesn't get easier to predict. But I suppose it does get easier to handle.
It helps that kids are generally cute and are miniature versions of people, so they at least appear adorable on the outside. I guess that's why when they throw a tantrum in the middle of Walmart a mom can at least hope that although their behavior is repulsive and humiliating, a passerbyer might think, "Although obnoxious, that little girl really does have pretty eyes."
Whatever the case, kids create embarrassing societal moments for parents. I have noticed though that lately I am starting to care less and less about what others think when these moments occur. I tell myself that all parents must endure this particular emotion at some point, so I'm not alone.
I will also say that although I have had, and will likely continue to have, countless child-induced embarrassing events happen, I wouldn't change it for the world. I feel so much love, joy and happiness from parenting that it makes the occasional child picking-a-huge-green-booger-out-of-their-nose-and-eating-it-in-front-of-your-boss moment something that can be endured.
Yes, I'm one lucky mommy. As I lay here and watch my beautiful little daughter nap beside me, I'm reminded of just how lucky I truly am.
And I will never take that for granted.
But... I am on guard, anxiously awaiting whatever embarrassing moment my kids have in store for me next.
My little lady bug, snuggling at nap time.
*A version of this article originally posted on my family blog, www.dillavounews.blogspot.com in 2013.