I don’t really worry about what other people think and when I became a parent I simply expected this to continue. How naïve was I?
Like most parents I’ve had the pubic meltdown tantrum in a very crowded environment. It’s not fun and you can’t help but feel self-conscious.
With the girls starting pre-prep recently, I genuinely wanted to make a good impression on the mums (who all turned out to be lovely by the way) so when we were sitting around playing games before they went in I praised Gypsy as she built a very elaborate wall with window.
The other parents heard me and looked over and I found my chest puffing out a bit as they nodded appreciatively. Then she put a little person in the window looking out. I was still impressed until she fetched a doll and car and put them next to the window and ‘ordered’ six nuggets. The same parents burst out laughing.
I was surprised to discover I was embarrassed. Sure we don’t do drive-thrus that often but instead of laughing myself I found myself defensively protesting to the other parents. Very unlike me.
But now I am back in control of my self-consciousness I want to reassure other parents that embarrassment is just part of the gig. And it could always be worse. And to prove it some of my friends’ stories should make you feel better:
Kathy: <son> told me an elaborate story in Reception about how he had hit, sworn at and kicked the teacher at school. I was mortified. Made him write a letter of apology. He took it to the teacher the next day. She said “But none of this happened?!”. He was bored, wanted drama, so he made it all up. I ended up in tears (I never cry!) in from of all the other shocked school Mums.
Paul: in the waiting room of a large medical practice with Henry when he was three. Two muslim women,in full burqa walked in and the little guy, with the true innocence of a, shouts out “Look Dad, ghosts!” The women didn’t hear him but there was a lot of laughter and looks from those sitting around us.
Shannon: Liam had an awful spurt (while potty training) of peeing at restaurants in potted plants when we weren’t looking!! He was so quick and hard to catch!
Gerard: At a cafe with my sister & I, my daughter was running around the table and hit the corner of the chair in the groin area. She then told Daddy (as we always kiss the hurties) to (very loudly) KISS MY VAGINA DADDY!!! KISS IT!!!!
Samantha: The lady at the front of Coles last week looked rather manly and as we walk past her Jack points and asks extremely loudly, “Mum is that a man?” I tried to shh him and hurry past which only made him shout louder “But mum what is it?”
Kat was walking through Coles when her 3yo started chanting, “I’m a big black girl, I’m a big black girl” “Imagine my horror when we were then stuck in front of a family who appeared to be of Islander appearance at the checkout.”
Personally I think she was just channeling Oprah. But the final word goes to Kathy (again) who made me feel better about my embarrassment in front of other parents with this beauty.
Kathy: I was dropping Child C off at class and Child D decided to roll around on the floor (in front of quite an audience including the teacher and lots of Mums) saying “Look I am drunk. Just like Mummy.”