Thursday, 29 September 2011

Oh, how the tables have turned...

Once upon a time, I lived in fear of my eldest child embarrassing me. Clearly too old to be committing the social faux pas that he would often commit due to his ASD, I would cringe in shops when he would ask why particular people were so fat, or really black or funny looking, with the object of his inquiry scowling at me and my badly manner child. Now that he's growing up, however, the tables have turned somewhat...

I appear to have committed several parenting crimes over the last few days which have culminated in me being told off repeatedly by my eldest for being an embarrassment to him.

Crime #1: I texted him after school to enquire whether he had gotten from the school to drama safely. This in itself is a fairly regular occurrence and the trip poses no major hazards to him. I do like to check and expect some kind of response. If I get no response, I usually phone him so he knows his life is easier of he just texts me back. On this occasion he was on the bus with several of his new high school friends who happened to read my text over his shoulder. The text read: 'Hello love, did you make it to Drama safely? Love you xxx'. This message sparked fits of hysterics from his mates, who ribbed him mercilessly for being a mummy's boy! Red faced, he texted back 'yes' and I got an earful when he got home. Now we have a no-kisses-at-the-end-of-a-text-message policy. 

Crime #2: He had a few friends over after school this week so they could bum about and play video games. I dutifully supplied snacks and left the smelly brigade to it. I had been having a bit of a dicky stomach all week and when Miss B had gone down for her nap I nipped to the loo. I think we can guess given the context, what I was up to in there. I took a book and when finished I reached over to the toilet roll holder to grab some tissue. There was NO tissue. I always keep up to date with toilet roll replenishment during the day and only get caught short when OD is in the house, as being a man, he never remembers to stick a new roll on. On this day Miss B had discovered her talent for acting like the Andrex puppy and unraveled the remainder of the roll earlier. I started to panic and riffled through my pockets in the hope that I had a hankie but alas, no hankie! What was I going to do? I shouted on him and I could hear him walking towards the toilet door. After his sullen "what?!" I asked him if he was alone to which he replied "no...?". The silly arse had brought his friends with him! So I said never mind and they trampled back into his room. I remembered I had my phone on me (I often FB whilst on the loo) and so I sent him a secret text to 'come to the toilet door and come alone this time'. I got a reply. He said 'no.' I texted back that I would ground him for a week and he arrived at the door pretty sharpish muttering something I couldn't hear. I whispered that I needed him to go to the airing cupboard to get a loo roll and I needed him to pass me in the roll. I could hear rummaging and then he shouts "Muuuuum, I can't find it!" At this point I want to cry but then he opens the door and flings a loo roll at my head before running off, slamming the door and muttering something about the smell. I made him Rocky Road brownies that night and apologised more than once... I now keep spare loo rolls in the bathroom. 

Crime #3: I was out with Miss B in the park nearest A's school and as it was getting near home time and he had no after school activities on that day I thought I would rock up to the school and surprise him with my presence and take the two peeps for ice cream. I waited outside the school, playing with B and the kids started flooding out of the doors. There were bodies flying everywhere, high fiving each other and flicking their Bieber-esque fringes about and in the throng I spotted A walking quickly down the road away from the school with a bunch of kids I've never met. I signalled to him and shouted on him thinking that he hadn't seen me. Just for the record I didn't jump up and down shouting "coo-ee!, yoo-hoo!" I thought I played it cool but no, he turned around and signalled for me to back off. I was mortified! My phone rings and he mutters "what are you doing here?" to which I tell him my ice-cream plans and he whines "buuuuuuut, I'm walking with my friiiiieeeeennndds, Mum!" So I say, okay then I'll meet you at home then and he hangs up. I try not to walk through the Meadows like a dejected puppy and take B for ice-cream to dull my pain. Yeah, I won't try that again. 

We all do it, we all embarrass our kids at some point and in various ways, big (see above) and small (he hates me singing in public, I do it to wind him up especially with my rendition of Minnie Ripperton's Loving You.) My parents did it to me pretty much constantly. My father thought it was hilarious to drive past in the car when I was walking down the road with a crowd of my mates and shout out "oh look's a GANG! Help! Help!" and drive off laughing. Or he would pick me up from the school disco and demand to know who I had been kissing that night and would interrogate boys on their way past. 

Oh and that car, that bloody car they used to drive when I started high school. My great uncle gifted us a 1970's bogey green mini that smelled of wet dog and cigars and my parents accepted this oh so generous gift and drove it all over the village with pride. It wouldn't start on a cold day and had to be pushed up the hill every morning until it sprang into life. I used to make my mother drop me off two streets away from school in all weathers because the thing was hideous. The car was so hideous that one day my dad was stopped by the local police on the way back from the refuse dump. He asked the officers why they had stopped him as he was fairly certain he was under the speed limit (in truth he had no idea as the speedometer had broken several decades earlier). The two policemen rounded in on the car and demanded that my father return the car to the dump where he had quite clearly just stolen it from! (It turned out that he went to school with the two officers). 

My mother had a thing for Erasure at one point and her dancing was just awful! I had a disco for my tenth birthday and her and my aunt got up and did a routine when the DJ played Erasure! I found out years later that while the party had been going on, the pair had been in the kitchen experimenting with Pina Colada recipes. Groan...

I suspect it will get worse before it gets better and I'll just embarrass him by existing or breathing or possibly both. You could argue (many a teenager would) that parents were put on this earth to embarrass their children. After all, it’s consistent with the job description. Mortify your kids enough, and you’ll help fuel them to do what they were put here for — to make their way in the world without us.


  1. "oh look's a GANG! Help! Help!" ROFL! My 7 year old already has the eyerolling look. I am dreading the next decade being made to feel like an embarrassing dimwit. Best take what I can get when I can get it and make the most of it whilst I can!

  2. I know! We were like the least threatening looking kids in our school! The swine! Thanks for commenting. x

  3. Brilliant post really made me chuckle I'm sure in a few years time I will probably be doing a similar post!! Don't worry th loo roll thing has happened to me to and apparently it was that funny the hubby had to share!


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