MoonDragon's Realm - Parenting Humor
EMBARRASSING YOUR CHILDREN: AN INTRODUCTION
EMBARRASSING YOUR CHILDREN
Date: Tuesday, November 26 @ 15:42:58 EST
Topic: Daddy Dearest
"Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to." ~Mark Twain
There once was a time when I was cooler than my children. I went to rock concerts and they went to pre-school. I wore stylish clothing and they wore whatever they saw first. I wore non-disposable underwear and they did not. Since then, a few things have changed. (Not my underwear selection, thank goodness.) Somehow I took a giant leap backward on the coolness scale. Perhaps it was the thinning hair; or maybe it happened the day I discovered that I had more ties than T-shirts. The end result of this giant leap backwards for mankind is that my kids are now cooler than me. In fact, I am actually an embarrassment to them.
This "embarrassment phenomenon" happens to all parents. I'm sure there was day, probably around sixth grade, when Billy Joel's and Christie Brinkley's children desperately asked them to stay in the kitchen so none of their friends would see them. A few days ago, Rod Stewart was on the "Today" show with his kids. As Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were reviewing his career, Rod's kids were grimacing and moaning about the disturbing images of their middle-aged dad prancing around a stage in spandex pants, singing "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" Being forced to watch an image like that on national television goes well beyond embarrassment. Those unfortunate Stewart children will probably be in therapy for decades trying to deal with their father issues.
A parent's only recourse is to revel in the embarrassment phenomenon. Embrace your un-coolness. Use it as a weapon. As I see it, embarrassing your children is not just a privilege or a right; it's a moral obligation. Think of all the times your children embarrassed you: urinating on your suit, throwing up in your car, making you drive a minivan. It's the best way to pay them back for all they've done for you.
SURE-FIRE WAYS TO EMBARRASS YOUR CHILDREN
1. Drop them off directly in front of their school. Make them give you a kiss. Wave good-bye vigorously and blow kisses.
2. Hang a naked baby picture of your children in a prominent location in your living room. Be sure to point it out to company. My parents accomplished approximately the same purpose with my third-grade Cub Scout picture.
3. Make them dress up in a shirt and tie for school picture day. Style their hair yourself. Use enough gel to allow their hair to withstand hurricane force winds.
4. During long road trips suggest a family sing along. Insist that all of the songs be ones that are extremely popular with three-year-olds.
5. Beat your child to the punch by getting a navel piercing or a tattoo before they do. Show your new body art to all of your children's friends.
6. Force your children to do violin, piano, or vocal solos whenever grandparents, neighbors, or casual acquaintances wander into the house. Clap loudly at the end.
7. Barge into Supercuts while your child is getting their hair cut. Demand to speak to the stylist. Confirm that the haircut will be within the firmly established parameters for proper 1950's grooming habits (even though it happens to be several decades later). It has taken many years of counseling for me to recover from that embarrassment. I can't wait to do it to my own kids.
Brad Phillips welcomes any comments or stories from his readers.
Email the author.
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