"Don't make me come back there!" Day
Embarrassing My Teens is Sweet Revenge
My teenagers dream of me morphing into an invisible valet that drives them around, keeps the fridge stocked with chocolate milk and, for God’s sake, doesn’t talk to their friends.
My kids say I embarrass them. I’m not sure why, on account of I try to be cool. Ya’ feel me?
But that’s life. I’m entitled to embarrass my offspring until my last breath because of all the toddler tantrums they threw and the sibling fights I had to break up in church which caused me to cuss in front of the preacher.
Apologizing to store clerks used to be my full-time job. Once, in the grocery store, I turned around for five seconds and my two-year-old dumped a whole bottle of Hersheys chocolate syrup over his head. I figure that gives me the right to pucker my lips and throw up a few gang signs when we take group pictures before the Homecoming dance.
I don’t think a kid should complain about her mom embarrassing her unless that kid can pay the mortgage. When I’m driving and jammin’ to Prince, my daughter should just put on her Ray-bans and silently slink down in the car like every other teen as I get my raspberry beret and my Dance Fever on.
When I drop my daughter off at the movies and she walks toward her friends, I like to crank up Justin Timberlake and pretend to rope the girls disco-style with my air lasso and drag them back. You know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout if you boogied to You Dropped the Bomb on Me back in the ’80’s, word.
The other day I was horrified when one of my friends got in my car and almost barfed due to the mildew smell from a bag of wet towels my daughter brought back from camp and left under the seat for a week.
So the next time I drove her and her friends to the mall, I decided the wet towel humiliation gave me free license to follow a teenage driver into the parking lot, pull up beside her, and scold her for incompetence and for almost hitting me. My daughter, hyperventilating, could hear the lonely clang of my hammer nailing her coffin shut.
I’ve blocked out of my memory many occasions in which my children have embarrassed me. That’s how moms avoid slipping off the precipice of sane into the swirling maelstrom of manic. However, I can usually recall any incident involving law enforcement.
Years ago a state trooper pulled me over for speeding, and I assured him that I usually drove under the limit.
Making small talk, the deputy peered through the window and asked my five-year-old son, “Is this your mom, buddy?”
He looked straight at the officer and said, “Yeah, and don’t believe her. She speeds all the time.”
Two hundred fifty dollars later, I think I’m entitled to scream his family pet name during soccer games any time I darn well please.
The next time my embarrassed kids wish I’d develop superhero skills and disappear into the woodwork, I’ll just use my sweet air lasso skills and drag them back to reality.