It wasn’t enough that I had four children, they had to all be boys. Boys that peed in the neighbors’ yards and threw stuffed weasels at the new priest. Darling sons that “lost” their shorts during the Preschool Graduation and stopped strangers to tell about Grandma’s bra that “you could tie a knot in and throw over your shoulder”. We have been asked to leave more restaurants than I care to mention.
I read the parenting books, harassed every parent I knew, even begged my old home economics teacher for help. Nothing worked. Couldn’t. Sometimes a parent has to fight fire with fire. I began an “Embarass My Children” campaign that has proven to be quite effective. Okay, maybe it’s not effective, but I have found that I enjoy it immensely.
Successful Humiliation Tactics:
1. Wear extra loose sweat pants complete with spaghetti stains to all social events.
2. Assign wimpy pet names to each child, such as “My Little Chicken Pot Pie”, and only use that name in public.
3. Always, and I repeat, always, crank up uncool music and roll down the windows when you see your children’s friends. Extra credit if you sing loudly and off key. (My personal favorite is a collection of early Colonial songs.)
4. Do the latest dance craze in the supermarket, doctor’s office, or any other place your child has begged to accompany you.
5. Do those underarm noises during the opening credits at the movies, then ask the people in front of you if you can have some of their popcorn.
6. Tell some of THEIR embarrasing stories in a crowded elevator.
7. Find a hairstyle from the early 80s and stick with it. Remember that high glam works great with stained sweatpants.
8. Sing each response as if you were in a Broadway Musical, no matter who is asking the questions.
9. Pick your nose at the bank.
10. When your child’s complex is solid enough to produce misbehavior at school, tell the principal he’s only acting out because he hurt his tail bone (curtesy of MY mom. Yes, she did, and I was stunned.)