It’s not that I set out to intentionally make those around me uncomfortable. I just do it. The problem has been pinpointed (I’ve no filter and say what others only think) and named: I believe the textbook term is Verbal Diarrhea. I’ve learned to live with VD (teehee) and make adjustments when necessary, namely, not speak in public. In short, I’m no stranger to humiliating myself.
But nothing could have prepared me for the different ways my children would put me on the spot, get me sweating that kind of sweat that starts at the hairline and slowly trickles down my bra, forcing a prayer that we’ll somehow be teleported to a Wiggles concert to just get the hell outta there.
A couple of years ago, my son offered a story of my, uh, bathroom mishaps to his preschool teacher. The woman was too polite to divulge everything he said, but as I know his detail-oriented nature, I can only imagine he used all five senses when describing The Scene. In my defense, I had the flu…
Not to be outdone by her big brother, my three-year-old has informed perfect strangers that they have bad breath, their bums are big, and just last week, suggested I cover up a birthmark lest people mistake me for a monster.
She’s a gem.
Yesterday, at the first library storytime of the season, I was on my toes. With both the boy and girl there, chances of humiliation were doubled. My husband, blissfully unaware, fed the baby her bottle in the back of the room while I kept my eyes and ears on the kids who can speak words. All was going well. We got through the circus-themed stories (not without incessant interruption from the girl, who asked pressing questions like, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if a tiger lived at my house?!”), and were moving on to the craft portion of the evening where glue is plentiful and glitter abounds.
Kids seated at the miniature table ready to make clown faces out of paper plates, and I see it. One of the other mothers has a, how do I put this delicately?, a HUGE booger blocking her entire left nostril. How she doesn’t feel it is beyond me, but hey, I’m not judging, just cringing. I try my best to divert my daughter’s attention because I know if she lays eyes on that bat in the cave, she will have something to say about it.
“Look at this pink cotton ball! Can we use it as the hat?!”
“Do you want to make your clown happy or sad?!”
“Hey! Check this out, it’s a—”
I try to talk louder because everyone knows volume blurs vision.
“I LOVE THE EYES YOU’VE CHOSEN FOR YOUR CLOWN!”
“I fink dat lady…”
Mayday! Mayday! Someone make it rain lollipops and Hello Kitty Band-Aids!
“…has boo-tiful hair, don’t you fink?”
Could it be that hair has trumped nose-obstruction? My daughter is noticing the good in people instead of analyzing them under a toddlerscope? I am so proud. My heart swells with love for my sweet, kind, adorable chatterbox, and I add,
“Yes, baby, she does have pretty hair.”
The owner of the pretty hair smiles. I continue,
“It’s a very pretty color, maybe I’ll get my hair—”
“DO YOU SEE THE BIG BOOGER IN HER NOSE?!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!”
Attempts to paste the craft cotton balls and feathers to my now scarlet, sweaty face are futile; the librarian asks I please leave the materials for the children. I want to beat her with that circus book.
Naturally, my daughter is over the booger episode and has happily engrossed herself in completing the craft. I can’t watch as the woman whose hand flew to her nose quietly excuses herself to, no doubt, check things out in the bathroom. The other parents avoid eye contact with me, realizing it could be them next week.
I am mortified. I fight the urge to run away and leave all three kids with my husband who is spinning a globe for our drooling baby at another table. I also fight the tiny giggle that is starting in my throat, struggling to keep it from bubbling to the surface, understanding that laughing at this very moment buys me a first-class ticket to Karma Hell. I can’t do it. It’s happening.
Embarrassing myself is rarely this entertaining.
I swipe at inappropriate tears of laughter as they well in my eyes, despite my silent pleas and glances up at the ceiling for prayer and gravity to keep them from falling.
Ahh, forget it. If I’m going to Karma Hell anyway, I may as well enjoy the ride.
To the booger mom, I am sorry. I truly am. Apparently, Verbal Diarrhea is genetic and my daughter has inherited the disease from me. Don’t worry, though; I’ll be the lady who trips down the stairs next week at storytime. Maybe you’ll be the lady who gives me a little shove, and I can’t say that I’d blame you.
Want more funny?