Kids don’t come with a handbook, so sometimes it’s like I’m back in school. I feel like I’m learning something about parenting everyday. My latest educational experiences have led me to the conclusion that I, as a parent, am innately an embarrassment to my kids.
Now I remember being absolutely mortified by my own parents growing up, but it was because they WERE embarrassing. They were the very picture of uncool. My husband and I, however, are the epitome of cool parents—the parents no one should ever be embarrassed by. Yet somehow, here we are, living the dream, embarrassing our kids without even meaning to.
So, because I have learned so much over the past few months about embarrassing my teen and preteen, and I’m sure there are parents out there who actually WANT to do this, I’ve compiled a list of way to do so:
- Thinking you’re dope by using their slang…or slang you legit thought was their slang. I even downloaded the Urban Dictionary app to my phone (an iPhone 5C—which also embarrasses them), so I’d be up to date on this stuff. TBH, I really thought I was lit, but turns out my slang usage is totes 2015. Awks.
- Wearing their clothes. My daughter and I are roughly the same height and weight and size (for now—hopefully she’ll be at least an inch taller at some point). I thought this was great—expanding my closet with cool, new clothes without even having to shop twice (I DID pay for the clothes to begin with). I thought I’d be tres chic wearing the latest fashions. Apparently this closet sharing thing only goes one way…she can borrow from me, but I can’t borrow from her. Because, “God Mom, that’s for young people to wear.” I had no idea I was a senior citizen. Quick, call AARP!
- Talking to their teacher about their progress in school…good or bad. Apparently taking an interest in your child’s education is a pretty uncool thing to do. According to my son, unless he’s flunking out, I should stay out of it. Also, checking your kid’s grades on the computer is pretty lame as well.
- Going out to pick them up not completely dressed—or in my case, in pajamas with no bra. Glasses also make them uncomfortable. Messy hair? The worst. Listen, if you call me at 11:00 at night to come get you from your friend’s house and I’ve been ready for bed for two hours, you’re lucky you’re getting a ride. Don’t give me, “OMG I can’t believe you came out like that????” I can deduct the cost of Uber from your allowance very easily.
- Singing in the car—especially when their friends are in the car. Okay, Okay, I admit…I can barely carry a tune and I may or may not sound like a cat being castrated when I sing…but I doubt any of their friends’ parents sound like Adele either. (And apparently this rule applies to rapping as well—if you bust out into “Baby Got Back” with your kid’s friends in the backseat, they’re likely to try to jump out of the moving vehicle.) Dancing in public and/or in front of their friends also works. I thought I did a mean Flashdance (I had a leotard and legwarmers at one time) until I was told otherwise by my mortified daughter.
- Showing people pictures of them as a baby or talking about them as a baby to others. (This one I was told to be true by other teens’ parents—this actually doesn’t apply to my own little narcissists who love showing people their baby pictures. I guess it’s because they were cute babies. It probably works better if your children were hideous babies.)
- Saying embarrassing things to them in front of their friends. In all fairness, I don’t always do this on purpose. With the dawn of FaceTime, this is a difficult one to avoid—I can be saying something like, “Hey, are you having stomach issues? The bathroom reeked after you came out.” Or “did you just fart?” and I get, “Thanks Mom, now you embarrassed me in front of blah, blah, blah”. Well, how was I supposed to know you literally keep your girlfriend in your back pocket on FaceTime while you watch TV?
- Kissing them in public. This includes, but is not limited to, on the cheek, top of their head, blowing them a kiss, and actually saying “I love you”. Up until the third day of 7th grade, my daughter wanted to kiss me AND hug me goodbye. After day four, she barely lets me stop the car before she jumps out, in fear that I am going to try to acknowledge that I love her. Kissing your spouse or significant other (in public or even in your own home) is enough to make them melt on the floor like the Wicked Witch.
- Trying to friend them on social media. The last time I did this (and it was NOT to be cool—it was to keep tabs on their sneaky little asses), I was rebuffed multiple times. Who knew, they don’t want to Snapchat with mom…
- Writing a blog. And posting this picture on my blog… (It’s color correcting concealer, btw…I’m not a warrior princess.)