Mamakat's prompt: 2.) Have your kids ever embarrassed you? Share something they’ve said or done that caused a *facepalm*.
It is either one of those things that no one discusses, a dark secret best kept under wraps, or it is a reason to point and laugh at other mothers on occasion. Maybe both. Maybe neither. All I know is that I was not in the least bit prepared. I thought that all the embarrassing behavior happened during the teen years, so I was blissfully ignorant of all the wonderful adventures that can happen with a child under five. Nobody ever said a word about how small children do things such as tweak your nipple in public or pull your shirt down so everyone can see your special sparkly zebra print push-up bra at inconvenient times.
We were sitting in the McDonald's play area on month close to Christmas. It had been a lovely play date at the Witte Museum's Dinosaur exhibit, and we were finishing it up with some lunch in a place where all the boys could run amok in relative safety. Kermette and Kirsten and I were discussing something completely innocuous, movies or television shows. The boys had eaten their chicken nuggets and were engaged in playing like hamsters in those tube-like structures most McDonald's have set up. I was facing the playscape and trying to keep an eye on my child, because I am an anxious parent and that is what I do.
As often happens, however, the topic of conversation was such that my attention was pulled away from the play area to hear a juicy tidbit of humor, and I relaxed. I let down my guard and enjoyed my friends for about five minutes or so. Suddenly I realized that I had not seen my four year old in a while. I'd seen the other two scrambling around, but not mine. He must be somewhere up inside one of those tubes, I thought, not the least bit worried.
And then my son slid out of the tube...in his underpants. He still had his shirt on, thank goodness, but the shoes, socks, and the pants...they were absent. Nobody else's kid was half naked, running through the McDonald's in their Superman underpants. Just mine. Only one kid was probably violating several different restaurant health requirements. Mine.
I tried to be calm, standing in the middle of the playscape. This was a more 'upscale' part of town, where the parents drove expensive cars and carried hideously expensive purses. I didn't want to draw attention to myself or my child, but there we were. I asked my child where his pants were. He said that they were "up" there, and pointed to the tube above us. I asked Zane to go get his pants, socks, and shoes and put them on.
He told me, very clearly and succinctly, "no". It was hot in those tubes, apparently, and he was happy to be less dressed so the heat didn't bother him so much. Zane saw no reason to justify putting his pants on. Because Mama said so did not constitute a reason. I tried explaining. I tried encouraging, I tried cajoling. Nothing worked. I had to play the big card. I pulled out my cell phone and pretended to dial...Santa.
That worked. Zane miraculously found his pants and put them on. Another little boy found his shoes and socks and brought them to me, thank goodness. All of the other kids were wondering if I really did have Santa on the phone, because if I had access to Santa, maybe some other parents were given access.
We haven't been back to that McDonald's since.