The Most Embarrassing Parenting Moments
-Prity Shrestha Rajbhandary, Venue courtesy: el’Mediterraneo
Embarrassing moments during parenthood oftentimes become the small anchors with which we can relive the precious times with our children.
Embarrassing moments are all about timing (or, rather, mis-timing). When I was a child, my grandmother and I had gone to visit one of our relatives. In a kind gesture of hospitality, after the usual perfunctory greetings, the host brought in some snacks and two boiled eggs, along with special chai on a tray. She then went outside to fetch something else. During that time, since I didn’t like eggs, I asked my grandmother if she wanted to have the egg brought for me. At the exact moment she put the entire egg in her mouth, the relative walked in. It was an embarrassing moment for my grandmother, as her mouth was filled with an egg, while she still had another one on her plate.
Being a parent is one of the most satisfying experiences. I am sure many readers who are parents will agree to this sentiment. But they are also likely to nod their head in agreement if you asked them whether they experienced any embarrassing moments in their journey of parenting.
Consider what happens soon after child delivery. During this time the new mother is likely to retain some weight she gained during her pregnancy, unless, of course, she is Kim Kardashian or Victoria Beckham. What is embarrassing is when someone she hasn’t seen in a long time, and who doesn’t know that she has already delivered, asks her, in front of everyone, “When is your due date?”
Mothers who need to go back to work after their short maternity leave do not fare any better. Imagine their embarrassment when they notice that someone, a male colleague, has accidentally seen the occasional milk spots on their blouse, or witnessed them pumping breast milk into a bottle to feed the child at a later point.
And, after the lactation period, when we start feeding solid food to the child, prior to putting it in the child’s mouth, we usually lift the spoon and touch the warm food with our lips to ensure that it is of the right temperature. This action is sometimes mistakenly seen as the mother eating the child’s food. Once one such observer passed the comment, “No wonder the child is so thin, and the mother is so fat!” I can see most of you mothers nodding in agreement to having experienced these types of incidents.
A few parents I talked to found themselves in an awkward situation when the child they were carrying farted loudly, and those around them thought that it was the person who was carrying the child. In another instance, a mother told her guests that her child does not like to eat a certain type of food (say, beans), and lo and behold—with a sudden divine change in taste, or with a malicious desire to spite the mother—the child ate all the beans on her plate, and asked for a second helping!
These embarrassing moments, unless they were accompanied by bodily harm, appear in hindsight as funny incidents that help us remember the different phases of life of our children. Let us hope that we remember that when we encounter our next embarrassing moment.