We’ve all been there.
That terrifying period after your child has acquired plenty of choice vocabulary, but before they have learnt any tact whatsoever. Here are my top three horrendously embarrassing child chat moments.
1.) “Look at that great big enormous lady!” Small yells in the supermarket queue. I turn around, expecting to see a billboard, but am greeted instead by the furious, puce face of a large but very real lady standing approximately 0.8m away from me.
2.) “Ha Ha! That man has an egghead like a baby!” Small cries with glee before lunging towards said head, (the accompanying body of which is reclined on a salubrious cafe’s sofa,) to pat it - yes, pat it! - with her tiny chubby hand.
3.) I need to take a deep breath before sharing this one. I cannot recall it without holding my face in my hands. Before I divulge, a little background is in order. My daughter has inherited my very fair complexion and, as part of our efforts to promote positive body image, we frequently admire her porcelain skin and tell her how lucky she is to have it. Can you see where I’m going with this?
Picture the scene. It’s a gorgeous, sunny summer’s day and we’re strolling along a busy pedestrian area in town eating in ice creams when Small says; “Ah, look at that poor lady.”
I turn around, expecting to see a homeless lady based on experience of similar exclamations, but I can’t see who she’s talking about, so I ask her.
“That lady there,” Small says, pointing. “Poor thing, she has really dark skin.”
Yes, the lady in question is black, and my face has been red ever since. Never did I imagine that our efforts to instil confidence in her appearance would result in our child developing what was tantamount to white supremacist ideologies.
Before you ask, yes, the lady heard but no, I didn’t get chance to explain. Maybe that’s why I felt compelled to write this piece, as penance to ease my conscience. Needless to say we had a very serious chat whilst slurping our ice creams, (serious chats are always better over ice cream, aren’t they?)
Several weeks later, Small pointed out someone with ‘beautiful black skin’ in the park. The gent in question overheard and she was rewarded with a huge grin. So, a massive parenting fail, followed by a redemptive parenting success. We live and learn, I suppose.
I’d love to hear some of the little gems that your wee ones have unleashed on the world! Go on, share your embarrassing moments and make me feel a tiny bit better.