Our five offspring, in addition to being the Medicine-and-Food-Expiration-Date Police, are also the Only-Healthful-Ingredients-Allowed-in-Food-and-Drink Police.
Case in point: They roll their collective eyes at my preference for Miracle Whip on my peanut butter sandwiches. “Mom, Miracle Whip isn’t even food – it’s all chemicals!”
Then there are their reactions to my choice of wine. Case in point: One offspring to her sibs via a text thread: “Did you know Mom now drinks wine that’s in a box? SHE DRINKS BOX WINE!” The collective shudder from that announcement and subsequent responses from the other four horrified citizens registered 8.35 on the Richter Scale.
They are equally appalled when I ask for an ice cube in my chardonnay when we’re in a restaurant. I did it the first time when the wine was room temperature, but when I saw how terrifically embarrassed my brood was, I do it all the time now – it’s such fun to watch them squirm.
Their father was not above placing eyebrow-raising orders in restaurants. I have to admit I was always a little chagrinned when we were out for breakfast and he would order oatmeal with barbecue sauce on it. Strangely, he never did that when the kids were here – just when he was with me. He loved the reaction of the wait staff, but I think he really treasured my eyes-lowered-in-embarrassment reaction.
Embarrassing our children is, I suppose, subconscious payback for the times they mortified me. Case in point: Amy managed to empty a display case of nylon stockings in the Chrischilles store while my back was turned for five seconds, then followed that trick up with pulling over a life-size mannequin on the second floor of the store, smashing the poor thing to bits.
Wade took our station wagon for a spin when he was three, careening down the block in reverse and taking out the neighbors’ front porch.
Heather, at about the same age, found the end of a cigarette under the church pew ahead of us, ate it and promptly threw up. (I fervently hoped whoever left that remnant there suffered the pangs of cigarette withdrawal for the rest of his/her life!)
Erin, also at about the same age, wandered outside in the early morning hours in her pjs, went next door and climbed into bed with an elderly schoolmarm who was visiting our neighbor.
Meg once loaded her little red wagon up with some of my clothes and costume jewelry and went door to door trying to hock them.
I suppose you are wondering where the children’s parents were when these (and many more) shenanigans were going on.
I have no idea. None.
But now I’m sure you agree that my paltry little efforts to embarrass them are more than justified.
Watch for a new book, by Scott MacDonald, Think Like a Dog, due out in 2017. Scott’s book, Saving Investa, is available on Amazon.com now.