The aforementioned lovely incidents are only a couple of the ways my kids have made me want to bury my head in the sand. But most of them have come from my oldest. And now that he's nine, he's getting a better sense of what's socially appropriate and what's not (thank you sweet baby Jesus). So for a while, I haven't experienced much to be embarrassed about, at least not because of them.
Let me give you a little background. My kids love to watch YouTube videos of other people playing Minecraft. (I have no idea why, but that's beside the point.) Anyway, even my two-year-old has gotten into watching. So for that very reason, I have a link to kid-friendly Minecraft videos on my computer's "favorites" bar. It's a collection of videos that I have watched and approved, and Corbin knows how to click on it by himself.
However, because of the nature of YouTube, sometimes a couple of rogue clicks can lead to videos that are NOT Mom-approved. And my most freewheeling clicker is, of course, my toddler. Which is why one night, while he and my husband were watching Minecraft videos together, I walked in just in time to hear the video's narrator say, "WHAT THE FUCK?!" followed by a huge explosion.
My eyes practically bugged out of my head, and Curtis scrambled to close out of the video or mute it or something, but it was too late.
"What the fuck?!" chirped Corbin in his happiest little voice.
Curtis and I looked at each other, frozen. Should we scold him? Our eyes silently communicated (mine were saying OMG I thought you clicked on the kid-friendly link!). Both of us were clearly on the fence. It needed to be addressed, but then again, calling attention to it might make matters worse. Finally I just said, "That's not a nice thing to say," and we quickly changed the subject. This was weeks ago, and since the expression hadn't resurfaced in daily conversations, we figured he had forgotten it.
Anyway. Yesterday we took the kids out to lunch at Pizza Ranch. It's a very family-oriented, squeaky-clean buffet restaurant. I always get the impression that the fresh-faced teenagers working there came straight to work from some church youth group (and considering it's a Christian-based business, that wouldn't surprise me). It's kinda like Chick-fil-A but with, like, pizza.
The place was busy. We were seated amid a sea of other families. I put Corbin at the end of the table, where he was chowing down on his lunch like a good boy, smiling at people. And then, above the din of diners, he crowed - in a voice loud enough to be considered a yell, lifting over all the other voices in the room -
"WHAT THE FUCK?!"
Did I mention he speaks very plainly?
Yeah. I'm usually proud of that fact. Not so much at that moment, though.
My older children looked at me in utter shock, then started snickering so hard I thought they'd choke. (My husband was filling his plate at the buffet, so he missed out on the whole debacle ... lucky him.) My eyes were the size of saucers, I'm sure. I tried not to look at the other tables, but I swear I heard the sound of jaws dropping and a few judgmental murmurs. There they were with their well-behaved kids, and here I was, sitting beside a two-year-old who obviously thinks nothing of bellowing not just a curse word, but THE curse word. Like a toddler with Tourette's. I may as well have handed him a cigarette and a beer and then twerked my way around the table to complete the display of my less-than-stellar parenting skills.
I spent the rest of the meal trying to use my Mom Eyes to convey to my other kids that their behavior had to be nothing less than perfect to make up for their baby brother's social snafu. That they were supposed to sit there and eat in the way angels would eat. You know, if angels ate.
Thankfully, from that point on, everything went smoothly. Corbin returned to his usual charming, profanity-free ways. No one around us seemed permanently scandalized, so I'm hoping that Child Protective Services isn't about to come knocking on my door.
... But I'm putting a bra on, just in case.