Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Totally awkward parent moments
We had a visitor at the house the other week, someone Max had never met before. He was excited, and wanted to get her attention to he could tell her all about his upcoming Cars 2 birthday party (upcoming as in, December). And so, he reached up and patted one of her boobs. I watched her glance down. She shot me a "What's up with that?!" look. I gave her a "What are you gonna do?" shrug and a sheepish smile.
Max is getting taller, as kids tend to do. Thing is, he's now at the perfect arm's length for reaching people's chests. Combine that with the fact that he has issues properly directing his hands because of the cerebral palsy and Max is pat-pat-patting women's boobs all over the place.
Usually, ladies just ignore it, an innocent offense of the kind a younger child might make. And Max does appear to be younger than his age, which helps. Every so often, though, I get strange looks. At Target the other week, Max pat-pat-patted a worker to show her his new Cars 2 DVD and she reflexively brought a hand to her chest as I grabbed his away. "Sorry," I muttered, "he didn't mean it!" and hustled my little groper over to the the cash registers.
Freud might have had a field day with this if, say, he had a blog. Personally, I do not think I am underestimating Max and he is secretly getting his jollies out of this. I've had discussions with him about private parts, and while he understands that nobody except us and our babysitter can touch him down there, the idea of not touching women up there is beyond him right now. "Max, don't pat my chest," I'll say when he does this to me. "Pat me here!" and I'll point to my arm or leg. He nods. And then: Boob pat, pat, pat.
I'll admit, there's a chance he inherited the inappropriate patting from me. Back in kindergarten, I had a teacher I adored, Mrs. Goodman. One day, she had a conversation with my Mom. "I appreciate how much Ellen likes me," she said, "but I have black-and-blue marks on my rear because she is always pinching me there to get attention!"
In the scheme of Awkward Parent Moments, the boob patting ranks below ones like "Did Max just drool on the birthday cake?" I'm not raising a perv; sooner or later, Max will understand and the patting will end. For now, I'll deal with the awkwardness—along with the fact that my beloved husband is entirely too amused by this.
So, what awkward parenting moments have you dealt with lately?
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:40 AM