Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Do people actually die from embarrassment?

I can answer that question. No, people do not die from embarrassment but they do wish that they could. Once you become a parent the possibilities for humiliation are virtually unlimited and I can say with complete authority that my children excelled at keeping their parents very humble. We had three children all under the age of five and NOBODY ever willingly invited us to their house, not even my mother. On the rare occasions when we were a guest in someones home Dave and I would walk in the front door saying "I'm sorry". We didn't know the specifics of what would be broken we only knew that there would be destruction. The children didn't mean to break everything in their path but there were so many tempting distractions that HAD to be investigated. Like the time Polly broke the beaks off of my mothers Wedgwood crystal ducks. The very expensive ducks were sitting on the coffee table...HUGE mistake. My mother and I were on the couch talking when two year old Polly came strolling through the living room. Before my mom or I could make a move Polly scooped up the ducks, banged their little crystal heads together and said, "Look Damaw de ducks tissed." Well, when "de ducks tissed" their little beaks broke right off and one of them cracked a tail feather. My mother did let us come back for Christmas and Thanksgiving but far as I know our family is still banned at every Sears store in the Midwest. There were several incidents but I will only share two stories as I am not sure of the statute of limitations on the others. As the children and I were walking from the parking lot to the store I went over the list of rules. We don't run, we don't push, we don't pinch, we don't shout, we don't hide in the racks of clothes AND we don't peek under the dressing room doors and scare the bejeebers out of some poor lady who just wants two minutes alone to try and find a bra that doesn't pinch. There was one activity I neglected to mention. WE DON'T DUMP OVER THE GIANT ASHTRAY BY THE FRONT DOOR THAT IS FILLED WITH SAND. Do you have any idea how much sand one of those suckers holds? Well let me tell you, it's a bunch. There was sand, cigarette butts, almost empty coffee cups and assorted trash scattered clear across the entrance of the store. it looked like a scene from Brighton Beach Memoirs. Now, six months later...same store, same children, same mother trying to buy vacuum cleaner bags. Again..the list of rules. We don't run, we don't push, we don't pinch, we don't shout, we don't hide in the racks of clothes, we don't peek under dressing room doors AND we don't dump the giant ashtray filled with sand. This was not an extended shopping trip as we were going to one store to purchase one item and then going home. Eddie was in the process of being potty trained and would only use HER potty so time was of the essence. I am at the register in the home improvement department paying for my vacuum cleaner bags when Polly wraps her arm around my leg, sighs and says, "Oh Mama, Eddie is a big girl and now she can wear big girl panties." I am only half listening and replied, "Yes she is almost a big girl and when she potties all by herself we will get her big girl panties like yours." It was about that time that out of sheer instinct I turned around just in time to see my baby girl perched on a porcelain throne in the middle of Sears....red faced, completely naked and taking care of business. Just so you won't think their brother was a pillar of decorum I will share one of his shining moments. One Sunday a month our minister would invite all the preschoolers to sit in the front row and he would ask them questions pertaining to the lesson for that particular week and hoping they would make the connection between what we were learning and their daily lives. My kids LOVED the microphone and my heart would be in my throat on those Sundays. The lesson that week was about nourishing your spirit as well as your body and the minister started out by talking to the kids about how important it is to eat properly for our bodies to be healthy and strong. About halfway through his spiel Bud raised his hand (I stopped breathing) and this is what he told the entire congregation. "My mommy told my daddy that he drinked too much beer and he could just sleep on the couch until he was all done tootn'." That was the day I learned that no matter how hard you pray the floor will not open up and swallow you whole.