I tripped over myself as I raced down the hallway to investigate the words I heard screeching from my son's room. As I crept a little closer I observed some sort of incident that had occurred with Thomas the Tank Engine and a few overturned rail cars.
"Oh s***s!" my two-year old son exclaimed. My son's first swear word. I'll never forget it.
There are certain memories that are forever seared into our minds as mothers, including our baby's first word, or first step. Then there are others that while absolutely memorable - are anything but adorable. These are the motherhood truths no one warned us about.
First curse word
My mother, bless her heart, lives six hours away and doesn't see my kids in person as often as we'd like. She is a wonderful grandparent, but isn't used to censoring herself so little ears don't pick up on her sometimes colorful language. My son's vocabulary grew a bit after a few days with Grandma. I'm not mad at her. She's only human and for all I know she said the "S" word because an anvil fell on her foot.
How to handle the situation: Keep your children away from foul-mouthed Grandmas and other unsavory characters. Just kidding! But remind people to watch their mouths when in the presence of kids. I'm a fan of dirty words peppered into my speech here and there for colorful effect, but not around the kids.
DO NOT make a big deal out of the incident. Act as if you heard nothing. Kids love the crazed bug-eyed reaction adults have when they use a funny sounding word. Don't play in to it or else your house will sound like the latest French Montana mix tape. Go about your business and I promise (as long as you and Grandma watch your mouths) eventually Junior will forget the word and move on to his next horribly embarrassing milestone.
"Mommy why is that baby making that face?!?"
My son asked loudly, oh so loudly, as we passed a stroller in the mall. Mortifying. In his defense the cute baby was making a really weird face. That's what babies do! He did it too not very long ago. I wanted to disappear. The parents glared at me as I grabbed my son's hand and shuffled into the restroom.
How to handle the situation: Diffuse the tension. Depending on the level of burn to the insult (there's no comeback from "Mommy that lady's butt looks big! Unless of course it's one of those ladies that likes having a big butt and then everyone wins) your quick thinking can get you out of this mess. I turned to Preston and said:
"Sweetie that cute baby is making faces at you because he is trying to make you laugh! He's so cute! Oh, isn't that just the cutest baby?"
Then exit stage left. Quickly!
I don't think they bought it but I did my best. My conscience is clear. Afterwards make sure to tell your child that when curious about babies' funny faces (or lady's butts) it's best to whisper directly in to mommy or daddy's ear.
Poop in the tub.
How to handle the situation: Scoop it out.
What's your most mortifying mommy moment to date & how did you handle it?
Words By:Veronica Armstrong
Veronica Armstrong is a photographer, blogger, and freelance writer whose stories spring from the cinderblock walls of her married graduate student apartment. You can find her on Google+ or see more of her writing and photography on her blog.