How You Become an Embarrassing Mom Overnight

embarrassingIt happens suddenly. One morning you wake up. You brush your teeth. You suck down something caffeinated. You put your pants on, one leg at a time, as one does. Your hair is even acting like it likes you this morning.

You’re feeling, not quite normal because normal is boring, but regular … for you anyway.

And then it hits you. Overnight you have transformed, like a Alice on the other side of the Looking Glass. You are no longer just you, a little fish swimming along with the current. You are now a a walking, talking bundle of “oh, em, gee, like totally embarrassing, Mom.”

You’ll look down and examine yourself. Yup, shirt is on right-side out, and the tag is the back where it belongs. Nope, no toothpaste stains or other questionable detritus on the front.

Your pants are, indeed, in place, and there’s no toilet paper in your shoe.

You look like you’ve looked every day for who knows how long. You feel like you’ve always felt.

And yet, you are a whole new you. A you who has the power to make tweenagers recoil with just a single syllable.
My morning came a few weeks ago.

It was a single wooohoo that took me from Mom to Momster. Two syllables.

I let loose a cheer not unlike the exclamations of the 50 or so other people gathered to watch the awards ceremony at the tail end of the Delaware Youth Center’s 19th annual River Race, and my daughter’s head began to shake, her shoulders climbing up toward her earlobes.

“No, Mom,” she said. “Just, no.”

“What?” I asked. “People are cheering.”

Inching away from me, her head continued to shake. “No, not like THAT,” she said. “Not like that.”

I had become, with one “woohoo,” a pariah, an example of everything that is wrong in a world of texting your friends to say that life is awful, awful, awful because you had to actually refill the dishwasher after emptying it and being able to eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s and not gain a single ounce.

Suddenly, I had immense power at my fingertips – or the tip of my tongue, anyway. One word that isn’t even a word, and I can ruin a 10-year-old’s entire LIFE.

But with great power comes great responsibility, as they say, and so it is that on a regular day when I’d woken up, brushed my teeth, sucked down some caffeine, and shoved two legs into a pair of pants (OK, shorts, it’s July, after all), I came to shoulder the burden of providing ample fodder for any future therapy sessions.

It’s a tough job, but with my “old-fashioned” 80s slang and an insistence that I spend the next eight years leaving the house on a regular basis, I think I can do it.

How about you?

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