My Top 5 Most Embarrassing Mom Moments of 2017

The whole world eagerly awaited on New Year’s Eve —Ryan Seacrest counted down to the ball drop in Times Square and pop stars threw tantrums on live TV. The whole world, except, parents of kids 8 and under. We see more tantrums in one day than other people see all year. I’m celebrating with a countdown of my own, courtesy of my 5-year-old twins and almost 2-year-old: My Top 5 Most Embarrassing Mom Moments of 2017.

  1. Blowout at the Bouncehouse

I know what you’re thinking. This mom brought her kids to an indoor jumpy place and one of them had an exploding diaper all over the inside of an inflatable. Thankfully, I averted this disaster by about 6 minutes. 

My youngest was still in a car seat carrier, so I snapped him into the stroller and whisked my 3 kids up to the front desk to pay. A nice grandma leaned down to admire my happy babbling boy, saying, “Awe, isn’t he just ador—”  She stopped midsentence, I saw a strange look come over her face and she quickly walked away. I didn’t give it much thought because I was busy trying to pay and wrangle my 4-year-old twins. Just as I set them free into the massive gymnastics arena, I glanced down at my oh-so-adorable son and saw the most ungodly blowout diaper I’ve ever witnessed in 3 kids.

Did I mention he was only wearing a onesie?  It looked like someone had poured an entire batch of brownie batter all over him from the waist down.  After completely abandoning my twins to do a toxic waste clean-up in the restroom, I spent the next 90 minutes trying to avoid eye contact with poor grandma, who I’m sure is still suffering from PTBD. (Post Traumatic Blowout Diaper)

  1. Nightmare on Elf on the Shelf Street

I have not caved into Elf on the Shelf in my house. Yet. (He creeps me out, ok?) My 5-year-olds are aware of Chippy but don’t know The Rules.  Over the holidays, my son Jackson saw good ole Chippy on a store display in my daughter’s dance studio. He pointed him out to another young lad and then gleefully pokes the elf to show the boy that Chippy is holding a tiny instrument. That’s right, my son’s index finger came in direct contact with an actual Elf on a (too low) Shelf. Not just once either. Jackson poked the Elf repeatedly while the other little boy watched in horror. 

Audible gasp and shouting. “No!  You can’t touch the Elf!!  You’re not allowed to touch the Elf! Mommy, this boy is touching the Elf!”

“Jackson,” I said, “Please don’t touch the Elf. You’re not supposed to touch him. It’s against the rules. Please, you’re upsetting this kid.”

To which Jackson yells out,

“But mommy….HE’S NOT EVEN REAL!”

OMG. I suddenly feel like a mom of a kid who just told his whole 2nd-grade class that there is no Santa. It’s not that the Elf isn’t a cute idea. I’m not anti-commercialism. I have no qualms about perpetrating a massive lie to my kids. Let’s just call it…lazy parenting? 

While I stood there fumbling a response, the stricken boy’s mom dragged him away saying, “Don’t worry, his mommy will take care of it.” 

How did assuage my guilt? I bought the next Elf on the Shelf I saw at Target, that’s how.

  1. Tummy Trouble

Leave it to a 4-year-old to let you know when you’re having a bad hair day. Or if your breath stinks. One day I almost went out in public in tan colored leggings, but my daughter’s honestly saved me when she asked, “Why aren’t you wearing any pants, Mommy?” Whoops.

I wish I could have reined in my daughter’s truthful tendencies when I picked the kids up from summer camp. 

“Mommy, that lady has a really fat tummy!”

No, please. She did not just say that out loud, at 100 decibels, most definitely in earshot of this fellow hard-working mom.

Do I correct her in front of the woman, drawing more attention and possible further embarrassment? 

I did what any self-disrespecting mom would do: I pretended I didn’t hear her. For the first time, I was thankful for my traveling circus act at preschool pick-up. I completely ignored my daughter’s keen observation and began yelling at my boys to stop playing with the water fountain.  (Karma got me back with a water fountain later—see #1)

As soon as the woman left, I bent down and taught my daughter the 11th commandment: Thou shalt not comment on the body shape of any human being, especially a female.

  1. Personal Space is Over-rated

I’m not much of an athlete, but using a public restroom while toting around 3 children under 5 requires the dexterity, flexibility, and strategy of a professional Twister player. It’s not easy to take care of business while one child is repetitively flushing, one is opening and closing the stall door, and the third is sticking his head under the stall wall to observe the person next door. Automatic laser flushers are the bane of my existence.  And why are the little trash bins for feminine items at perfect toddler height? Gross.

At the tender age of 4, my twins are still too unpredictable and scared to give their mother some privacy, and they’re also full of questions. During one memorable restroom expedition, I had forgotten it was that womanly time of the month. No, not when my Amazon subscribe and save shipment arrives, or the wine of the month delivery.  Those are a lot easier to explain to kids. I didn’t know what in the world to say when my helpful flushing assistant screamed in panic:  “Mooomm-mmeee!!  You’re bleeeeding!!  You have to go to the hospital!”

That sounds like a nice vacation, thanks, son.

  1. Immersive Learning at the Children’s Museum

Sometimes I do crazy things when my kids don’t have school. Like, take all 3 to the Atlanta Children’s Museum. SOLO. 1 parent, 3 kids. 

I lost track of my 20-month-old at least 4 times. I found him trying to drive the delivery truck, the tractor, and then the crane. The last time, I started to get concerned when I couldn’t locate him after about 4-5 minutes. I knew he was probably climbing in some apparatus…but he’s also a super-friendly extrovert who would gleefully jump into the arms of a kidnapper for a tootsie pop. 

I grabbed my now-5-year-olds’ hands and instructed them to help me find Greyson. 

“There he is Mommy!,” Jackson shouted. “He’s in the water! Greyson’s playing in the water!”

I look across the museum towards the crowded toddler area. There’s a large basin of water about 6 inches deep for wee ones to catch fish and play with little boats. 

And there, in the middle of the basin, sits my 20-month-old son.

I wade through the crowd of shocked parents, grandparents, and nannies with their mouths all hanging open in disbelief. I reach out to Greyson, who is immersed in water up to his waist, clutching a vinyl stuffed duck he had found when he was last by my side. 

“Duck! Water!” he said.  He had gone on a mission to bring duckie back home, to his pond. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I made eye contact with no one as I carried a dripping toddler and the twins to a corner of the museum to deal with the mess. Half of me felt guilty since he could’ve gotten hurt.  Mostly I was mortified. All those accusing eyes burning holes through me.

I’d be a liar to not admit that I also found it incredibly funny. I knew instantly that this would be a story I’ll be telling at his high school graduation party.

During the last week of preschool before winter break, I felt a twinge of guilt at the rows of minivans decked out with reindeer antlers and Rudolph noses. My kids would adore that!

Nah.  I’m going to wait until they’re teenagers to dress up my van like a reindeer.

Payback, baby.

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After surviving 24 years of brutal upstate New York winters, Kristen bet the farm to start a new life in the South. She worked as a High School Counselor for 8 years in Northern Virginia, where she met and married her husband, Drew. They found out they were expecting twins just a few weeks after Drew accepted a new position in Huntsville, Alabama. Kristen is now a full-time stay-at-home mom to boy/girl twins Jackson & Julie (2012) and a surprise third child, Greyson (2016), who joined the family shortly after they relocated to Marietta, Georgia. Kristen is passionate about her Northwest Atlanta Moms of Multiples group, and just rekindled her love affair with running and Barre classes. She hopes that blogging will give her the confidence to start that novel she’s always wanted to write.


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