Saturday, February 17, 2018

WHEN "CUTE" BECOMES EMBARRASSING



One of my friends called to tell me she was in a store the other day and there was a sign on the wall that said: “Unattended children will be given a cup of black coffee and a free puppy!”

Someone obviously has a sense of humor.

Her call made me think about a little boy about three years old I’d seen in a store a few days before. His mother was pushing a full shopping cart and he was walking behind her, dawdling. Every few seconds, the mother would turn around and tell him to walk faster, but he seemed to fall even farther behind.

Finally the mother shook her head, sighed, grabbed him by the hand and said, “You are the slowest person on earth today!”

To which the little boy replied, “Yeah, I’m getting even worse than Grandma.”

I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing. The mother rolled her eyes and laughed, too.

Kids really do come out with some pretty cute stuff. When I was about three, I said something “cute” that my mother always referred to as her most embarrassing moment. Believe me, she never – and I do mean never – let me live it down.

She, my aunt and I had gone shopping in downtown Manchester and stopped in Woolworth’s for a snack at the lunch counter. The minute we set foot in the store, however, my mother said she had to go to the ladies’ room. My aunt and I stayed on the main floor while my mother ran up the long staircase to the second-floor restrooms.

I, with my eyes riveted on the stairs, patiently waited for my mother to return. When I finally spotted her descending the stairs, I was so excited, I shouted in my loudest voice, “Mommy! Do you feel better now? Did you make a nice big pee-pee?”

My mother froze as all heads turned to look up at her. It was as if she were the guest of honor at a party, making her grand entrance. My mother’s face turned a neon crimson color as she lowered her head and made her way to the bottom of the stairs. When she finally reached the main floor, everyone cheered and applauded.

I don’t think my mother ever went into Woolworth’s again.

And then there was the time, many years ago, when I was babysitting my friend’s little boy, Billy, age four.  We were in a supermarket when a very pregnant woman walked by us. Well, back in those days, parents weren’t eager to discuss things like pregnancy with their kids until they were about old enough to start shaving, so Billy whispered to me, “My mommy told me that’s what happens if you swallow watermelon seeds by accident.”

 I tried not to laugh because I figured it was up to his parents to decide when to have the “talk” with him.

As luck would have it, when we were waiting in the checkout line, the pregnant woman came up and stood right behind us.

Immediately, Billy pointed at her stomach and loudly announced, “I know what you did!  You should be more careful next time!”


At that moment, I finally understood how my mother had felt in Woolworth’s.


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