Great Moments in Parenting

One Good Thing

It’s really a blessing of sorts when your teenagers enter that phase where they’re mortified by the very idea of you, preferring to imagine that they were created by pixies and laid under a cabbage patch, to be discovered and raised later on by wolves. It beats the hell out of having to admit the fat, pasty, middle-aged person in the minivan has shown up at school to pick up you.

It’s a blessing, of course, because revenge is a dish best served cold, and parents have to exact some sort of punishment for the routine humiliation teenagers doled out to their parents ten years earlier.

I have had many such moments, such as the time, and I won’t name names here although he deserves it, one of my kids announced to my mother over the phone that “sometimes my penis gets really big! And it feels good!”

For hands-down humiliation, however, I haven’t yet been able to top my neighbor’s misery, when his three year old daughter interrupted his poker game by running naked into the room and screaming with a joyous voice of discovery, “DADDY! DID YOU KNOW? I COME WITH MY OWN POCKET! AND IT CAN HOLD A PEN! LOOK!”

And while he was knocking his chair over to get across the room to put a stop to her performance, she showed all his friends where the pocket was and how well you could put in and take out all kinds of things.

This is a man who’s going to show up at his daughter’s high school graduation drunk and shirtless, with her name painted across his chest and gut, randomly shouting “WOOO!!!” during her valedictory speech and making devil horns with his upraised hands. And she will have totally earned it.

Wow, I can’t even get close to topping this story. About the closest I can get is when we used to call my son Gregory “Nature Boy” because of his habit of running out of his bath or just his bedroom naked and giggling in the middle of our parties. Somehow when he was 7 or 8 he turned into the boy who would scream, “Mom, get OUT!” if I entered the bathroom or his room unexpectedly and he was undressed. Go figure.