There are no secrets once you become a parent.
I’ve often felt I should just save my children the time and begin conversations with total strangers we come upon by telling them things such as:
- how much I weigh
- how long it takes sometimes in the bathroom
- how I sometimes use my kids as an excuse to get out of things
- that I tell them to go watch tv so I can take a nap
And these are just the short list of embarrassing things my children have blurted out without discretion.
“We’re late because my mom had to use the bathroom.”
“Mom! I’m right here! You don’t need to get off the phone so you can find me!” (And of course screamed loudly enough that the person on the other end of the line clearly heard every word)
Yep. Kids are terrible secret keepers. And it would be one thing if it were just embarrassing secrets about ME that they blurt out. But more times than not, they’ve been known to proclaim their thoughts about others loudly enough to wake the dead.
A couple years ago we were struggling with my littlest one and her running commentary on physical attributes. “MOM!!! That man has a BIG bottom!” I grabbed one of the samples at Costco and stuffed it in her sweet little mouth as we rushed by.
Just this past Sunday we sat reverently in church (or as reverently as we ever sit between kids sprawling out on the floor under our pew, silently fussing with each other and elbowing one another during prayer, and playing musical chairs between my husband and me).
Anyway, we happened to be seated in an area where there was a definite odor of mothballs. I don’t know the source, so don’t even ask. It could’ve been us for all I know. But regardless of where it was coming from, my middle daughter discovered she has a VERY low tolerance for that particular aroma.
And I mean really low.
What else was she supposed to do? She knew better than to make a big scene by fussing loudly and complaining about the smell. So, in an effort to be discreet and keep her secret politely, she buried her nose in my dress and would NOT take a breath without her hand covering her nose. She literally kept her mouth and nose covered the entire service. I had to pry her nose off my person several times while trying to take notes on suffering and God’s plan in it.
Secret keeping and kids is just not compatible.
A friend of mine recently took her young daughter to a public restroom at a store.
“Mom! It smells like tuna in here! Gross!”
The pair of shoes in the next stall didn’t move an inch.
If you are a mother and your child has figured out how to speak, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s these moments we just want to melt into the floor or say something like, “Little girl! That’s not a nice thing to say. Where is your mommy? Go find her!”
And my favorite was several years ago. NO secret keeping then, either.
My dear friend – my YaYa Sisterhood kind of friend – had us over and served us homemade cookies. My little minions padded up to the table where they were presented with fresh cookies and juice.
My middle darling, about five years old at the time, took one big bite. She then looked at the cookie in her hand, put it down, and looked straight at me.
Don’t do it, I thought silently. I pleaded to her with my eyes. DO NOT say it!!
Indignantly and very matter of factly, she turned to me, picked up her cookie, rapped it against the table and said, “Mom! These things are hard as a rock!”
Thank heavens this was my YaYa kind of friend. She just laughed and still teases my daughter about it now and then. But oh, the humiliation it could have been.
And finally, because I love you readers so much (and because sometimes you just need to feel like someone else has been more humiliated than you by their secret blasters), I will briefly mention the ultimate secret telling. I will just say it involved lingerie which had been discovered in my closet, a child who loves to play dress up, and later a conversation with her teachers about how her mommy has this funny little dress. I can just see that little secret being told in her Sunday School class, too.
Oh. My. Heavens.
Kill me now.
Have your kids ever exposed your secrets in public? Might as well share in the comments!
Wife. Mom. Dispenser of sippy cups and band-aids. Sharon Webber is the mother of three young girls and proudly totes her many titles. She's your every day mom, just working to keep the chaos under some kind of control. She loves to write about their ordinary, yet extraordinary, adventures as a family of five at her blog Mommy Mayhem. Laugh with her...or at her...and reassure yourself you're not the only one on this crazy ride called motherhood.