Sunday, November 20, 2011

Payback Time

Well, we're back from the Maritimes. It was great to be home with my family. It's kinda neat to interact with your parents as a fellow parent, too. I think, even to a small extent, that every grandparent sees their child become a parent and thinks 'it's payback time,' for all the disasters and embarrassment that they endured from their own child.

I was a pretty good kid. I was one of those "a pleasure to teach" kids who followed the rules and enjoyed the praise of adults. I was still a kid, though, and I had my fair share of antics to embarrass and prematurely age my parents. And they won't let me forget a few choice gems:

1. As a toddler, I poured a bottle of shampoo all over my head while sitting in my mom's relatively new La-Z-Boy recliner. Apparently they couldn't get the chair to stop foaming.

2. I emptied a bowl of coins, placing them painstakingly between all the piano keys. Dad had to open up the piano to get them out.

3. I put my favourite stuffed toy cat to bed. In the oven. Mom later tried to preheat the oven and the cat burst into flames. Then she had a flaming cat AND screaming kid to deal with.

4. I pushed the emergency button and stopped an escalator full of shoppers at the mall. Mom wondered whether to play dumb and ask me where my mother was.

5. Speaking of escalators, as a three-year-old with three-year-old social graces, I was on an escalator with my mom, and there was a heavy-set gentleman riding behind us. Upon noticing him, I bellowed, "Boy! Is he ever FAT!"
... right before I promptly faceplanted. The gentleman boo-yahed me with "yeah? And YOU'RE CLUMSY." Touché.

6. I was with my mom browsing the magazines, and someone had put the Playboy down on a low shelf. Six-year-old me opened it to a page where some ladies, wearing only scarves, were warming themselves by a fireplace at a ski lodge. I held up the magazine and proclaimed that if they were cold, why didn't they just put on SWEATERS?

I can still remember Mom's "give me that!" and prompt exit from Shoppers.

Then of course there are the proclamations I seemed to save for extended family visits, such as my observation that my Speedo-wearing swim teacher had a 'lumpy bathing suit'. Or how I once shared with my French-speaking aunts and uncles the phrase I'd  heard my dad mutter. I didn't know why they were roaring with laughter. In my defense, he'd told me "mange la m*rde" meant "too bad" (it very much does not), so you can't really blame me for that one.

Nothing horrifying, but I was just enough of a kid to keep my folks from having too much dignity in public.

Below is a card I drew Mom for Mother's Day on this very topic. Please excuse the quality as it was taken with a camera. Now that I, too, am a parent, Mom knows she will have the opportunity to sit back with a sigh of satisfaction when my son first embarrasses the life out of me. I hope he'll go easy on me, but I believe it is, in fact, payback time.

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