Like Mother, Like Son

It seems Wito has taken to embarrassing his lovely mother at every opportunity possible.

I know what you are thinking. “He’s a toddler! Of course he unknowingly belches/says something politically incorrect/grabs onto a stranger’s leg at the park while dropping a huge load in his diaper.” (Wait. Your toddler doesn’t do that last one?) Still, that’s not what I’m talking about around these parts. I’m talking about blatant and deliberate maternal embarrassment for his own personal enjoyment.

Before I share his new method of turning my face into a crimson mask, I must tell you that the roots of this behavior are painfully clear. I was a bit of a performer as a child. Nothing made me happier than putting on a little dance for the neighbors or my claim to fame, serenading complete strangers at the grocery store with my portable speaker with attached plastic microphone from 1980. Just imagine yourself deciding on which pasta sauce to buy when a little girl approaches you from behind, singing a falsetto You Light Up My Life. Special moments, those days.

In fact, I was almost positive I had a photo of this phenomenon, but couldn’t find it in my Ziploc bag of late 70s/early 80s photos. However, I did find this.


Upon first glance, you see a normal little girls’ ballet recital. A little apprehension, a little nervousness, a little pissiness (hello, girl on the far right), but wait! Who’s that girl second from the left! That one is ready to go! The head tilt, the smile, the hands on the hips! She is IN THE ZONE. Long story short, I was a miniature Jenna from 30 Rock.

Fast forward 30 years. The Wito Show. A couple of months ago, while running errands, he mistakingly called a stranger his “daddy”. It was an honest mistake –  the man had his back to us and looked very similar to D, but it embarrassed me so thoroughly that I started stammering to the stranger, something to the effect of “Oh, sorry. You look like his father a little bit…I mean, not EXACTLY like his father…it’s not like you are twins or anything…because that would mean I could have married YOU..heh…which, of course we’re not…I mean, not to say that you aren’t an attractive man or anything…ahem…I’m going to go now.”

Wito might only be 2 1/2 years old, but he ate that shit up. He LOVED watching me squirm and stammer and generally act like a total douche. So NOW, he plays the “daddy” game on a weekly basis. Grocery stores, parks, the mall, you name it…if there is a male stranger in the vicinity, he will scream “Daddy, daddy! HI DADDY” at the top of his lungs. Of course, these men are completely bewildered…most likely assuming that I’m desperately looking for a man to fill the father figure void in this poor child’s life. Needless to say, it’s AWESOME. Gotta love that kid.

Will you commiserate with me? I would love to read your most crimson face-inducing stories. After reading your recent confessions, I KNOW you’ve got some.

On a final note, if you are a male in the Orange County area and are approached by a small child declaring you his father, please keep walking. Thank you.

  • Sharon

    May 18, 2009 at 11:25 am

    My younger son had a stage like that too. How embarrassing. Now he just announces that he has to poop very loudly!

  • Haley

    May 18, 2009 at 11:38 am

    When I was about 3, I ran away from my mother’s side at the cash register at Foley’s and went up to some deaf people in the aisle and started doing “sign language” like they were. My mom tried to explain to the deaf people that I could hear and was just playing, and then it turned into her mouthing “i’m sorry” and running away.

  • Kaleigha

    May 18, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Can’t wait to have kids.:)

    Kaleigha’s last blog post..A little all over the place…

  • Christy

    May 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I don’t have kids yet, but I’m told that when she was little, my sister was sitting with my Dad waiting for Mom to finish checking out at the K-mart or wherever they shopped in 1979. They were on the bench and a bag…person was sitting on the other end. My sister asked (shouted, if my Dad is telling the story) “Daddy, is that a man or a lady?” And Dad just got up and walked outside, leaving Mom to collect my sister and come outside. So you could deal with it that way.

  • Gretchen

    May 18, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Lately Scott’s favorite way to mortify me is to stick his hand down his pants and complain in a very public place in a very non-whispered voice that his “privates are all silly.”

    HAAAAAAAAHAAAAA. My God, that is hilarious.

    Gretchen’s last blog post..What Goes Around Comes Around, Eventually

  • glamgranola

    May 18, 2009 at 11:57 am

    “Whoa, that lady’s got a biiiiiig bum!”
    I am pretty sure a ran and hid around the corner of another isle because of course it was loud enough for the poor woman to hear…

    glamgranola’s last blog post..Purple, Violet, Lavender

  • Brooke

    May 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Same thing as yours, honestly. My son went through a stage that every man that we came across in the grocery store or at the park was “Are you my daddy?” It lasted several months.

    For the record, daddy is very, very much involved. Although I’m sure many people in the grocery store thought differently. Oy.

    Brooke’s last blog post..Preschool Wars – Part III

  • Rebecca (Bearca)

    May 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I’m sorry, but that is hilarious. (Says the girl who is happy that hasn’t happened to me!)

    Um, my most embarrassing moment as a parent was yesterday. When during a family breakfast at a restaurant, on a verrrrrry crowded patio, my four-year old threw an epic tantrum. (HE IS FOUR. So humiliating! I thought we were over all that!?!) All the other people in the restaurant were staring as I carried him away, kicking and screaming the whole time.

    (in his defense, he was absolutely exhausted. I like to think that it wouldn’t have happened otherwise. But who knows.)

    Rebecca (Bearca)’s last blog post..happy birthday, baby D!

  • Korinna

    May 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    My almost one year old gave a waitress a hearty smack on the biscuits while at a restaurant on Saturday night.

    I could see him practically winding up, but didn’t know where it all was going.

    She was a good sport, “At least he wasn’t 40.” Heh.

    Korinna’s last blog post..Out of the mouths of fools

  • a madhouse wife

    May 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    This is so embarrassing, I’m almost too embarrassed to tell it here, but no one judge me, nkay?

    One morning, before I had a chance to shower and shave, I had on a sleeveless shirt and my son noticed a little under-arm stubble.

    So at the next family gathering (which was like, later that day or the next day) he announced LOUDLY, “My mom has hairy armpits!” (Of course, my younger brothers-in-law found this HYSTERICAL.) And a year later, he’s still saying it. Kind of just whenever and wherever.

    a madhouse wife’s last blog post..I Do Run-Run-Run, I Do Run-Run

  • Angella

    May 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    My boys would do the “Daddy” thing when they were two or so; to them every man’s name was “Daddy.” Didn’t stop me from going ten shades of red, though.

    Angella’s last blog post..Take That

  • Savannah C.

    May 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    My darling 4yo daughter, Ella, announced in her “outside voice”, I’M ABOUT TO FART A GOOD ONE”….I don’t think my face could have been any redder.

  • Lisa

    May 18, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    P’s new thing is to now point out moles on everyone–not even a smile or a hello first…He just zeros in and says “mole”. This also can extend to any blemish on the face when he will look at anyone and everyone and point to it and say “boo boo” and yes, it’s very embarrassing!

  • Catherine

    May 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    My son hasn’t done too much to embarass me yet, but I have an awesome story from when my brother was little. He is my dad’s son from his first marriage, so he had my brother on weekends growing up. One Saturday, my brother (who was tiny, like 1 1/2 or 2) woke up sick, so my dad took him to an urgent care clinic. My dad was the only Dad in there, and the place was packed with women and kids. My dad didn’t have time for breakfast, and had my brother on his lap when his stomach growled really loudly. My brother yells, “Daddy FARTED!!” He said every woman moved as far away as she could from him.

  • cj4

    May 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Well, just imagine how cringe-inducing and disturbing that would be if Wito did that when I was around?

    Fortunately, the Madster hasn’t been too bad yet, other than insisting loudly to all that K is fat, evil Ursula when we are in the pool. She, naturally, is Ariel and I am mighty King Triton. K is non-plussed.

    The best, though, comes from your dear cousin, Lauren. When she was about 5 or 6 (and I was abut 15 or 16), my parents were entertaining guests. Lauren was off playing on the other side of the house when she came back into the living room and announced loudly, “Look at these funny balloons I found.” You guess it – my parent’s condoms. Even better: she had one each hanging off her ears.

    I have never seen my dad move so quickly in my entire life. Or such a bright red face.

  • Marin

    May 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    When my brother was about four, he came back to my parents after being in the nursery at church. He showed my dad a picture he had drawn of our family, and after explaining that this one was Daddy and this one was Mommy and this one was Sis, he pointed to himself and said, “And that’s me and my big penis!” When everyone had stopped talking.

    My mom still gets red thinking about it.

    Marin’s last blog post..Oh Hai

  • Emily

    May 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Once when I was little, my mom and I were standing in line at the grocery store when I saw a TV guide with Dolly Parton on the front. I loudly declared “Isn’t that the lady with the huge boobs?” My mom said the guy in front of us gave us a fairly creepy smile.

  • Maternal Mirth

    May 18, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Two words: Awe. Some.

    Of course, I say this because I am not Wito’s mom. Also, I am doomed to receive some karmic payback. You can mock ME when that happens. Circle of life, you know.

    Maternal Mirth’s last blog post..Transformation: Hausfrau

  • Splomo

    May 18, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Just in the last week:

    My two year old ran up to a very heavy-set lady on the sidewalk, excitedly calling her, “Pete! Pete!” (from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.) He was friendly, and I don’t think she understood, thank goodness.

    Same child saw me in my undies while I was changing and patted me playfully on the bum with both hands singing “I’m a Gummi bear. I’m a Gummi Bear.”

    The four year old likes to chant, “BabyButt, BabyButt, BabyBabyBabyBUTT.” Often, everywhere, and loudly.

  • Spring

    May 19, 2009 at 5:18 am

    My 2 yo does the same daddy thing and yes, I turn a nice shade of red. Last night in the store she kept saying, loudly, “Cole kiss mommy on mouth”…Um, Cole is the boy at the sitter & nope, he’s never kissed me, she found it HILARIOUS. She also kept pointing to PEOPLE, not things, and saying “What dat?…What dat?…WHAT DAT?”

    Toddlers are great, right?

  • sizzle

    May 19, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Clever kid. Heh! That picture of you at the recital is adorable. But yeah, what’s up with Miss Attitude on the far right? I think she’s giving her parents the death stare and silently fuming, “I WANT TO PLAY BASKETBALL NOT TAKE BALLET!”

  • xcm

    May 19, 2009 at 7:28 am

    When I was a kid my parents let me go into a public bathroom alone while they stood outside and waited. The tampon machine must have been broken or something because all the tampons were sitting in piles at the bottom of the dispenser tray. I grabbed two handfuls and ran outside to my parents, exclaiming, “Look! FREE CIGARETTES!”

    I don’t know how old I was, but I actually remember wondering why they didn’t seem excited.

  • Audrey

    May 19, 2009 at 8:58 am

    When I was a nanny, I had three or four year old twins at a craft store getting some rainy day activities. As we were in the check-out line and the young-ish cashier had rainbow hair, one of the kids asked, extremely loudly, “Nanny [she used my name…], why is her hair all those colors? God doesn’t make hair like that!” I was so red and stumbling for an answer; thankfully, the cashier was entertained and laughing along with everyone else in the vicinity. My own daughter hasn’t done anything too embarrassing yet, but I’m sure it’s coming…

  • McCashew

    May 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

    My Caroline is very recently interested in public bathrooms. If we are in a new place, she wants to see where the potty is – not that she wants to use it of course because that would be AWESOME – oh no she just wants to see it. She has learned that the easiest way to both gain freedom from her highchair in a restaurant and see what is behind that mysterious restroom door is to announce very VERY LOUDLY that “MY POOPIN’ AGAIN!!!” It’s wonderful.

    McCashew’s last blog post..resume

  • Shelly

    May 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Holy shit people. I can NOT read this at work. I seriously spewed my drink all over my keyboard!! First Savannah C. got me with the, I’M GUNNA FART A GOOD ONE!! Then Splomo with the I’m a gummi bear chant! Bahahahahaha….

    I don’t have any children, but my good friend’s son was about three when we went into a lingerie store. He was pointing at all the bras and shouting, “Pink boobies! Yellow boobies! Red boobies!” (Indicating the colors of the bras) This was actually kind of cute and everyone had a little chuckle.

    It wasn’t cute when we were in the next store and I was changing, trying on a new shirt wearing only a black bra, when he shoved his head under the stall and screamed, “BLACK BOOBIES!!!!!” I was mortified.

  • Jessie

    May 19, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I totally used to do the exact same thing! My mom and I would be out somewhere and I’d turn to a strange man, point, and say to my mom, “That’s my dad!” She got more than a few confused/dirty looks. I was just confused, but it makes for a great story nearly 30 years later.

    Jessie’s last blog post..Jessie the Grouch

  • Crystal

    May 19, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Everywhere we go, my 5 year old has to use the bathroom. Even while trick or treating this past year, he’d just blurt out when the person came to the door to give out candy, “I have to go potty!”. Could be worse, I guess, but still embarrassing.

    Crystal’s last blog post..Sweet Sixteen

  • Jill

    May 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I try not to take my children out in public very often for just this reason. So what if they end up hermits?!

    Jill’s last blog post..Friday Funday

  • andrea

    May 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    A few weeks ago while dining at a popular mexican restaurant Charlie noticed a new group walk in the door and the ever observant child noticed that one member of the party was wearing an eye patch. My son proceeded to call out, “look at the pirate!” at the top of his lungs. What is worse, this led to an uncontrollable case of the giggles from his mother….

    andrea’s last blog post..two-year-old & Seuss

  • Lori

    May 19, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    No kids of my own but my family has a couple of doozies, both involving my “little” brother (he’s 2 years younger but 5 inches taller).

    When he was about 3 or 4 the family was on a trip and were stopped to eat lunch in a family restaurant. My brother somehow was alone-ish in the men’s room and cam parading back to the table (through the whole dining room area, so everyone could get a good look) proudly displaying the cool balloons he found in the machine in the bathroom. We were all promptly whisked out to the car by my mortified mom. I was just mad that he got balloons and I didn’t.

    When the same brother was about 5 he had to pee after church. There were too many grownups in his way to get back in, so he dropped his pants and went. On the front steps. In front of the whole congregation.

    He has twin 3 year old boys. I assume that’s some sort of heavenly revenge?

    Lori’s last blog post..A riveting post about plants with a surprise ending!

  • sassy

    May 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    1) I am not a mom yet, but had an embarrassing scene with my “practice child” that I used to care for. I had to run to Target one night for something. I was wearing some sloppy clothes and no makeup, and I grabbed her and we ran in for a couple of things. On the way in I said “Oooooh honey! We are a mess! We look like trailer trash so let’s get in and out real quick!”

    Of course we got up to the counter to check out and the girl said “Hi, how are you?” And my charge replied “SALLY SAYS WE LOOK LIKE TRAILER TRASH!”

    I tried to shush her best I could and get the hell out of there. All I could imagine was that the checker lived in a double-wide and was gonna come after us!

    2) While dining out one night with my cousin and her little one at Carrabas, we ordered some Sangria. Lil’ One, who was maybe in kindergarten, said “Can I taste? Can I taste?” So we gave her a sip. The waitress came back and said “Ladies! How are those drinks?” to which the Lil’ One replied “REALLY GOOD!” Nice.

  • Jen

    May 20, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Seriously, this is a goldmine. I can’t believe I am admitting this, but my story is about me when I was about 2 or so…I don’t remember this but it lives in family lore. My parents took me on vacation and my mom was with me in the pool. Apparently there was this rather drunk guy swimming around my mom and kept creepily asking to hold me in the water. My mom was really uncomfortable and was trying to make a quick getaway when I loudly announced that I had peed in the pool. The guy got the hell away. Yes, I am awesome!

  • Sarah

    May 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    No kids yet…BUT I was doing a photo shoot with a co-worker and her two kids. The youngest, taround two years old, towards the end, looked up and said, “I pooped!” and went back to playing. The older, around four, just walked around gripping himself four about twenty minutes until finally he announced to the whole park, “I HAVE TO PEE.” Those boys had some serious bathroom issues.

    Sarah’s last blog post..Putting It Out There

  • Lisa

    May 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    My niece, at about the age of 2 1/2, was watching her 5 year old brother pee. She looked up and announced, “I can’t wait until MY penis grows!”