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.