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.

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.