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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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!”

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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!