Monday, January 3, 2011

Parenting manuals on...nipples?

I wish there were manuals on parenting. True manuals. Manuals that actually fit EVERY child...not just a handful. I wish the said manuals could prepare me for the following dialogue...

I should have known from the look. You know...the look. The one where all you have to do is see his face and you know you're about to be extremely embarrassed.

Let me back up. Maybe I should have known from the beginning that the night was not going to go quite as planned. Not realizing the formality of a church function, I bravely took both my boys without the assistance of my husband. I thought it was a meet and greet for a missionary family my church supports and a blogger friend. Rather, it was a beautiful presentation of their work in Australia. So...I set out to do what any parent would do, I tried to find everything and anything that would keep my boys quiet and still for more than 5 minutes. After I had exhausted all options, I buckled and gave my son a pin. I should have known that my 4 year old would know how to put the pin on. 

After carefully placing the pin on his shirt, my son casually looked down at it. I could see his brain begin spinning. Without even much time to breathe, let alone think up something this cleaver, he reached for the pin I had given his brother and proceeded to put it on himself. 
The offending button...
Then, he gave me the look. He looked up at me with his beautiful blue eyes, his hair falling into his eyes slightly, a mischievous grin crossing his face as he proceeded to yell across the table at me. Okay, so maybe he didn't yell, but at the time it felt as if the earth shook when he said it.

"Hey, Mommy! Look! I have TWO nipples on the outside of my shirt!" 

Oh. My. Goodness. Did that just happen?

Some parenting manuals would have said "ignore, ignore, ignore" so I thought maybe ignoring the situation might be effective. I mean after all, if I ignore it, he should realize he isn't getting the attention and therefore stop...right?


It got louder. (Was that even possible?!)

Another parenting manual would have said "give him a stern look, and clearly say no." That should clearly work, right?

But, it wasn't in an appropriate place to explain why this wasn't acceptable behavior. Because let's face it, that would have been the next question..."Why can't I have nipples on the outside of my shirt mommy?" So, instead, I just tried the stern look. Not working...he obviously couldn't understand my non-verbal form of shut up.

"HEY, MOMMY?! LOOK!! I HAVE TWO NIPPLES ON THE OUTSIDE OF MY SHIRT! Hey, little brother...DO YOU WANT NIPPLES ON THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR SHIRT TOO?! Mommy, I'm just going to go back to the table and get some more nipples so brother can have two also. Okay?"

This time, the yelling was also complete with the swagger. The shoulders back and forth, look at me, eyebrows raised slightly, teenager trying to get attention, swagger. How do they learn these things?

I think God must have realized I didn't have the right manual and granted me wings at that moment because I don't know if it's humanly possible to move as fast as I did in order to sweep my kids out of the church.

Yes, a manual that's useful for ALL kids might be nice. 


  1. I am so sorry, I am laughing my socks off right now! Ah, from the mouth of babes--the most embarrassing things come.

    You know how sometimes, you eat a little too much fiber and a little flatulence happens...yes there is a reason why I am telling you this...and it always seems to hit right in the middle of the grocery store or Hallmark? Yes. I thought I was in the clear. It happened in a deserted aisle at the store, and my then 2 year old announced loud enough that the guy in the next aisle came over to see: "MOMMY! YOU HAD GAS! I SMELLED IT!"

    Not as bad as yours but ah children...ah children...

  2. That is too funny! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is great. Nothing to be embarrassed about! I'm sure everyone around you was chuckling inside. I know I would be!