Motherhood

How Did Your Parents Embarrass You?

Meet the Parents

I never thought I’d be an embarrassing parent.

But then.

The other day, I left work early to pick Toby up from kindergarten as a surprise, and when it was my turn to step up to the door, I spotted him and did a little dance (jazz hands and the like). That’s the kind of thing that would make him laugh at home, but he gave me a shellshocked look and mouthed, “Just stand.” Ha, oops! Sorry, Toby, never again. At least not in public.

The lovely Stella, who works with us, told us how her mom would (innocently) blast soundtracks when she picked her up from middle school:

My mom would play Sound of Music or Willy Wonka soundtracks with the car windows down. As she pulled up to the pick-up zone, everyone would hear it. “The Hills Are Alive” would be so loud, you couldn’t carry on a conversation. It was mortifying. I know those CDs are still in that car.

This Momfilter post about a ten-year-old boy being embarrassed by his mom’s cool clothes made me laugh. “It’s totally okay,” she wrote. “It’s the normal state of the universe.” And this post about taking a 12-year-old to the de Young museum is a classic.

Have you embarrassed your own kids? How did your parents embarrass you? I’m so curious to hear…

P.S. The crazy things you do as a parent, and remember this hilarious video?

(Photo from Meet the Parents)

  1. i was a sophomore in HS and hanging out at a pizza place with a bunch of seniors after a school function, when over the loud speaker that they use to call out pizza orders, comes “katie hatfield, your mom is on the phone! your mom is on the phone!” i wanted to die. i tried to ignore it, but it happened again and i had to crawl out of my seat in the corner booth and race to the phone. i was freaking out at my mom, but she insisted she never said who she was, but just asked for me so she could tell me she was on her way to pick me up. i guess things like this will never happen now that every kid has a cell phone!

  2. Megan says...

    “Just stand.” Oh, that made me laugh. I can see my two-year old saying something like that to me someday. Now when I do something goofy he gives me a stern look/eyeball roll or says, “No, mommy. I don’t want that anymore.”

  3. Jessica says...

    My dad would put on overalls and these fake “Bubba” teeth whenever I invited friends over and pretend to be a redneck. I never brought anyone over after the first 5 times he did it.

  4. Frankly, since I reject all of the cultural norms from my ethnic background, I think I’m more of an embarrassment to my parents instead of vice-versa :D.

    – Lubna | The Digital Reviewv

  5. Oh, and we should not forget the new found ‘Facebook embarrassments’. How lovely when your parents or aunties or whatever put a reaction on your newest profile picture. Guaranteed to be liked and laughed at by all your friends.

  6. I dare to compare ‘having my dad as a parent’ to Cersei Lannister’s walk of shame scene: a constant embarrassment. I can’t even count the times me and my siblings had vicarious shame during (family) dinners, family outings or when he met our (boy)friends. Oh the horror! I am 22 now and he still causes a lot of public shame, but now I can laugh with it (most of the time). If anyone is interested: I just wrote a blogpost about when my parents visited me in Paris, and yes, it contains embarrassing dad-pictures: http://www.thisisb.be

    xx B

  7. Julie says...

    There are so many cute comments about embarrassing stories turned family-terms, “just drive”, “just stand” “THIS MUSIC IS BEAUTIFUL” — you should totally do a post on unique family-only phrases! The podcast “A Way With Words”, besides being super dorky and awesome, often encourages these weird stories and they are so great.

  8. Tara says...

    Oh man. When I was in primary school and had a play on, my mom would (always, without fail) stand up during my part and yell “YOOHOO! TARAA” and wave until she caught my eye. Afterwards I would always give her a piece of my mind hahaha. Was so mortifying at the time but looking back I think it was really cute and sweet. Love my mom!

  9. My mom is pretty next-level embarrassing. One of her greatest joys in life is penning pieces for the local town paper for even my most minor accomplishments (sadly, they will publish just about anything).

    • haha!

  10. I’m 36 and whenever I swear in front of my mom and other people she reprimands me (and embarrasses me a lot, of course).

  11. My parents would tell their friends (in front of me) how bad my eyesight was. Yes I was that child with glasses since 5….. sob

  12. These are amazing! I love the Top Gun tale.

    When I was a teenager, my Dad would constantly embarrass me, on purpose. Once when we were walking down the street, he did something minor, maybe said something lame, and I told him not to be so embarrassing. He looked at me with a smile, then hunched over, put his arms into a gorilla-like position, and started leaping around like a monkey, saying ‘Is this embarrassing? Oh, am I embarrassing you?’ My goodness. It’s funny now, but at the time I wanted to die.

    He also had trouble pronouncing certain words. One night, we were getting fish and chips for dinner, and I asked for a ‘bucket of wedges’ – like potato wedges. He goes up to the counter – ‘Yes, hello. Could we have three pieces of fish and a bucket of wedgies?’ Wedgies. As in, what happens when someone grabs your pants and pulls them up really high and they go up your butt crack.

    I just know I’ll be the same when I have kids – I’m almost looking forward to it!

  13. Alexandra says...

    I used to dread my mum picking me up from primary school in the summer time as she would wear extremely bright clothes….the most memorable being a magenta pink and bright orange crepe silk skirt and blouse!

  14. Kaitlin says...

    OH I love this. I can so relate. :)
    I was (am) a shy person and my mom loves talking to strangers. We’d go to local museums or on a history trail or something and she’d invariably make friends while I turned 50 shades of red right next to her. She’d notice, then direct everyone to look at me and yell “I’m embarrassing my DAUGHTER” or “We’re TOURISTS IN OUR OWN TOWN.”
    Also, she’s an English teacher at a high school and relishes using teenager slang, but she uses it incorrectly. Like, “Kait, your bedroom is NASTY” (meaning dirty, not cool) or “That Donald Trump is NASTY” (meaning highly objectionable), but she puts just the right amount of emphasis on NASTY to make sure I know she knows it’s a cool high school slang term. So funny–this topic has me giggling.

    • beks says...

      I can relate, we have a family joke that my mom has never met a stranger :)

  15. My husband I once decided to take my mom to the opera in NYC after she told us she’d always wanted to go. My mom is notorious for having no “inside voice.” In the middle of a quiet interlude, she yelled out “THE MUSIC IS BEAUTIFUL!!!” loudly. She got shushed by a LOT of people. I wanted to crawl under my seat… I was a GROWNUP when this happened but it was so random and so funny. To this day, during a quiet moment, my husband I will yell at each other, “THE MUSIC IS BEAUTIFUL!”

    • Kaitlin says...

      YES. My mom sings along always–at the movies, at the symphony, at a musical, to the radio, any time she knows the words. BUT she harmonizes. My sister and I now knowingly roll our eyes but keep quiet–saying something just encourages her to sing louder, hahaha.

  16. A few years ago my mom and I returned to my parents house after a day of shopping. My mom said to go in the house through the garage while she was locking the car. I opened the door into the laundry room to find my dad. Stark naked. He jumped and did his best to cover himself then ran upstairs. I was stunned. I don’t ever recall seeing him without clothes even as a kid. He’s just not that kind of guy! I was just surprised he didn’t hear us drive into the garage.
    Granted he was more embarrassed than I and it wasn’t in public but it was pretty funny. We still haven’t discussed it hahaha.

  17. Nothing gives my parents greater joy than being embarrassing. Luckily, it comes extremely naturally to them. One of my greatest memories that that when we were 12 and 13 and spent most weekends at bar and bat mitzvahs, my mom would threaten to come in and start dancing if we didn’t hurry up and get in the car at the end of the night. She’d walk in and stand there saying let’s go, hurry up, etc. Then she’d walk closer to the dance floor. Than place one foot on it, then just really go for it, for like 30 seconds. I’ve never run so fast in my life!

  18. Lara says...

    hahaha the “just stand” reminded me of this family story:

    My mom picked up my little cousin from school and on the drive home, she started singing along to the radio. My cousin, who was 3 at the time, asked “what are you doing?” and she said “I’m singing”, to which he gently replied with his baby voice : “You don’t have to. Just drive.” haha

    To this day my family answer with “just drive” in any context, whenever something is not necessary. :)

  19. Laura says...

    My parents still embarrass me at times and I’m 27. More importantly my stepdaughter is almost 11, so I get a unique chance at being still mostly hip (maybe?) with things but choosingly embarrassing. Like the other day when I was saying goodbye to her and she was being her newly found hormonal, grouchy and taciturn self. So I just said “Alright, see ya later, have a *cooool* day!” and she gave me the most withering look. Upsides to having young parents, we listen to the same music and know about technology. Downsides, we’re REALLY good at knowing how to be embarrassing.

  20. I am happy to say I made it all the way to adulthood without any major embarrassing stories.
    Until this year.
    I recently lived abroad and met a lovely fella from Germany and we’re doing our best to stay in touch, which means face timing when it’s the wee hours of the morning for him. Oh and I am temporarily living with my family again (which is weird as an adult, let me tell you.) On one such occasion my dad walked into my room with his handgun and told the guy that he likes to keep it on him when guys “make moves on his daughters”. To my relief, my German friend was completely unfazed and asked him what kind of gun it was! Ha! Thanks for the story dad!

  21. Rachel says...

    Y’know I’m pretty sure my parents did embarrass me when I was in High School, but I reallly don’t remember a single specific incident! What I do remember is them being amazingly considerate of my ridiculous teenage fear of ‘being seen with my parents’. We would drive out of town to try new restaurants rather than going to ones near my school and go on adventures in central London rather than locally. Now I realise how silly it was, and I’ll always be so grateful to them for these small acts! I hope one day I can be as thoughtful a parent as they were to me during the awkward teenage phase!

  22. Pamela says...

    Growing up in a small town we would all head to the rink on a Friday night to watch our local hockey team. Each week
    I would beg my mom not to cause a scene. For some reason she hated getting a stamp and would insist at the till that she couldn’t get stamped. Sometimes she would go as far to say she “wasn’t going to get branded like a cow!” This was always met with puzzled looks from the volunteer cashier and I would die in shame.
    Now as adults whenever my brother and I get an opportunity to tease her about this we do. We also insist that she would prefer a stamp over a wristband when getting admitted to events.

  23. I was thinking about your parenting and motherhood posts, and I wonder if you have ever watched the show Parenthood? My husband and I binged on Netflix long before we had our baby, and we both loved it. I think you would really enjoy it too. Just know you might cry during every. single. episode.

  24. Sara says...

    Ahah love reading all these comments! When I was in high school (yes, high school) my dad would not only come pick me up on his pink vespa, but he would bring my little sister along, which was both super embarrassing and illegal! And if this was not enough, as we had just two moto helmets one of us had to wear a climbing helmet.

  25. Around the time I turned 12, my parents decided to start giving me sweatshirts & tennis caps to wear with “Jade-Celene Superstar” monogrammed on them when I got good grades – and actually expected me to wear them. Mortified.

  26. Andrea says...

    I embarrass my kids (13,13,9 & 2) every chance I get! I usually arrive at school, and as they getting out the car I turn the sound full blast to the song “I love Pina Coladas” HAHAHA – OR if they forget to kiss me good bye, I make sure to hoot and shout “you forgot to give yo mama a kiss”…..(they ALWAYS make sure the say good bye correctly now)

  27. These are great! I was always embarrassed of my homemade lunch. It was always so different from typical school lunches. I would have a sandwich on homemade bread and tupperware with a homemade salad (terrible, I know!). I would try to hide my lunch from the other kids who had “normal” lunches like lunchables or potato chips. I now recognize how good I had it!

  28. CATHERINE says...

    “just stand!” Wow that was harsh!!!!

  29. Juliana says...

    My dad LOVES to embarrass me when we go out for lunch together. During our meal he will always WITHOUT FAIL find a way to inform the waitress that we are related and “it’s not a date.” I’m 24, he’s 70. And to make it worse, if she’s cute, he’ll also plug in the fact that he’s single! It still makes me want to disappear into the floor when he does it!

  30. MJ says...

    Since I’m the mother of two teens, I would say my breathing embarrasses my kids.

  31. I was ridiculously (unjustifiably) self-assured at a young age and therefore almost never embarrassed by my parents. Now that I’m a mom of a toddler, I’m just expecting to be incredibly embarrassing one day and I’m afraid I will have no idea what to do, because I legitimately can’t relate. Or I will think it’s hilarious.

  32. Allie says...

    Pretty sure my kids are mortified every time I try to use Apple Pay…

  33. Alice says...

    Grew up, my Dad usually calls me by my nickname or “Alice”. I’m from Taiwan so basically my original name is not Alice but Wei Lin. It’s very uncommon when you have a Western name and use it on a daily basis in Taiwan. That, happens a lot between me and my dad. Whenever I’m out with friends and run into my dad in the neighborhood, he would call me out so loud “Hey Alice! HEY Alice!” I kinda like that. I guess this is more of a good embarrassment rather than a let-me-dig-a-hole-and-hide one. Then I just kinda laugh it off, smile and wave back to him.

  34. Not embarrassed about this (maybe I should have been?) but growing up I had 4 kids in my family and 12 in my aunt uncle’s who happened to live right down the street. We all went to the same primary school, and each parents had one of those huge 80s vans (ours was green, there’s was white.) They’d take turns bussing all 10-15 of us to school. When it was my aunt’s turn she’d blast the NPR airing of the Sousa alarm. My brother and I just loved this and would literally pretend to be conducting a big band, while my older, way cooler cousins tried to melt into the back seat.

  35. katrina says...

    One of my most embarrassing is also the most random – my sister and I were visiting with a friend on our spare bed, which was also a room where my mom sewed…when my mom walked in, made a few small-talk comments, then TOOK OFF her shirt, ironed it, and put it back on, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. ( it was not, my family was extremely modest, and this happened when I was about 16….soooo awkward!) she said something to the affect of, ” Oh come on! We’re all girls here!” to our mortified, and our friends mortified, faces. I still can not fathom what compelled her… she later acted offended that we had been embarrassed!

  36. My dad would always threaten to yell “THAT’S MY GIRL!” at any public or social event at the moment when we were in the spotlight. He never did, but I think he enjoyed giving me and my sisters a good tease.

  37. Rendy Lemke says...

    When my mom embarrassed me: When I was in first grade, I was invited to a birthday party of a classmate. The plan was for me to ride home with this child’s parents after school. My mom bought the birthday present and dropped it off at our school during that day, already wrapped. I had no idea what the gift was until the recipient opened the packaging, and it was discovered that my mom had bought little girl underwear with ruffles on the butt. Underwear. Ruffles on the butt. I wanted to die.
    When my dad embarrassed me: When I graduated from law school, and went to the courthouse to get sworn into the state bar by a judge. As I raised my right hand in order to take an oath to uphold the constitution, my dad yelled out “Don’t forget that oath also includes your second amendment right to bear arms!” To this day, I don’t own a gun and I doubt I ever will.

    • Elaine says...

      Or did he mean “bare arms”? hahah

  38. Christina says...

    When I was 13 my family took a vacation to San Diego. Top Gun came out a couple years earlier and I was totally obsessed with it. So, my dad decided we’d drive over to Miramar Naval Air Station and try to get in, with no security clearance whatsoever. “But she’s seen Top Gun 11 times!” I actually wished they’d open fire on our vehicle, I was so embarrassed.

    • Andrea says...

      LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Leah says...

      That is hilarious.

  39. Karen T. says...

    I’m reading these great comments and simultaneously cracking up and tearing up. My mom was horribly embarrassing when I was a tween (mismatched socks, old beater station wagon, no filter, etc.) but oh, what I wouldn’t give to have another moment (instead of just a memory) with her. Gone way too soon (cancer at 59) but I’m so thankful for the years of her fun and wackiness.

  40. GJ says...

    Between my four parents, let me count the ways…*cringe*

    My mom picked me up and dropped my off at school in a mauve astrovan. I nearly cried tears of joy when she bought a unremarkable Ford Expedition that didn’t stand out.

    I also developed into a 32D at 13 and slouched horribly and had thick, dark arm hair. My mom would tell me (even in front of others) to stick my chest out and to be proud of my family’s “logger arms.”

    Now at 30, I live in a suburban home with my husband and daughter, drive a compact suv and have, apparently, nearly succeeded in my quest to be as vanilla as possible. Oh, and I shave my arms.

  41. Charlotte K says...

    when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade I lost my lunch box somewhere between our house and school. My dad, who was kindness himself, brought a brown paper bag with a substitute lunch he made, to my classroom. The teacher knew him (small town) and happily let him in to hand it over, and I have no idea why but the entire experience was the most mortifying one of my 8 year old life up to that point. Compounded by all the kids saying, “Is THAT your father?” which I have still discovered is what all kids say when parents show up to the classroom!

  42. Caz says...

    Oh man, I remember being a teenager and feeling so embarrassed to walk through the shopping centre with my family in case someone saw! How funny it is when you realise no one cares!

    My dad has a bad memory and I remember once he forgot that I had a friend coming over that day so after being outside working in his shed he then came in to have a shower and walked through the kitchen in a towel and bathrobe while my friend and I were there making a snack! To be fair though, I think he was as embarrassed as I was!

    One of my friend’s mums used to LOVE embarrassing her in high school. I remember going to see a movie with them and we were all lined up outside waiting and as the crowd started moving in to the cinema she started going “BAAA BAAA!” like a sheep really loudly! As 13 year olds, we were mortified.

    I plan to be an embarrassing parent, for sure!

  43. C B says...

    I was just talking to my husband about this last night. My mom is from a very poor immigrant family, but my dad is a typical, wealthy WASP and we grew up in an affluent suburb outside of LA. At a young age, I would get so embarrassed by her frugality, and her refusal to buy cool clothes (if I never see another “Route 66” item of clothing in my life, I’ll be just fine) or to let anything go to waste, or how often she’d exclaim over the price of something. For example, I’ve never carved a pumpkin in my life because she thought it was a waste, so we only got to draw on them, and then she’d kill our creations to make thanksgiving pies. I always thought we were poor because of the way she behaved, and only as an adult did I realize my parents just saved tons of money to support us through college, and have incredible retirement funds they live on now. So I guess it was worth it. And I still think pumpkin carving is wasteful :)

  44. Wendy says...

    When i reached puberty, my Mother would wrap feminine hygene products and deodorent with my Christmas Gifts.

  45. Karen says...

    My fave is a memory from a Roseanne show where DJ was being a butt
    and Roseanne coated her lips repeatedly with red lipstick and told
    DJ she was going to kiss him when she dropped him off.

  46. Rebecca says...

    Unfortunately, I don’t get along well with my dad and he is still trying to embarrass me every chance he gets. I am almost 34. We went to lunch some weeks ago and when I was ready for dessert he tried to tell the waitress that I wanted an entire cheesecake all for myself. He was the one who mentioned getting a cheesecake to go, but maybe he forgot (doubtful).

  47. Maria says...

    Do you remember the first full sentence that your kid said to you? I do, because it was the same, for all of my 3 kids: “Mom, please stop singing!” Talking about embarrassing your kids early on..

  48. This is such a weird one for me… The things that I found myself embarrassed about as a child were things that as an adult I’d consider being a good involved parent.

    Mom was the first to volunteer for anything. When the Brownie Girl Scout troop I was in was going to lose it’s leader, she took over. When she decided she ideologically liked 4H better, she started a 4H group in town. She volunteered at school. She ended up getting a job at my school. She was best friends with my teachers.

    It embarrassed me because I always had this sense that I wasn’t a “normal” kid because of it. I was always kinda dancing in my mother’s shadow and taking advantage of the privileges that got me.

  49. Molly says...

    I was a cheerleader in high school for the football games. Our team wasn’t very good, so basically only the parents would show up. But, the cheer moms were the rowdiest bunch. Not wanting to miss out on anything, my dad would be at every game doing the cheers with us — standing up on the bleachers, full motions and everything. I rarely made it through a cheer without busting out laughing.

    On the converse side, anytime I did something embarrassing (often), my mom would look me straight in the face and say, “You embarrass me, I can embarrass you ten times worse.” Threatening and effective.

  50. Mallory says...

    My dad considered it his job to embarrass us at every possible turn when we were teenagers. He once sang “God Bless America” at the top of his lungs throughout the entire grocery store. His go-to favorite was in the movie theater. He’d leave during trailers to get popcorn, come back and pretend to have lost us in the dark. He’d wander around the front, squinting up at the audience, yelling our names. We’d put one hand up and hide our faces with the other.

    The plus side: I’m basically un-embarrassable now!

  51. Jennyg says...

    My mom used to honk at strangers kissing as she drove by them while we were in the car. She thought she was being clever. I remember one time my best friend was in the car with us and my mom did this. I was mortified but my friend found it hilarious. I almost caught myself doing the same thing with my 10 year old in the car.

  52. Allison says...

    My oldest is only 3, so luckily I have a little bit more time before I become an embarrassment :)

    Past the age of probably 10, I was embarrassed to be seen in public with my family. Didn’t matter the place or activity. It’s so sad, but I thought my peers would think I was uncool if I actually ENJOYED spending time with my parents and siblings. I am the oldest of 5, so my little sisters and brother were always “babies” to me. My parents always took us on fun trips and outings and vacations, and I was a grump. I’m sure I will receive my payback one day.

  53. Jenna says...

    One time my dad was sitting in our driveway getting ready for a BBQ get-together we were having. There were already a couple of people sitting in the driveway waiting for other to arrive. A car pulled up (we had a long driveway leading to the garage/grill) and my dad started waving and yelling COME ON UP, COME UP and got everyone else to yell and wave too, thinking they were a guest. As we looked closer we realized it was a HORRIFIED looking family who was trying to turn around in our driveway and were being accosted by a bunch of weirdos. I was MORTIFIED at the time as the family screeched away in terror, but now I can’t think about it without laughing.

  54. My mom and my older brother once dressed up as ghosts and proceeded to haunt my 7th birthday party. I was so, so mad. My friends loved it though.

  55. Nina says...

    When I was a senior in high school my parents took me and my brothers to the big university near by for the day. We were driving around with no clue where to go or what to do, so we get to frat row and my dad rolls down the window and, with a goofy grin and in his broken English, asks a group of very cute boys, “What’s good about here?!?!”

    I undid my seat-belt and hid under the seat. Really.

  56. I used to be so embarrassed/self-conscious when any of my family would show up to my basketball games in high school. Ha! I have friends who are moms now who are like, “I would never miss my child’s games!” and whose kids request that they be there. But not I. Nope. I was relieved they didn’t come.

  57. Kate says...

    In middle and high school, if we were walking down the street or in the mall, my dad would grab my hand (or try to!) and break into energetic skipping, arms high and pumping him along. I was so embarrassed!

    Now we hold hands and do it together to embarrass my nieces and nephews. :)

    • I have to admit, I was the embarrassed child of a singing Mom. My moody, nobody-gets-me Linkin Park albums became decidedly less cool when my mother was singing along.

      On the plus side, now I love hearing her voice- she chants at our church and directs the choir beautifully :)

  58. Dude, the other day I was singing a Christmas song as we were walking down the street, and Errol was like ‘no singing, just thinking’. I said ‘oh, but I like singing’ and he said ‘but it doesn’t sound good’.

    Way harsh Tai.

  59. Oh man, my Dad just had to be the cool dad – all the time! He would listen to hip-hop very loudly when he picked us up from school with friends, talk about the latest celebrity gossip and always pretended like he was ‘one of the guys’ when he hung out especially with my brothers friends. I thought he was so lame sometimes, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized he really is a cool Dad! He still wants to hang and get drinks, and ever since my brother and I moved out and started our own families, I think my Mom and Dad have a more exciting night life than we do! Parents are awesome, I hope to be half as cool as mine :)

    Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  60. Hahaha. I love this.

    My dad still embarrasses me nearly every time we go out for dinner and he asks for the “Fred” instead of the bill. He even did this while visiting us in Norway, where we live, and jokes don’t always spread across cultures. It never seems to get old for him!

  61. Jenny says...

    After I moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, my parents came up to visit me. We were in a (packed) elevator at the mall, when my mother very loudly said, “I bought you some thongs the other day.” Everyone in the elevator went dead silent until she loudly corrected herself so everyone could hear: “I mean SANDALS.”

    • Karen T. says...

      Awesome. :)

    • Tara says...

      OMG, my mom calls them thongs too! I am constantly like, “MOM, you can’t call them that. SAY FLIP-FLOPS.” And I am 34.

  62. I was embarrassed by EVERYTHING growing up, and it was so freeing in my later teens to realize that people didn’t care what my siblings (or parents) said or did, even if it was about me. But I still hate getting samples. That always embarrassed me so badly, especially if my whole family was in a store and I thought people were looking (never mind that that’s what they’re there for).

  63. Amy says...

    There’s a long list, but I’ll share 2.
    There was that time when my dad gave my college boyfriend a wedgie at a family wedding. Who knows why! I’m just thankful I didn’t have to actually witness it, and only heard about it later. I think my mother was probably even more embarrassed than I was.
    And then once when I was probably 10 or 11, we were at a big beach party with a bunch of other families, and a boy my age used a swear word near me. Well, next thing I know my dad is there scolding him in front of everyone, “Don’t you use that language around my daughter!” Absolutely mortifying.

  64. Marianne says...

    My dad always jokes around children. He loves kids, and basically behaves like a child himself in their company. I find it endearing now, being grown up and seeing that my kids have the funniest grandfsther, but as a child? Not so much. I wished he would shut up and be boring like everyone else.

  65. My mom ALWAYS drove station wagons. These days I think station wagons are ultra-cool but back them my sisters and I used to hate it and we called it the “beaver mobile” bc the front of the car really did resemble beaver teeth. It wasn’t until muuuuch later on that I realized how that nickname could be misconstrued. Sorry, Mom! We were pretty rotten at times.

  66. My dad picked us up after the day in High School (we were too close for a bus) but when we approached the car he would pull forward. NOT funny.

  67. Kelley says...

    My mom always called me booboo as a kid (I’m 25 now and she still does every so often). Once though when she was dropping me off at the bus stop in 4th grade, in a hurry to say goodbye she yelled “BYE BOOBS!!” in front of the entire bus.

    • LOL! I had to laugh at this because I actually call my cat Boobs as a nickname because she has a grooming disorder and her full belly, aka her boobs are always bare without fur. On occasion I’ll forget when we have company over and I’ll call to her, “Boobs! Come here Boobs!” and our guests just look at me like I’m insane while my husband pretends like he has no idea why I’d call the cat that (even though he calls her that too when it’s just us.)

    • Ash says...

      Somehow my dog’s name got similarly abbreviated – then the nickname evolved from BooBoo to Boobie. Which is super weird when my husband is yelling it across the dog park…. luckily we live in the west village, people don’t bat an eye.

  68. emily says...

    It’s funny how when you are in your thirties you are so grateful for MOST of the embarrassing things your parents did. One thing I learned from though, is that my dad ALWAYS used to ask kids “What does your father do?” He was a busy, absentminded, traveling salesman, and often asked more than once, because he would forget which friends he had already met. It was such a bad, old school question, and I remember cringing when my one friend, who had kind of an alcoholic deadbeat dad, always had to answer. Things to note for the future! He didn’t mean anything by it, but it wasn’t the BEST question. Funny thing is, he grew up with an absent dad himself.

  69. Emily says...

    I have a friend whose father ordered custom made buck teeth to wear for their family portrait over 10 years ago. He still wears them and even wore them in his most recent license picture! They are so funny I cried from laughing and she is so mortified every time someone brings it up!

  70. rach says...

    Hah! This memory will never be lost in my heart, it’s a classic! My Dad often picked up my sister & I from our elementary school in his school bus yellow 1976 Volkswagen hatch back, which backfired on the regular as he’d pull up to the pick up zone…

  71. Melissa says...

    Throughout my pre-teen and teen years, I was always mortified that my mom wore her hair in a low ponytail (as opposed to a high one; it was the late 80s). For me this was perpetual proof of her embarassing hippie-ness.

    My daughters are still too little to be embarassed, but I’m quite sure that karma’s going to get me. I can already see the pubescent eye rolls.

  72. Monica says...

    I don’t have moments any that I remember vividly but my mother-in-law has lots of embarrassing moments with her mother. Her mother came over to the US from Germany in her 20’s and her English was good but she still has a thick accent. Once in the car at Burger King she wanted some Whoppers – but the guy taking the order couldn’t understand her because she kept asking for 3 HOOPERS PLEASE!! Another time my MIL was a teenager and at the mall shopping for some bell bottom jeans, her mom went to the sales attendant and said, “Excuse me but where can we find some BIG ASS jeans?!”

  73. Fiona says...

    My dad LOVED to embarrass me on purpose when I was in middle school and high school, but one time stands out as particularly egregious because it was pre-meditated. When he was driving my ninth-grade boyfriend and me to a date at the movies, he suddenly asked, “Hey, Kevin, do you want to hear Fiona’s theme song?” and suddenly started playing the Beatles song that begins with the band very loudly shouting, “I’M A LOSER!” I died.

  74. My parents liked to embarrass me on purpose, because they thought it was hilarious, but I weirdly can’t think of any particular instances. I must have blocked them out!

    I have a three year old and a 20 month old, so they still think I’m cool, but I think I’ve already embarrassed the three year old once or twice. She’s very sensitive about what people say about her, even if it’s positive. My husband and I always talk about that weird adolescent phase when you don’t want anyone to know you have parents, like when you go to the movies with your family and die inside when a friend sees you with them. As if everyone thinks you have your own apartment and car when you’re 13. Ha. It kind of makes me feel better to think back on that feeling because I know it’s just part of their growth. The girl who has cut my hair for the last 10 years is THE COOLEST. Crazy cool hair, tattoos, the whole “cool girl” thing, and her kids are embarrassed that she’s not a “regular mom” (just like in the article you linked). That makes me feel better too. It’s not us, it’s them!

    • Lily says...

      “My husband and I always talk about that weird adolescent phase when you don’t want anyone to know you have parents, like when you go to the movies with your family and die inside when a friend sees you with them. As if everyone thinks you have your own apartment and car when you’re 13.”

      This made me laugh so hard. It’s true though! I remember going to the mall with my mom when I was 13 and walking as far away as possible so I wouldn’t be caught seen with her.

  75. Jennifer says...

    I’m a writer and once when I was in my early thirties I was doing a reading with three other writers in a packed venue. My parents were in the audience. There was an intermission after my turn reading and as everyone was in a big mob trying to get out the door for some air, my dad caught sight of me and yelled, “YOU WERE THE BEST! YOU’RE ALWAYS THE BEST!” Everyone turned to look at me and I turned bright red. But I said, “Thanks DAD.” and everyone laughed. I’m sure the other readers didn’t take it personally.

    • rach says...

      That’s adorable!

    • Lindsay says...

      I love this!

  76. Kaela says...

    My little first grader recently told me not to come get him at the door to his school any more, he said he needs some “alone time” between class and getting in the car, but I suspect my pregnant lady wobble was a little embarrassing to him. He also asked my husband (who is growing out his beard) not to drop him off at the door anymore in the morning because he doesn’t want the other kids to think he doesn’t know how to shave! Ha ha ha. Six year olds. :)

  77. My 8 year old son refuses to smooch me at the bus stop and as if that weren’t enough of a heart break, he mouthes “go away!” through the window after he climbs into his seat. Crushing! Where has my sweet, cuddly boy gone?

  78. Dana says...

    My 8 year old is mortified even I just step inside the school while all his little mates wave and say hi! i love to sing and jiggle in shops if a good song is on, my 15 year old step son hates it and tells me to stop and will walk away, he comes back when he wants something :-)

  79. omg that is so funny, poor Toby LOL. When do we learn to get embarrassed anyway? So funny how the things that were ok at 3 or 4 become deathly unacceptable at 5 lol.

    Similar to the soundtrack anecdote, my dad always insisted on playing NPR on the way to school, when the cool parents played the radio and kinda blasted their music on the way up the driveway for the kids to get a kick out of.
    My dad, once noticing this, began to roll down his windows and bump his NPR on the way in…sometimes with the added bonus of hitting the brake repeatedly as faux-hydraulics.

    …He’s so annoying. lol

    http://oprahismyreligion.wordpress.com

  80. Sarah says...

    I had my son at a young age, so I’ve always been much younger than the other moms from my son’s class. When he started junior high, I noticed that he wouldn’t even acknowledge me at school events or functions. One day, I asked him why he wouldn’t talk to me when he was around his friends, and he told me it was because all his friends thought I was hot! Haha, I guess there could be worse things!

  81. My mom does yoga on airplanes! She started doing it when I was a teenager and ar first I was mortified ( think downward dog in the aisle) she finally broke me though and now she can do anything and it won’t get to me. I just decided to embrace her weirdness and Let her freak flag fly. She’s even admitted that it gives her a thrill to try and embarrass my brothers and me.

  82. Twyla says...

    Oh my gosh – I’m 39 and I’m constantly cringing at some of the things my mom says. It’s like she has absolutely no filter about what’s embarrassing at all. The other day she commented about a friend’s 11 year-old daughter and said “She’s starting to develop. I noticed she’s getting nipple buds.” OH MY GOD!!!

    • Jamie says...

      Lol that’s exactly how I feel about my mom. NO FILTER. Whenever I bring my boyfriend home for holidays she always manages to say something embarrassing. Love her though.

  83. Liv says...

    My father, right after my parents’ divorce, would show up in a rented red mini van for Valentines Day with hearts on the car. He would write happy birthday in shaving cream on our birthday’s. He waited outside to pick us up.

    The best dad :) but I didn’t realize it then.

  84. I can’t believe Toby is such a little person already! Can he just freeze at this age?

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  85. Lea says...

    This is going to be unrelated but I would love to read an introduction to Stella, like the one you did for Caroline a while back now :)

  86. E E Faris says...

    Just tuck this thought away, in case you need it. One of my friends had a daughter who started middle school and insisted that she had to be picked up every day. The commute home was about six blocks. My friend said, “I’ll pick you up, but I’m going to get out of the car and give you a big hug and kiss when I get there.” The kid walked home every day for two years. Problem solved.

  87. Jessica says...

    I went to private school and most of the moms worked at fancy jobs, drove nice cars, and dressed in suits. My mom, a single “free spirit” used to come pick me up on her bicycle (I would stand on the pegs), hair frizzy, often wearing 80s neon leggings and an army green coat with a hole in the armpit. It was mortifying. She also didn’t shave her armpits…excruciating at the pool in the summer. But now I realize what a gift her independence was. Not only that, my high school friends LOVE HER. She has them over for dinner even though I live out of state and we’re in our 30s!

    My 2-year old still thinks I’m the bomb but my husband has assured me that I will embarrass her a lot. Apparently doing dances in public, singing along to songs that are on in stores, using a wrapping paper tube as a microphone at target, not knowing how to whisper, and aggressively getting in line at the airport gate will all be problematic. Oh well, I am who I am and my mom should probably get the credit!

    • rach says...

      I too want to a wealthy school in my ritzy obnoxious town. We weren’t rich. Your Mom sounds amazing! & so much like my free spirited Mom. My friends also still adore her & hang out with her states away! We must be kindred spirits

  88. steph says...

    I thought my mom was a dork but, to my friends, she is the cool mom. I embarrass my son by doing a happy dance, too. Yet, he is delighted when I sing the “Fresh Prince” theme song. Kids ;)

  89. Laura says...

    My dad’s favorite way to embarrass me when I was growing up was to sing at the top of his lungs whenever we were in a public parking lot. Song of choice was an operatic rendition of Memories from Cats, in which he subbed in the words “LAURAAAA LAURA I LOOOOVE YOUUUU.”

  90. Emmanuella says...

    I have a lot of siblings so on days when neither of my parents could drive us all to school, my dad would send us in a limo because it was cheaper and more practical. TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT!!

  91. A says...

    My parents were never shy about nudity around the house… until my dad forgot my friend was sleeping over and brought me a cup of tea in the morning with everything hanging out. My friend thought it was hilarious, my dad thought it was hilarious. I, on the other hand, wished I was dead.

  92. Jody says...

    I’m sure I never embarrass my 12 year old daughter (HA) so no stories to share there but my husband has a good one from his childhood… His mom used to kiss him goodbye at the bus stop every morning, as moms do, but one morning a poorly timed kiss meant all of his friends saw it happen. He stepped on to the bus to hear his friends proudly declaring his new nickname of “Mr. Kissums”.

  93. Barbara says...

    My sister was a popular girl and she found my dad endlessly embarrassing so he actually got a tee shirt and stenciled the words “THIS DAD BELONGS TO …” on it and then he would windsurf by her when she was teaching sailing. He even wore it under his coat and tie at her college graduation…

    • anonymous says...

      My dad still embarrasses me all the time. He loves to put stickers on my siblings’ and my mom’s back when they’re not looking, and he’s really good at placing them without us noticing. One time in my twenties he and I went to a fancy fundraiser, and I walked around the whole night with a sticker on my coat that said “Hi, my name is Dad”. I was miffed at first, but my dad is the best in many ways and I’ve learned to love his humor. I still have the sticker from that night (maybe I’ll frame it someday :)

  94. my parents were there head chaperones for everything (which was already embarrassing). then when i had my first boyfriend in 9th grade, my dad CHANGED THE RULE BOOK on the trip with an addendum of “No PDA”. i was mortified.

  95. When I was in 6th grade, I asked my parents if we could rent a limo for my big birthday party. [Some of the wealthy families in town had done that for their kids and I thought it was THE thing. If only I could get a limo, I’d be cool/popular.] My parents — of course — scoffed at the idea, but I continued to beg.

    The day of my party, I got a message at school from my parents that said, “Happy Birthday, Rachel! We’ll pick you and your friends up with a limo!” I told the whole school. After classes let out, I stood with 13 friends and half of the school in front of the building, waiting anxiously for the limo. Soon, my parents’ tan station-wagon and purple station-wagon pulled up, with shoe-polish writing all over the windows. My dad got out of the first car wearing a vest, newsies hat, gloves, and holding a sign that said, “Rachel’s Party Limo.” I died. My friends thought it was amazing. It was. They had my favorite music blaring and all kinds of decorations and candy inside the cars.

    I didn’t talk to my dad for a few days, I was so mad. But now I tell this story with pride. I cannot wait to be as ridiculous with my own children someday.

  96. I am a ceramic artist and when I pick my daughter up from school in my work clothes (flecked in clay), she is mortified. SHE IS FOUR.

    • AmyB says...

      Ha! My five year old (boy) doesn’t even notice the clay, but his teachers were a little confused until I explained what I do :)

  97. My brothers and I used to be so embarrassed when my mom would complain about something at a store or restaurant. Like if she was returning a pair of shoes or buying tickets for a play or purchasing a new scarf, she wouldn’t hesitate to speak up if something seemed amiss or unfair. “I was under the impression this was on sale and you over-charged me, etc.”

    We’d always whisper under our breath and beg her to stop, but now, as an adult, I do this all the time! I’m never afraid to ask a question or confront someone in a polite, respectful way. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was teaching me how to advocate for myself, and this single skill has proved so useful in my life.

    • YES the exact same thing in my family. I was always embarrassed of my mom returning food at a restaurant for being undercooked, etc… but now I do it all the time!

  98. SJ says...

    When little, if I did too much whining, I had to stand in the corner until I could turn around and smile
    When 15 1/2, I had a crush on a boy in another school. When he called me to see if I could go to the movies with him, via my mother….. I had to say, “Call me when I’m 16. ” He never did.

  99. Zoe says...

    My Dad would make me sing “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” as a duet when he drove me to kindergarten/elementary. It would be just us two, but I was still mortified. And my mom was perpetually the head of every committee for each activity we were a part of. Fine arts department, rowing club, show choir, ballet, etc. If there wasn’t a committee, she’d create one. Embarrassing at the time, but she really impacted our community. Example: She created fundraisers so everyone in my show choir could afford the yearly trip. Everyone knew and loved her.

  100. My oldest is only 3.5 so I’m getting really close to her being embarrassed by me! I hope I don’t, but I’m sure I will, because it’s just nature for kids to be embarrassed by their parents!
    My dad was always goofy and he never embarrassed me (I thought he was funny) but my mom would like, fix my hair in front of my friends, or tell me to stand up straight and that made me so mad. Now looking back it’s SO silly and NOBODY cared, but in the moment I was like, “MOM STOP!” ha!

  101. Amy says...

    My dad used to unbuckle his belt in public to re-tuck in his shirt, then buckle it back up. I vividly remember him doing this at Blockbuster all the time. I would run away.

    • LOL My husband does this now and I always curse him under my breath and walk away!

  102. May says...

    I’ve been using the word dude for over fifty years. I recently became aware using the word “Dude” isn’t cool with the son in a group setting. Talking in private like that is okay though. :) Gray hair and parenthood have conditions that are much the same no matter what your ages are.

    Fun times…asked to pick up a tape on my way home from work many years ago…I walk into the music store on a cold winter day all wrapped up like granny, look around, and then ask the clerk, “Where do I find Metallica?” I thought he was going to faint from the look of shock on his face. After savoring the moment, in an act of compassion, I told him its for my son.

  103. I was just thinking about this, since moving into our “new” 135-year-old home and dreaming about raising our future children here, and realizing that they will likely resent the fact that their parents chose to purchase a tiny old house, full of “charming details,” because that’s the natural order of things. Kids are supposed to resent their parents and want to do things differently. I was mortified by my mom’s outfits and hairstyles in the 90s, and had to approve any outfits she would wear to my school.

  104. Kellie P. says...

    My dad has always embarrassed the crap out of me. I am shy and attention-avoiding, while he is loud and loves cracking jokes in front of a crowd. He is the guy who asks for “creamofsomeyoungguy” (a la Wayne’s World) at a restaurant. Mortified.

    But six years ago, my dad randomly emailed my little brother’s former hockey coach and told him to contact me, his single daughter who “looks like her mother.”

    The coach turned out to be the man of my dreams and is now my husband. All of the embarrassing moments have been worth that one bold move. :)

    • This is adorable!

    • That’s so sweet!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so, so sweet!!

    • Jody says...

      Gave me chills :)

  105. Hilary says...

    I guess I’ve entered the stage where I’ve become the embarrassing one. I was informed recently by my 7 year old she was embarrassed when I pulled her into my lap at her younger sister’s concert. I thought I was saving her from sitting on the floor when there weren’t any other seats but apparently not. So mortifying that I did this in front of her friends. I said thanks for letting me know but inside I was thinking oh little one it is only the beginning!

  106. Tina says...

    TBH I can’t wait to embarrass the hell out of my kids by being a big dork ;) …beats being embarrassed for darker reasons like your parents fighting while your friends are over or ignoring you altogether.

  107. nohatnogloves says...

    We used to wait till my son was walking down the road, then open the bedroom window and yell: Mek oos proud son! In a fake Yorkshire accent. Then we would cackle with laughter.
    Now he lives in South Korea. Payback.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha that is amazing.

  108. AmyB says...

    I’ve actually asked my oldest, a 16year old boy, if I’m ever embarrassing. I dress a lot like he does, as in I steal his shirts and flannels as he outgrows them, and shop the women’s departments at some of the same places he likes. He actually thinks it’s pretty cool – and apparently his friends do too! Friends and coworkers of his have commented on how cool it must be to have a mom who ISN’T embarrassing. I do, however, loudly refer to him as “pookie” whenever he’s being a pain out in public ;)

    • I love this. My mom always dressed young-ish but not like she was TRYING to be young, it was always just her style. Jeans, converse, t-shirt… I always thought she was cool, and still do! And hey, that’s my go-to uniform now, too :)

  109. My parents are still embarrassing me today… and I’m nearly to my 30s. Not sure that it will ever end.
    It’s pretty much just little things that they do. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re first generation immigrants and really don’t understand social norms as well as they should because of that.
    Anyway, I suppress that stuff, so let’s just not talk about it!

  110. Jan Urick says...

    Dear Joanna,
    I am a 57 year old mom of two 20 something sons. Can’t think of an embarrasing moment but know that I was the uncool mom in my sons’ eyes, for some of those years.
    But just as each of your hands are different, so are your children. And my first son would have me drop him off and say “no kiss”,insert eye roll, in kindergarten,insert my heart breaking. My younger son, bless his heart, held my hand all the way home from school, THROUGH sixth grade–we walked.
    It stands to reason, the oldest is the leader, but the younger one holds on to you a bit longer because he can, and perhaps because he knows!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, i love that you guys hold hands. toby still asks me to cuddle him in my lap at the park sometimes, which i really cherish :)

  111. katie says...

    My dad has always insisted on calling me his “FAVORITE DAUGHTER!” (typed in all caps, because it is literally always yelled), as in “have you met Katie, my FAVORITE DAUGHTER?” or “did you know my FAVORITE DAUGHTER got a solo in the school musical?”. It was horribly embarrassing as a teenager, but now I know he means it to be funny and loving. Ah, dads!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that.

  112. in my religion’s culture, turning sixteen means you can also start dating…. so on my sixteenth birthday, my mom went out of her way to make a gigantic poster of my face to hang in my religion class with the words “LOOK WHO’S SIXTEEN?!” AND “DATEABLE” in very large letters. she also brought my favorite cookies- the lofthouse ones with the thick frosting- for everyone in the class. she meant well (i think?) but i was so embarrassed by the whole spectacle that i couldn’t even eat a cookie and probably spent more time hiding in the bathroom than in class.

    • Jeanne says...

      Omg, I think this one wins the prize!

  113. Holly says...

    My sister and I used to be mortified whenever our mom would pull into a stranger’s driveway to turn around when we were on (GPS-less!) car trips together. We would even duck down in the back seat, convinced the homeowner would otherwise spot us and blame us for our mom’s shameless driving.

    Now, of course, I pull into other people’s driveways all the time when I’m lost in the suburbs!

    • This reminds me of how my dad used to embarrass me as a kid because we were the only house on a long country road so people would constantly pull into our driveway to turn around or check directions and my dad would usually run out of the house yelling at them to “get off his property!” Really he’s a nice guy but after 50 years of having people pull into your driveway every week, he just started to get fed up.

    • I should also mention, as an adult now, I will make a three point turn on a main road before I will use someone’s driveway to turn around. Ha!

  114. Anna says...

    Haha aw. Mm I remember my mom came to pick me up from ballet with an unstylish hat on (upstate NY in the winter and she was trying to dress warm) and a girl in the troop said “who’s mom is that?!” I wouldn’t of thought any thing about it but it was really embarrassing and looking back on it.. Kids can be so cruel!

    • Carrie says...

      Aw that makes me sad :( That would’ve hurt my feelings for my mom’s sake…I can imagine how you must’ve felt.

  115. manuela odell says...

    Not only did I have the most embarrassing parents but I had three brothers, and when you have a big family, you just make it your business to embarrass eachother.
    So…here’s a list:
    – One time in debate club, I had to argue a very hard point. I lost to the other side, which was fine. It’s debate club – I volunteered. Unfortunately, my mom did not thing it was fine, and stood up after my last point to make a very non-sensical argument for me. She has a very thick Colombian accent….*crickets*
    – One time, my little brother filled my backpack with miniature mayonnaise containers. Students in my class thought I had a weird mayonnaise hoarding addiction.
    – One time, my dad called me “the fastest shitter this side of the Mississippi”. In front of my friends. Two were boys.
    – My mom and dad picked me up from school one day in full Abba/70s/disco costumes. My mom had a long blonde wig and a very colorful jumpsuit and my dad had gold pants and a silky blouse with an afro and star-shaped sunglasses. They had just bought their halloween costumes and thought it would be hilarious.
    In retrospect, it is hilarious. All these stories have made me who I am – I can make fun of myself, I love to laugh, and I have a treasure trove of stories of my weird and wacky family.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha these are so funny. i’m loving these comments so much.

    • Eliza says...

      Omg these stories made me laugh out loud. The mayonnaise containers… Your family sounds awesome! :)

  116. When was in high school, my mom came to pick me up from softball practice and I guess she had been in the middle of getting her hair colored, so her hair was in crazy foil strips! I started shrinking down in my seat so nobody would see me with the crazy lady…and she rolled down the windows and started singing and dancing and wouldn’t stop until I sat back up :) I always imagine myself turning it up a notch in the same way if my kids tell me I’m embarrassing them! haaa.

  117. Rachel says...

    My mom loved to sit in the front row during my various school year performances (and graduations!) wearing bunny ears or googly glasses just to try to make me laugh. It was HORRIFYING. Looking back, however, it’s a pretty fond memory. I did need to lighten up a bit. :)

  118. Elizabeth says...

    When a tune would come on the radio that my mom really loved, she would CONDUCT it. We’d be riding through town (or worse- stopped at a red light), and it felt like EVERY person on the sidewalk was staring at us. I was completely mortified.

    Of course, now I love all her quirks and am so grateful for my goofy mom. Good thing, too–She got a convertible a few years back and now I know, without a doubt, that everyone is staring at us.

  119. Lauren E. says...

    No one was around to witness this moment, but it was the most mortifying moment of my life all the same. I was 17 and working with much older (23!) kids at an amusement park for the summer. I had my very first drink with them and the next day was visibly hungover when my mom called me into the kitchen of our house, started crying, and asked me what was going on because something was obviously wrong. She wailed through streaming tears, “I don’t know if you’re doing drugs, if you’re drinking, if you’ve just had your first SEXUAL EXPERIENCE!” I was the most responsible teenager ever and after one bottle of Boone’s Farm felt like a total degenerate! Only mothers.

  120. Wendy D says...

    Dancing in the car to songs on the radio. Face palm from my 14 year old, every time.

  121. Lana says...

    Hahahah! When I was in fourth grade my mom popped a Gem cassette into the car stereo and blasted it as loud as it would go and told my best friend that it was my favorite tape of all time. She was joking and (I think?) she thought I would laugh, but instead I burst into tears and haven’t forgotten about it 25 years later!
    On a side note: my daughter (who is in kindergarten like Toby) just had her winter program. I was waving at her from the audience and she mouthed and gestured, “Stop waving! Video tape me with your phone like everyone else!” The lady sitting next to me died of laughter. So much for being in the moment!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha that’s an awesome line.

  122. Anitra says...

    Haha so funny! My daughter Hazel is Toby’s age and has started to tell me “mom, just stop” when I do something silly in front of “real” ppl haha! My mom used to embarrass me by always accidentally driving in the bus lane at school. She would get stuck in between the buses and I was so embarrassed !!!

  123. One time, my mum called me ‘honey’ in front of another kid when I was about 10 and the other girl said ‘UGH your mom still calls you HONEY!?’ but instead of being embarrassed, I was more embarrassed for the other girl for thinking it was gross that my mum obviously loved me.

    BUT THEN ONE TIME my dad did something actually very embarrassing…he dressed up as a (female) gypsy fortune teller for my 11th birthday party and pretended to read everyone’s palms…complete with lipstick, giant fake beauty spot, lacey headdress and earrings made from shower curtain hooks! He also bought an original 1950s pink Cadillac and I was mortified to be picked up in it.

    But all of these things definitely don’t seem embarrassing, and are actually rather lovely, once you get past your teens!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my mom still calls me honey, and i still call her mommy! :) haha some things never end, you’re so right.

  124. Amy L says...

    Harrison Ford was on Ellen DeGeneres’s show recently and she asked him what he does that embarrasses his kids and he responded, “I come home.”
    Made me laugh so much. Will Smith also has many hilarious things to say about teens and embarrassing them (such as kissing his son on interviews to show him how much he loves them while he is mortified and fights him off). Love it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a classic answer, love it.