Sometimes our kids remind us that we need to be very mindful of what we say. At first I thought this was limited to swear words and sexual innuendo, R-Rated things. No one wants to end up at therapy watching their child act out a domestic violence scene with role-play Barbie. Okay. Got it. Watch what you say. Turns out, anything you say can and will be used against you in a grocery store near you.
First off, I feel like I need to preface this story with a touch of background information. High School was an odd time for everyone and my high school was like any other. The guys would make up games to break down social barriers such as touching a boob or causing another guy some form of blunt nut trauma. The latter was usually a “cup check” kind of game. Very direct. This started with cave men and lives on with shows like ‘Jackass’. The boob touching takes a more creative approach. Doorbell was the game. The game involved pretty girls and the guys who liked them. Rules are, When an unsuspecting nipple is a little cold or just making itself known the guy pokes it and screams “doorbell” and runs away. Hilarious right? Right. Sexual harassment in a place known for self-esteem issues, where could that go wrong?
Fast forward a thousand years and I am a grown man with a child of my own. All my dreams are achieved and I live in a house that costs less than a nice car. One hot summer day I am sitting in the living room of my mansion. The window mounted air conditioner can’t quite reach all the way across the room so naturally I have my shirt off. My three year old daughter climbs on the couch and sits beside me to watch Criminal Minds or Dora the Explora’, I can’t remember which. She looks over at me and unexpectedly pokes me in the nipple. My mind races back to high school almost instantly. I don’t even look over from the TV and say “ding dong!”. She laughs, “Ha ha you are a doorbell daddy!”. Then Dora yells at us about a map and my daughter is distracted. That is the entire event. Harmless family fun.
Now let’s go to Wal-Mart weeks later. Just me and the kiddo shopping for cereal and whatnot. The grumpy middle-aged checkout lady is taking her sweet ass time with the shopper in front of me. We are bored. Wal-Mart never has enough lanes open so the two lanes that are open beside me are packed with people who are bored too. Looking for a fun game to pass the time, my daughter grabs the front of my shirt and says, “Daddy! Let me see your Ding Dong!”
Holy shit. This walking megaphone just tuned in the radar of every mother in a three aisle radius. My mumbling reply of, “Shhh we don’t play that here” did very little to ease their minds. I felt like iPhones were snapping photos of ‘the creepy guy in the Superman shirt’ for police to use in the lineup. In my mind I could see the checkout lady peering into a one-way mirror and pointing, “That’s Him!”. I tried to play cool and smile but I was thinking of listing my house for sale and joining some branch of the military. Dear baby Jesus, how could you allow this?
If your child has never requested to see an awkward body part in public then you could be a better parent than me. You’re welcome.
Underdaddy to the Rescue.