Ignore your Child in Public and Earn Major Brownie Points

I recently won at the slot machine of parent coolness. The lights were flashing, the alarms were going off. Coins were pouring out. (So now you know how long it’s been since I stood at a slot machine). My husband and I had a meeting at my son’s school. We showed up just as the kids were changing classes. Seconds after wondering aloud if we would pass him in the hallway, I saw his freckles in the distance. “There he is,” I said to my husband. “Pretend you don’t see him.” My husband never found him in the crowd, but as I walked by him, I intentionally turned my head away just as he pretended to say something very important to his friend next to him. Hee hee. Sure.

When he arrived home, I mentioned we had had a meeting at his school. He seemed a bit squirmy when I brought it up. Guilty conscience for pretending not to see me, perhaps? I mentioned that I saw him in the hallway and he practically read me a dissertation on all the reasons that just wasn’t possible. It was almost convincing. But moms have a certain radar, don’t they? When I finally started laughing and told him I purposely ignored him and knew he had ignored me, too, he let out a relieved sigh. Then I grabbed him up in a bear hug (which is permitted, provided all doors are closed and shades drawn) and told him I almost started jumping up and down as I pointed and screamed, “Look, there he is, my son, my son, so good to see you, are you having fun today in school, are these your friends, ooooooo, how nice, look how cute you boys are,” but I decided to play it cool. That got a good laugh out of him because he knows that’s not my style.

I must admit, all of this “do not acknowledge me in public” stuff is new for me. I was never embarrassed to be in the presence of my parents and I can’t remember my siblings or friends feeling that way either. At first, I felt pretty paranoid about it, but then I noticed that a lot of kids my son’s age felt exactly the same way. What’s up with that?

Were you embarrassed by your parents as a kid? Or, 😀 as an adult?