Walking on eggshells

Embarrassing parents

I’d always looked forward to a time when I could embarrass my children just by turning up to collect them in the wrong jumper, but I’d assumed I’d have to wait until they were teenagers before this particular source of enjoyment was open to me.

But already, I’m not allowed to run, speak or sing in public, and my son’s only eight.

On our morning walk to school I have to fall suddenly silent in the middle of whatever I’m holding forth on, as soon as Ben sees someone approaching us on the pavement. I’m only allowed to crank up again once the stranger has passed.

I’ve asked him why he thinks they care what I’m saying, but all he does is hiss at me,
“Ssshhhh!”

My daughter has no such qualms, and her joyful tones can be heard chatting to invisible friends from half way down the street. This also annoys her brother.

Perhaps it’s a boy thing.

He stopped letting me kiss him goodbye in the playground when he became a Junior, but says a hug is just about acceptable if I confine it to the path between the trees, where few fellow pupils will spot our loving embrace.

But today I went into his class (I’m a parent governor) to observe a literacy session, and he sidled up to me for a hug and a kiss.

This, apparently, wasn’t embarrassing.

How can a parent be expected to know the rules when they change with the wind, the mood and probably the phases of the moon?

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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