We recently asked readers to write us about their most embarrassing moments as parents. We smiled and laughed at the tales about moms and dads so frazzled that they almost forgot to take the baby off the car, and actually did forget to put on their pants and to remove the dribbly diaper from their interview attire.
We also got baby-talk sagas about kids who said the darndest things. One we couldn't print verbatim was about a toddler who stood with her mama on a crowded city street, screaming and pointing delightedly at a big red truck. Trouble was, she pronounced "tr" like the letter "f." You get the picture.
Here's a sampling of others, and thanks for sharing with us:
My most embarrassing moment as a new mom came around Christmas 1976, when my husband and I were invited to a holiday dinner given by the Glendale Bar Assn. I was seated next to one of the attorneys.
Noticing his horrified stare, I became aware that I had automatically reached over and cut the meat on his plate into bite-sized chunks fit for a toddler. Mortified, I tried to explain and promised myself to mingle with people my own age more often.
--Isabelle H. Meyer, Glendale
Heading up the coast on vacation with four kids under 10, we stopped at a small town for lunch in a park next to a cemetery. We ate, got back in the car and took off.
Suddenly, someone hollered, "Where's Jeff? Oh, my God, he isn't with us. Go back to the park!"
There he was, sitting on a grave marker, crying. The caretaker was consoling him. We hugged, apologized, thanked the caretaker and took off again.
With Jeff now almost 50, we still talk about our Most Embarrassing Moment as parents.
--Fred and Mary Merrill, Inglewood
Prepared to sell myself to the hilt, I handed my 9-week-old baby to my sister, grabbed my resume and headed out the door. I was conflicted about going to work so soon after the baby--and also about what my potential employer might think.
The interview went very well. When everyone rose to shake hands, I realized that these five gentlemen and I had spent two hours together--no minor investment of time. I was sure I'd gotten the job. I hadn't even mentioned my infant--the topic never came up. I was stepping high as I made a quick stop in the restroom before heading home. At the sink, I glanced in the mirror to check how I looked.
That's when I saw it. There, on my left shoulder, over my tailored business suit, was a burping diaper covered in spit and drool.
I decided I wasn't yet ready to leave my baby. But I didn't have to worry about how to break the news. They offered the job to someone else.
--Linda Folsom, Glendale
Our son Cameron (then 2) became restless while we were shopping in a quaint Texas town last November. So my husband took him to the grassy central plaza to run around. A few moments later, I saw Michael furiously ripping off Cameron's clothes--in the middle of town!
My son saw me and exclaimed "Mommy, mommy, I have ants in my pants!" Michael had sat Cameron on a colony of fire ants.
These ants can be dangerous, but we were lucky. The town pharmacist gave us cortisone to calm the bites and a candy bar to calm the tears.
--Diane and Michael Neimand, Northridge
Due to my wife's postpartum medical complications, our twin baby girls were at my in-laws' home while I juggled work, visiting them and visiting my wife in the hospital. During one visit she asked, "Did anyone see you wearing that when you came here?"
I was wearing a T-shirt adorned with baby spit, plaid flannel pants, brown loafers and no socks. I told her I had passed her internist in the hall (the father of adult twins) and he had just chuckled at me.
It was then she pointed out that my "pants" were actually pajama bottoms, with "GOOD NIGHT" printed on the back.
--Amor Hollingsworth, Fullerton
When the girls were still little enough that I could take them to buy candy for their Easter baskets, I parked in front of the candy store, hustled them in and told them to wait by the door.
I rushed with my selections so they wouldn't see what I was buying. As I dashed out to the car and put the girls into the back seat, I noticed a few items I didn't recognize. I dismissed the thought and closed the door.
As I opened the front door, I saw a woman standing on the curb smiling at me.
I stopped when she said, "I think you have the wrong car."
--Margaret Rearden, Simi Valley
It's been 21 years, but I can still remember standing with our 2-year-old daughter Stephanie in a long, slow line in the post office. When a rather obese man came in with his wife, Stephanie approached him. In a clear and unfortunately loud voice, she asked, "Why you so fat? You big fat!"
I was mortified, but his wife saved the day. She kindly answered, "He's fat because he eats too much and he shouldn't."
I've always been grateful to her for recognizing the innocence of a 2-year-old's question.