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October 10, 2006


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I think the success of parenting is measured by how they embarrass their kids without even trying.


Last week, I told my husband that my ice cream smelled funny. When he leaned over to sniff it, I shoved the cone up his nose. I'm STILL laughing about it. Him? Not so much.

Woman with Kids

Regardless of how fun or serious Peanut is, there will come a time when she's mortified by you. Simply because you're her parents. Don't fight it, go with it. If you're embarressing to her already, you may as well enjoy it.


The scent-emitting, vibrating-pillow coffee clock is a brilliant idea. You should submit it to Sharper Image!


I'm reading a book right now that champions playful parenting and being silly and getting down on the floor to have fun. Approriately enough its called Playful Parenting.

I'd say you should read it, but I don't think it could teach you anything new. At least it justifies your parenting "style"


You've got it wrong. The goal is to embarrass your children as much as possible. If you were the most staid, uptight parents in the world, she would still be embarrassed by your mere existence, so you have to embrace the shame and really give her something to work with. At least that's what Dr. V and I tell each other after the traditional good-night wet willy.

(Seriously, though, I can't think of a better example to set for her than being goofy and loving towards each other. My daughter's favorite thing to say these days is, "I can SEE you guys!" We've also taught her that an appropriate response to catching your parents kissing is to yell, "Aargh! My eyes! It burns!")



I read your post and I feel embarassewd for Peanut. Mission accomplished.

For our generation there was a shame in perhaps that our parents might have ot spoken english well, or had weird habit due to their upbrining in Korea.

Congratulations, you and Bosslady have successfully navigated that silly cultural obstacle to move onto straight up embarssing behavior that knows no socioeconomic boundaries.


Dude, being silly and having a sense of humor are the BEST qualities in a parent. I think it's awesome you and Boss Lady are so laid back.

You might end up embarrassing Peanut if she turns out to be super-serious, but that's way better then being the lame, boring, I'm too self-conscious to do anything counterpart to a playful, extroverted child.


my oldest is 8.

and she is just as totally silly as we are.

she started out, as an infant, acting more like my serious sister, but then I started to grow on her, apparently...

my sister says she is an exaggeration of me.


Playfulness is an excellent quality in a parent.

And you gave me a great idea for a trick to play on my newly wed husband tonight. Just know that because of your silliness somewhere out there a newly wed wife will be slobbering on her husband's face.

If that ain't consolation, then I don't know what is.



on one hand, i feel totally embarrassed for the Peanut because my mother used to try her best to embarrass the hell out of me. she loved to sing opera - and was very good at it - so she'd sing whenever possible, like when waltzing through the grocery store aisles. but on the other hand, i think it would be awesome to embarrass a kid, in fact it's great fun when i have my friends' kids with me.

she'll get you back someday, MD. never fear.



I like Bosslady more and more with each entry...

And you can't tell me you NEVER have a layover in Hartsfield/Atlanta. Everyone goes through Atlanta. It's, like, in the Constitution or something.

Janet a.k.a Wonder Mom

I think you are both a ball! Peanut is lucky to have you. I can't wait until she starts to play silly games with you...that'll make for fantastic blogging!!!

Until then...keep on'a lickin'


Life is too short to be serious, especially with kids around. We can so get along with you and your BL!

Say hi to Bill's ex. while you're there in ARKansa (saying it with the southern draw).


There is no escaping the inevitability that, for a period of time, all kids are embarassed by their parents and think they are idiots.


Remembering your last post with the picture of Peanut's bucket hat, I think you're safe.

How About Two?

No matter how goofy the child is, or how goofy a person they grow up to be (and I fit into both categories), they will be embarrassed by their parents regularly (as I was).

Pickle's Papa

The 'kid doesn't match the parents' scenario happened to my in-laws who had a daughter, my wife's older sister, who was born into a theatre family with the childlike sensibility of an OCD accountant that didn't deal well with change.

If it weren't for the migraine headaches this caused the girl by age 6 - it would have been really funny.


Hi, MD! I'm not from Arkansas but close - North Central Texas. Love your blog! But ew, not the face-lick thing! The wet willie is funny, though!


My kids would KILL to have you guys for parents. I think I need to take some lessons from you and Boss Lady.


Even if the Peanut has the same sense of humor as you and Boss Lady, there will be a point when she will be absolutely mortified by you. And you won't even have to do anything but exist for this to happen!

This is what is known as "adolesence." I'm not looking forward to it, either.


I agree with Hanh, a measure of your success as a parent will be dependent upon how well you can embarrass your child. My hubs will be practicing his skill for inducing embarrassment in private now, but he fully plans to deploy those skills in public once our Little Goose reaches dating age.


I love that you made a new tag called, "putting Elmo stickers on your naked body." I now know where I will end up the next time I search for that. So mister world traveler, how come you never make it too LA? Huh? How come? I think you and Boss Lady and Hubby and I would have a blast.

Oh and from what you've said about the Peanut in the last year, she is just like her parents. In fact, she may end up being worse.


omg! my mom is a total weirdo. i LOVE it! when i was a kid, we used to go to the supermarket and when no one was looking she would pretend she was this one eyed, hump backed, drooling, bucktoothed monster, chasing me down, with a bag of brussel sprouts down the aisles...

and of course, we continue that time honored tradition to this day. which could mean that the whole "offbeat" thing is genetic or um, damaging... YEAH! good times! :)

and you can't be the only asian in fayetteville. UofA has an asian studies program - so, there HAS to be another asian there somewhere....


Trust me - it'll happen. My husband and I are off our rockers. This morning, we were all in the car and the two of us decided to speak in manga-speak, mimicking what we read in our daughters' books. It got awfully silent back there in the back seat, and I turned around to see my 8-year old mouthing the words, "HELP ME" to her sister.


you two are the cutest couple. EVER!

I think you'll have to wing it with the peanut. you CAN'T lose your funniness. she'll have to deal...


Doing my part to spread the goofiness. My boy is gonna be in therapy for years to come. :)



Fayetteville Arkansas always makes me think of one of my favorite authors, Ellen Gilchrist. Or it makes me think of Fayetteville, NC, which some military guys I know in college affectionately called Fayette-nam.


My Dad was a big goofball and I loved him for it when I was little and when i was older. Not in between. In between I was horrified and thought he was terribly unfunny. (Dad? I know you are up there. I am so sorry. You are the funniest Mo Fo I've ever met.) Anyway. I too am a Big Silly and I'm running into the toddler challenge of trying to explain when "silly time" is over. It's kinda hard.

cramped in cambridge

PLEASE come up to Boston and live near us! My DH and I just went to our first PTA meeting and you've never met so many seriously dour Stepford parents in your entire life. We just moved here last year and have yet to meet any "fun" parents! We're dying.


wow, you are deep in The Dirty South, aren't you? I love your blog over here in Memphis!!


You are Boss Lady sound a lot like my husband and me... we are so goofy and lame... we were walking into Target last weekend and Jake (our 9 year old) asked what we were shopping for and I piped up with, "New pink panties for you." & Hugh followed up with, "to wear over your jeans..." Jake just sighed, cut his eyes to his brother and said, "Well, I need a new math binder."

They adjust.


If your child is embarrased by you that just means you are doing your job as a parent.

My mom not only would embarrass us by her natural actions, but go out of her way to embarrass us.

A good way, "that's the guy you think is cute?" "I'll go ask for his phone number for you."
"what you don't want me to talk to him?"

Then she would shake her head and mutter about how we were never any fun.


My husband is as goofy as you. When our older son was little and he would joke around with the little guy, I used to ask him, "What are you gonna do when he turns 4 and outgrows you?" Son is now a senior at NYU and has never outgrown the humor. He would have been terribly serious and probably depressed without that all th silliness that we both inflicted on him. As it is, he can always see the humor.

Keep it up!


Growing up with immigrant parents, I always wished they had been sillier. My entire life, I don't think I ever saw them be goofy. Not even for a moment. I think Peanut is blessed to have two parents who enjoy life and can see the "lighter" side of life. It's a great thing for a child to see.


being immigrant parents, being my daughter is still young (almost 4), the embarrassment is still young

Abba, don't u understand what i'm sayhing - I said hot-dog not hot-doug


I love the fast food fairy tales! That is brilliant! Maybe you should adopt my kids, I'm sure they'd have fun.


Hey, life's too short — you gotta be you. It's good to model for kids how to be authentic. Onward!


Being FUN is definately a top requirement for parenthood. Peanut is so lucky.

She may be embarrassed as a teen, but she will be so thankful for it later.

Driver B

This kind of silliness sounds a-ok to me. If Mr. B and I have to give up the songs we make for each other before we have kids, we'll be in big trouble. Example: ode to Fatty, our cat, to the tune of that NBC Olympics intro
is big and ro-und
sleeps all day
a-nd then he sleeps some more!
And that's just a mild one. . .I'm glad to know that there are some people out there having fun. :)


Once Peanut hits a certain age, it doesn't matter what you and BossLady do. In her mind, you guys will always be embarassing. Then she'll get older and think that you guys are the best. :)

Papa Bradstein

Will she be reluctant to introduce us to her friends? Will she blatantly avoid telling us about school functions? The complete answer is, "Yes. She will go through puberty." The good news is that puberty ends. I'm worried about karma...you know, that as payback for my past lives, 3B will grow up to be an blue-suited IBM clone rather than a lighthearted artist.

metro mama

I wish my parents were more like you!


You got played! I can beleive you feel for the second greatest blunder of all time (The first, as known by Vincini, is never get in a land war over in China) is to play the lightest licking game. Sucka...

However, kids stories based on Fast Food Restaurants... BRILLIANT!


I think all kids are embarrased by their parents at some point, but you should definitely play the lick the face game with her boyfriends when they come over.


you definitely corner the market on creativity and fun! i think it's awesome and probably the one thing parents have the biggest problem maintaining -- that part of their lives that reminds them of why they love each other and what drew them to one another before the kids came along. kudos to you and Boss Lady for keeping that fire burning. I'm sure Peanut will grow up to be as creative and playful as you both are -- how can she help it?

Martha P.

I think it's a safe bet to say that you'll definitely be embarassing the Peanut. However, people are right. There will come a time when she'll learn to really appreciate your sense of humor and goofy take on life. Then, she'll love it.


Hah! If you think it's flat in Arkansas, you should come to West Texas. You can see flat land for hundreds of miles!


Ok, my wife and I have been inspired by your fast food fairy tales. Now we can't stop. We especially loved the Castle of White. Brilliant idea!

Grrrlfriend Jess

My mom loves her some Chinese Fire Drills (if there is a PC way to describe this car escape and reentry phenomenon, do let me know). I used to simultaneously love/get tot.al.ly embarassed by it. Fortunately, we were usually so out of breath from laughing and running around the big ass disco van that I forgot about being embarassed. Now I can't wait for Lil E to be able to unhook his own carseat so we can get that party started around the CR-V. (I kid, I kid...we all know that mamas should unhook carseats at stoplights, not toddlers).

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