PARENTS

Terrible Twos: Red Faces

22/06/2011 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015
Terrible Twos: Red facesAlamy

Does your Terrible Two ever leave you a bit red faced in public? I think everyone's probably does at some point. Ava and I have had our moments.

As gregarious as she is, I have ceased to be uncomfortable by Ava announcing to a lift full of total strangers that she did a big poo on her potty that morning and it was soggy, or saying things to other mummies like: "Yesterday I watched teebee ALL day!"

That would be 'TV'. And really, she never does watch TV all day, honestly.

The thing about two year olds is, they have no concept whatsoever of tact. And why would it even occur to them that a person might not, for example, like having their weight commented on (read shouted about) at the supermarket checkout?

Oh yes. We were at the checkout. In the middle of packing the shopping. There was no swift exit for me when Ava beamed her magnificent grin, pointed at a man at the next till and shouted "That man is sooooooo fat, mummy!"

I didn't actually know she knew the word 'fat'. And she didn't mean it in a bad way, she was just, well, demonstrating that she had noticed.

Anyway, he was rather overweight – but unfortunately not deaf. He turned to see Ava still pointing at him smiling. What did I do? I said "Yes! And he looks very happy!"

Now, I don't know if that was the right thing to have said really. I couldn't have said "No he's not!" because he blatantly was. His stomach was poking out from underneath his T-shirt. I probably should have said (thinking about it): "Which man darling?" That would have been a good get out. Or, if I had had sensible mummy head on (rare) I would have said, without even lifting my head and making that excruciating eye contact: "Ava, it's rude to point." Yes. That's what I should have said.

But no. I managed to agree he was fat and then say he looked happy about it. God, he probably had diabetes or something. Anyway, I felt really awful at the thought we might have upset him – and that has been my worst red-faced moment to date.

But I know there are people who have had considerably worse. The 'punchline' of this column I am very VERY happy to admit is not my own. This red-faced moment belongs to a woman unknown to me personally, but someone who a good friend was chatting with a few years ago about this very subject – the most embarrassing thing your toddler has done.

Even now, even after all the similar conversations I have had with my own friends, this poor lady still wins it hands down. When I was told this story, I actually shrieked and put my hands over my face.

She had taken her little boy swimming. They were in the ladies changing room, getting dressed to go home and across the way was another woman, naked, bending down to dry her feet.

Unnoticed by his mum, the boy approached her from the rear and... PARTED HER BUTTOCKS.

Did you shriek too?! As long as I can get through the next few years without that happening (and I improve upon my own responses to loud toddler observations in public places), I think I can cope.

What's the most embarrassing thing your child has done or said?

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