Seldom has Finje said or done anything in public which has made me feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Without getting all amateur psychologist on you, it's my suspicion that those who cringe when a child utters the word penis in public (for example) should be examining their own insecurities before they criticise their offspring.
I am however, a stickler for manners and treating others respectfully. The thought of a stranger thinking my child has not been taught right from wrong, that does embarrass me.
Yesterday, strolling through town with Finje, we stopped at a building site, Finje being rather partial to diggers. Other children of like mind were watching the demolition and, as kids do, they began to play together. In a bit of a hurry, after 10 minutes, I asked Finje to get rid of the stone she was carrying and come with me. Unthinking, she lobbed the small stone over her shoulder and came to my side.
The stone hit a young girl squarely on the shoulder.
She wasn't hurt, just looked surprised, brushed off the dirt and continued to dig in the sand. Her mother however, threw me a look that suggested she was staring at a cross between Rose West and Myra Hindley (or their German equivalents).
Then I did something of which I am indeed embarrassed. In order to save face and prove I wasn't a bad mother, I publicly and loudly reprimanded Finje for throwing the stone.
Of course she should have looked first. In fact she shouldn't have thrown it at all, but she had certainly not hit the kid on purpose and she was obviously distraught that she had. What I should have done, was explain to the mother, who really did look like she wanted to kill me, that the missile had not been thrown in anger. An accident.
Finje, began to cry. I was gutted. Having removed ourselves from the scene of the crime, I bought Fin an ice-cream and apologized for my behaviour, explaining why I had so reacted.
Finje, was well over it.
"Er...it's okay mama. Can I have another scoop please?"
Have your children ever embarrassed you?