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A (loving) parent’s (hilarious) guide to embarrassing your children

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In the kids’ younger years, they had no frame of reference regarding just how uproarious and embarrassing I really am. Now at ages 9 and 11, those days are over. I suppose I could be The Good Mom and dial it back a little but since I like to have fun, why not have a bit of enjoyment at my children’s expense?

When I purged my entire house in January, I stuffed everything in garbage bags but have recently been on an obsessive quest for boxes for my blow-out garage sale next month.  There are three options:

1) Buy new. The challenge: I’m too cheap and who wants to waste money on an inanimate object made of cardboard?

2) Stalk Craigslist. We buy quite a few things off Craigslist but I try to avoid it whenever possible. Sure, there are plenty of free boxes posted but they’re rarely in my area and who wants to risk being stuffed in your newly acquired box by a serial killer?

3) Pillage the neighborhood. Trust me, pirates never had this much fun.

Wednesday has become my favorite day of the week because it’s our garage day; recycling is every two weeks and equal unto Disneyland!

Now, lest you think I’m rummaging through my neighbors’ garbage, that’s only partially true. I do have standards, you know. I only take boxes that are either placed beside the trash or sitting on top of the pile. As I’ve earned my PhD. in Box Retrieval, I’ve quickly learned that not all boxes are created equally. Amazon shopping addicts? You are my best friends because those are extremely sturdy and are rarely soiled because they’re dumped directly in the trash. Jumbo diaper  boxes are optimal and I’ve discovered a lot of heavy drinkers in our neighborhood but no judgments because, again, excellent box choices.

I was leaving on my weekly pillage route a couple of weeks ago when my kids looked at me exasperatingly. 

Hadley: “Mom, tell me that you don’t go through our friends’ garages, right?”

Me: “Of course I do, darling. Should I wear my onion goggles so no one recognizes me?”

Hadley: “I won’t answer that.”

If you’re wondering about my goggles, they are my lifesaver whenever I’m chopping onions and n’er a tear has entered my ducts when protected by those babies.

As I was reviewing my picture library, I found some doozies. Did you know onion goggles are beautifully adaptable as dodgeball protective eyewear?

Apparently I have a bit of problem because I found a sordid assortment of eyewear–from pumpkin-themed to mustaches to Vikings.

After receiving the stamp of disapproval for going incognito in my onion goggles, I set out before school. It was a stressful–I was literally one step ahead of the recycling truck but I emerged triumphant with an impressive haul.

The kids had already left our house but I couldn’t resist pulling  up to the bus stop with my SUV literally bursting at the seams with boxes. When they saw me, they tried to run for cover but I innocently beckoned:

“Hadley, do you and your friends want a ride in my BOX CAR?”

She might never recover from the embarrassment. But I will. And can’t wait until next Wednesday.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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  • comment avatar Jen March 28, 2016

    I think I spewed my drink all over my screen reading this. My kids can totally relate. Should we start a support group?!

  • comment avatar Marley March 28, 2016

    I stopped wearing real clothes to drop my kids off at school years ago. One time I even wore curlers in honor of my mother.

  • comment avatar Momof4 March 28, 2016

    I swear, everything I do embarrasses my teens! ANd I’m not even THAT embarrassing. I stopped worrying about it a long time ago.

  • comment avatar Amanda Jigmond March 30, 2016

    “one step ahead of the recycling truck” Hahaha! Love it!