How To {almost} Embarrass Your 8 Year Old Son In 5 Minutes or Less

by Gigi Ross on February 22, 2012

One of my husband’s life philosophies is:

Go big or go home.

I suppose a bit of this mentality has rubbed off on me in the 13 years we’ve been together. So it should be no surprise that when it comes to embarrassing my children, I’m not going to be halfhearted about it.

Kissing a kid in public or calling him/her by the schmoopsie-poopsie name you gave them at infancy? That shizz  is for amateurs, okay?

Go big or go home.

A month into the current school year, I was harried and overworked and not paying a ton of attention to the details. Boy Wonder had picked out a messenger-style bag instead of a backpack, but he quickly found it to be awkward and unwieldy to carry around his 37-pound assignment binder, lunchbox and assorted other Boy Stuff that ends up making the trip back and forth school each day. With no time to take him to the mall to pick out a replacement, I offered up the use of our travel backpack.

The travel backpack is your typical backpack, purchased at Target with a front pocket for small items like pencils and keys, and the larger zippered main compartment for books. We use the backpack when we go on vacations or to amusement parks to hold the camera, tickets, sweatshirts, maps, etc.

Boy Wonder was happy to use the travel backpack. Each morning like always, I put a packaged snack in the front pocket for snacktime.

One day, he came home from school and he sat down to do his homework. I opened his backpack, pulled out his lunchbox so I could ready it for the next day, and then opened the small front pocket to see if he had eaten his snack.

I pushed my hand into the pocket and felt a  paper wrapper.

“Boy Wonder, why didn’t you eat your snack today?”

“I did.” He looked at me quizzically.

I narrowed my eyes, fist still in backpack pocket. Then what the hell is this in his backpack?

As I grabbed the item and began to pull it out of the backpack, I said,

“Come on, Boy Wonder. Your snack is right -”

I opened my hands to find a Tampax Super Plus tampon. And its matching wrapper, which had been torn off.

I stopped. And was seized up with panic.

Shit! What does he know?  OMG he’s in his first month at a new school and he’s carrying a freaking TAMPON around that I left in there from our last trip to Six Flags!

Boy Wonder said,

“What IS that thing? I pulled it out of my backpack and had no idea what it was. So I unwrapped it.”

SHIT! What should my answer be? I thought. A mommy rocket shooter? A makeup tool to apply undereye concealer? A giant Qtip with a string? I haven’t read ANY of the freaking books on how to explain menstruation to a boy yet. Do I need to have THAT conversation right now? On a Tuesday at 3? He is going to be grossed out beyond words. WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY NOW?

“Did any of your friends see it?” OMGpleasesayyourfriendsdidntseeit.

“Yeah. I showed it to another kid. He didn’t know what it was either.”

Ok. Kid is not an official loser for a) carrying a tampon around, b) showing a tampon to friends and/or c) not knowing what the hell a tampon is.

Casually, I asked, “So….then what did you do with it?”

“Oh, I just put it back in my backpack.” He shrugged.

“Did your teacher see it?”


Thank you, God, for not letting the teacher see it and think he has a moron for a mother. Or think that he is undergoing a transgender process.

Later, I inspected his backpack for any additional feminine hygiene products.  All clear.

The moral of the story: never let your kid use a bag that was once yours lest you want to have a premature discussion about Aunt Flo.

Go big or go home.

Have you had a near-miss with embarrassing your child yet?





Lea Ann February 22, 2012 at 4:44 am

HA HA HA HA trying not to wake up everyone in my house with the green-tea-shooting-out-of-my-nose laughter.

I found a black and sticky pile of goo that used to be called a banana in my kid’s backpack. But, he put it there. Not me. He was daring all his friends to touch it, though. *boys*

gin February 22, 2012 at 4:54 am

This made me laugh so hard. SO, so hard. That was like when I was a server and had to work during “that” time of the month and when I went to take a table’s order, instead of pulling out a pen, I pulled a tampon out of my apron and poised it to write. Unfortunately, everyone at that table knew what it was for.

Kerry Ann (aka Vinobaby) February 22, 2012 at 6:18 am

The horror! I’m still laughing. . . I’m wondering when their curiosity will get the best of them. My 8-yr-old keeps staring at those pink boxes in the bathroom and I can see the gears spinning in his mind. One of these days, he’s going to break down and ask.

So glad your Boy Wonder didn’t pass that around the playground!

JDaniel4's Mom February 22, 2012 at 7:02 am

I can just imagine the looks the boys must have had on their faces.

Susan in the Boonies February 22, 2012 at 7:44 am

When my son turned 13, I used to embarrass him all. the. time.

You know how I did it?

I breathed.

Yup. Turns out, to a 13 year old male, having your Mom draw breath is fairly humiliating.

But, as your dear husband says, you gotta go big, or go home.

Oh. wait.

I am home.

muddledmom February 22, 2012 at 7:46 am

There’s an after school conversation we haven’t had yet! Why do my kids always bring that stuff up after school. Glad you escaped that one. That is one conversation I am totally leaving up to the school health discussions. Or maybe I’ll just say, “Go ask your father.” ; )

Debra February 22, 2012 at 7:52 am

I laughed OUT LOUD when I read this. This is something I totally dread happening in public. I’ve seen my hubs face turn totally red when I’ve asked him to grab something out of my purse and he accidentally pulled that out! I wonder why though he just didn’t throw it out – and why he brought it home – just to ask you what it was??
Very funny post!

Amy @ Counting My Kisses February 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

This made me laugh hysterically…such a great post! Our 2.5-year-old has asked me a couple of awkward “what’s this, mommy?” questions, but nothing I haven’t been able to skate around so far. :) Glad Boy Wonder didn’t push the issue!!

Helene February 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

Oh. My. God. You have me cracking up!!!!

If it makes you feel any better, I used to keep a couple tampons and a few pantyliners in our diaper bag for those “just in case” situations. A couple years ago, one of my kids grabbed one of the tampons and began using it as a microphone to sing….in front of her friends on the playground.

Thank God no one really paid attention to her.

Emmy February 22, 2012 at 11:33 am

Phew!! thank goodness for the innocence of children! And yea, my kids would not know what they were either.
That was close

Ali February 22, 2012 at 11:49 am

You know, it is one of my worst fears that my son is going to go into my bathroom closet one day and ask what that big box of stuff is for. I have no desire to talk about it. I remember being a kid and finding my mother’s and looking at the diagram on the instruction pamphlet and being very confused.

becca February 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

great story

Michelle Saunderson February 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Too funny. I think I explained what those were to my son when he was fairly young. Now that he is 15, all I have to do is look at him and he calls me “creeper”. Just wait, it gets easier to embarrass them.

Elaine February 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

As soon as I stop laughing I will totally answer your question…. BAWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Melinda February 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

i laughed so so hard that the teenager came up to see what was going on. I’m waiting for the same day since our almost 9yo boys shares a bathroom with the teenage daughter AND handles the trash in the house. Just waiting. Not sure what I’m going to do at the moment but I know it’s going to happen….soon.

Mary February 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I love that story so much. We have a ten year old daughter. One evening we took her and a friend to get frozen yogurt. The place was empty except for us. When a Michael Jackson song came on over the speakers, my husband and I got up and started dancing. My daughter and her friend were mortified and turned their backs on us. The young teen working the counter turned the music up for us and we just kept on going. While I did see a little smile on my daughter’s lips, I thought for sure she’d never tell a soul. Then a few days later at a mother/daughter Valentine card making party (not my thing but I was craving chocolate and V Day is my birthday), two kids came up to me and said, “N said you danced in Cantaloop (the frozen yogurt shop).” So I guess she thought it was funny enough to brag about it to her friends! Who knew?

julie gardner February 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

…”so I unwrapped it…”


And then some.

What DID you tell him it was? Or did he (hopefully) forget to ask again?

Making Our Life Matter February 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Absolutely loved this post! Sounds like something I would do!

Ally February 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I’m dying. So funny in a not really funny sort of way! You ARE going to retell that story when he’s like 16, right?

Galit Breen February 23, 2012 at 6:17 am

Hee! Too funny and *such* a close call! :)

Denise February 23, 2012 at 7:46 am

That is freaking hilarious! I can only imagine I’d that happened to my son.

Jackie February 23, 2012 at 11:40 am

LOL!! That is funny… I can’t think of anything I’ve done… guess we chalk it up as a mom fail. I should start making up for it, right?

tracy@sellabitmum February 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Dying. Laughing. Also – messenger style bags do suck.

Alex@LateEnough February 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm

My kids have been walking in on me in the bathroom for years. I’m pretty sure they think I’m magic because I can make a large cotton cylinder disappear and reappear although I’ve occasionally had to reassure them I wasn’t hurt at the reappearance… This comment is awkward, isn’t it?

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf February 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm

That is HILARIOUS! Of course he unwrapped it. What else would an 8-year old boy do? Dreading those situations with my two little boys. Oy!

sam July 25, 2012 at 12:46 am

Yup.. I totally WAS that kid…

Except it was MUCH worse for me…

Everyone was told to come to school with an empty plastic shopping bag… the only problem was that mine was not completely empty.

IN class, when it was time to pull out our bags.. I saw something in mine that I did not recognize..

I pulled out the TAMPON and yelled: “What’s this?”

Wow.. did I get in trouble. I had NOOOO idea what it was.. and there I was introducing it to a whole class of kids.

Traumatic at the time…

But now…



Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: