While the name of former GOP communications operative Elizabeth Lauten will be forgotten faster than they can turn it into a Jeopardy question ("What 31 year old who still consults her parents should have her Facebook privileges removed?") few parents will forget the First Family's Teenage Eye Roll.
The turkey being pardoned in the White House ritual got scant notice compared to the brouhaha brought on by the First Teenagers being teenagers. There was Dad doing something, well, embarrassing. And there for the world to see, on the faces of Sasha and Malia was that bored look that all parents have seen, that look that says "OMG, I wish I was a million miles away." All that was missing was the phone in the hand and the texting thumbs flying.
GOP Party staffer Lauten took the teens to task on Facebook, chiding them to "act like the White House matters to you." She later apologized and resigned, soon to be a footnote in history, if that. The eye roll, though, we all know it well.
Here are a few things I've done that have embarrassed my own children:
1. Announced on a mall shopping trip that I needed to try on bras.
Yes, I wear bras. And no, I don't venture into stores very often. Bras, even more so than footwear, require trying on. While at the time it seemed like a logical thing to do, clearly it wasn't. My daughter slunk into a heap on the floor outside the dressing room and my son wandered like a lost tribe of Israelites in the desert that is Nordstrom.
2. Danced at their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
I love to dance and to my way of thinking, still have some moves. Yes, the musicians I dance to are now mostly 60- and 70-year-old rockers. I don't care. Somewhere with my second glass of wine, I just hop up and start dancing with any willing soul standing near me. My son, who understood that dancing one time with his mother at the beginning of the party was a ritual as important to me as his reading from the Torah, never considered the prospect that I wouldn't then immediately retreat back to my table once our dance concluded. Watching your parents dance when your friends are present is one step removed from catching them in the act.
3. Emailed their teachers.
This is a holdover behavior that some parents (me) just have a hard time letting go of. When kids are young, important information about school gets conveyed directly to the parents. I don't know when precisely that changes. My kids are old enough and entirely capable of advocating for themselves. Trust me, I've tried to pull back. And yet every once in awhile, I find myself typing an email. Old habits die hard.
4. Spoke at a college fair.
The role of a parent at a college fair is to follow 10 paces behind or wait in the car. A parent should never -- I repeat, never -- ask a college representative why the University of Arizona is such a party school.
5. Wrote about them.
This is an occupational hazard that I like to think my children are by now immune to. I am a personal blogger who writes professionally about, among other things, her family. This might be why they have perfected the eye roll and are happy to instruct the First Teenagers in how it should be done.
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