Abby: Mom, say you’re sorry.
That’s a common request these days from my 12-year-old daughter.
So is my response.
Me: Now what?
Abby: For embarrassing me.
The only problem is I’m not sure which of these embarrassing things to apologize for:
- Making up the “Don’t Puke” song as my special way to discourage Abby’s carsickness on a long ride home.
- Singing it a few days later for Abby’s friends.
- Embellishing it operatically, for which the friends likened me to a dying walrus.
Before I offer an apology, I usually question whether I can do so authentically.
In this case, though, and pretty much any “you embarrassed me” situation, I’m pretty certain I owe her the apology.
It’s genuinely very embarrassing to have me as a mother. You probably already believe me. But just in case you need to be convinced…
Abby made an audio recording of my original car performance.
Proving once and for all that I have no pride — other than the internal cringing I’m doing right now — and questioning whether or not I should really hit “post” on this monster — I offer you this, my international vocal debut:
Lyrics transcript (’cause I know you care):
Me, to Abby: Sing with me?
(Abby shakes her head and purses her eyebrows at me in a split-second there’s-no-way-this-side-of-heaven — oh, and also, you’re the dumbest mom ever — kind of way. And if you don’t believe someone can purse her eyebrows, you’ve never been around a preteen girl child.)
Me, singing: Dooon’t puke. Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh.
(Insert breathless giggling ’cause I can’t believe I’m letting her record this.)
Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh.
‘Cause if you do, it’ll smell like vomit.
Dooon’t puke. Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh.
Don’t puke. Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh.
‘Cause if you do, it’ll SMELL LIKE VOMIT.
Me, talking: OK, that’s all.
Abby: No. You forgot “in my car.”
Me, singing: IN MY Ca-AR!
Me: There you go.
Well, there’s that.
You can see that I clearly owe Abby an apology.
And legal fees.
You can also see why I haven’t made millions (or thousands… or ones) off of my brilliant musicality, even though I channeled my very best 80’s hairband style by making my voice all gravely on “it’ll smell like vomit” and “in my car.”
Me to Abby: I’m sorry I embarrassed you.
Abby: I forgive you.
She’s nice that way.
Abby: What, Mom?
Me: Should I just go ahead and apologize in advance for all the humiliating things I’m going to do in the future?
Abby: That’s going to be too many things, Mom.
Truer words, people.