As a dad of three, I have tons of embarrassing fatherhood moments. From my youngest yelling “she’s fat!!” as a heavy-set woman ran by our car—while the windows were down—to my Foxy Wife and I rushing our newborn into the emergency room because she hadn’t peed in 24 hours, only to have the doctor tell us to turn the damn heat down in our apartment.
But one embarassing gem stands out and was shared with a couple hundred people on our first family trip to Disneyland. It’s a dad’s rite of passage, where it feels like you have your wallet in a holster and your common sense in a jar at home.
My first two kids were born polar opposites; one loves it quiet and analyzes everything, and the other loves it loud and multi-tasks like a monkey on coke. Then the third one came … “The Beast.”
“The Beast” is like a bull in a china shop—on roller skates—and was three when we hit Mickey’s Crack House. He does what he wants, when he wants. Or at least he tries. Disciplining him is a full-time job for both of us, but he’s also fun as hell.
While the Beast is one big walking ball of testosterone, he gets scared by certain things. So, my wife and I were a little afraid that taking off in an airplane might freak him out. In fact, it had quite a different effect. As we started down runway he started getting excited. Too excited. His face was beaming and the volume was pinned at 11.
Just as a plane’s wheels leave the runway and you’re pulled up toward the sky, there’s a silence that falls over everyone on board. Like if we’re quiet, everything will be okay … and no one wants to jinx it.
That’s when “The Beast” made his big discovery.
As the plane pulled and really started its climb, he looked at my wife and me with his big, bucktoothed smile, grabbed his crotch and yelled out in hysterics, “My nuts!! Oh, my nuts!!”
This was followed by maniacal laughter.
The first time he said it, we looked at each other and our eyes locked and said, “He didn’t just say that, did he?” The second time he said it we kept our heads down and hoped no one else heard it—although, that would be like no one hearing Judas Priest if they played in your backyard on a Sunday morning.
The third, fourth, and fifth time he said it, we just rolled with the punches and laughed like hell while all eyes were upon us. A huge part of parenting is knowing when to laugh.
The best part was that he did the exact same thing for a whole new audience on the return flight home to a standing-room-only crowd.
Although no one enjoyed the show quite like we did. Even Rob Halford would have been proud.