Busted! (Or, That Moment Every Parent Dreads)

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The best part about being a comedian is: when something horrifically embarrassing happens to me, I get to talk about it on stage.

Maybe not right away; sometimes I have to wait.

Sometimes my wife needs to approve of the material, and it takes her over a year to come to terms with what I’m going to make public. But when she’s ready to lower her defenses and allow her ego to take a blow?

Well, the results can be great.

Like the story about our daughter walking in and catching my wife and me being… let’s say “romantic.” Yeah, that has a nice ring to it: “romantic.”

Our daughter was four at the time. She’s five, now, but when it happened, she was four.

To begin, the Mrs. and I schedule our liaisons. We’re not twenty-somethings with all the freedom in the world; we have kids. Two kids, in fact. That means nothing extemporaneous happens under our roof. So, as stated, we schedule our interludes.

When a play night arrives, fingers, usually mine, are crossed in the hope nothing is going to interrupt it; bedtime for the kiddos can’t arrive quickly enough. On the specific night being described, both the wee and weeest one went down without fuss.

That’s when you start hedging your bets. You don’t want to jump into things too quickly; you need to wait more than five minutes before getting into the thick of things. Kids pop back up all too often. Whether they want a glass of water, or they think they’re just not ready to go to bed yet, the first five minutes post bedtime are usually dicey.

That night, we waited 20 minutes. It felt like Goldilocks: just right.

Retreating to the bedroom, we began our session. Without going into specifics, time passed and, as happens, and we moved around a bit.

Now, throwing up when you see your parents “enjoying themselves” is appropriate, and expected.

When you’re engrossed in an activity that’s that fun, you tend to lose track of what’s happening around you; you focus on the task at hand. Which is why we didn’t notice the bedroom door opening, or hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet across the carpeted floor.

We did, however, absolutely notice the confused voice emanating from our daughter—a statue now aside our bed—sleepily asking, “What are you doing?”

That’s when the Mrs. and I froze.

Given what we had been up to—again, not to give away too much detail, but our Mini-Schnauzer, Kitty, was probably thinking, “Hey, I recognize that position! I do that with the neighbor dog! Did you get that from me? ”—we both stared at the headboard in silence.

Neither of us was too keen on jumping in on the question.

After what was probably a few seconds (though they felt like hours), my wife whispered, “You deal with it.”

I sighed.

Ever so slowly, I turned my head to face our daughter. She was staring innocently, thumb in her mouth.

“You’re naked,” she stated.

“Well,” I began. “Yes we are. You are a very astute little girl. Mommy and I are naked.”

Then she repeated her question: “What are you doing?”

Thinking as quickly as I could, I offered, “Well… I’m giving Mommy the Heimlich maneuver.”

I mentally high-fived myself: Good thinking, yo!

Yes, good thinking, save for the fact I was talking to a toddler.

“What’s the Heim-ich manoover?” she asked.

“Mommy was choking,” I said, assuming I was saving face.

“Why was Mommy eating in bed? You don’t let me bring snacks to bed.”

Shit, cornered.

We were hypocrites living the life of “do as I say, not as I do.”

I started to dream up a new angle, and that’s when our daughter threw up.

Now, throwing up when you see your parents “enjoying themselves” is appropriate, and expected. I do not have an inflated self-image; I know what I look like naked, and it’s not pretty. However, when you are within the act of “relations,” you tend to get a little lost. You’re in the moment, and you feel a little… let’s say powerful. To have that critiqued by vomit, it stings. It brings you crashing down to earth more powerfully than gravity.

So I was there, staring at my daughter, feeling somewhat defeated, my daughter was staring at me, a bit of dribble drooling down her chin…

…and she burst into tears.

(Which is what kids do after they vomit.)

I know what I look like naked, and while it’s not great, it’s not Mr. Potato head.

While she was distracted by her crying (“I frew up”), the Mrs. and I uncoupled and toweled ourselves. We swooped down to her side, consoling and cleaning her as best we could without giggling. If we laughed, she would figure it was at her expense, which wasn’t the case at all. We were finding humor in our having been busted, not her upset stomach.

(Which, for the record, is why she got out of bed in the first place; she had an upset tummy.)

After getting her back in bed, the wife decided the romantic portion of the evening had ended. Which makes sense. Barf smell lingers, after all.

The next morning at breakfast, I was fidgeting. I was worried I’d have to give my daughter her sex talk at a fairly inappropriate age, because if anything was to happen, it’d be then.

My daughter was happily eating her squares—Life cereal—and babbling forth the usual nonsense a small child does.

(“The dog does big poops outside!”)

I kept waiting for the dreaded question: “What were you and Mommy doing last night?”

But it didn’t come. She ate her breakfast and went on her merry way, the previous night’s events a distant memory already.

I was relieved; bullet = dodged.

Or so I thought.

Two, maybe three days later, I was walking through the house. The daughter unit was in the living room playing with dolls. Not just playing with them, she was… re-enacting. She had Elsa, from Frozen, in a certain position, and was going to town on her using Mr. Potato head.

Which bothered me.

My daughter has a Ken doll, one with six-pack abs and muscle tone. I know what I look like naked, and while it’s not great, it’s not Mr. Potato head. Is it? I mean, there’s an old line: kids don’t lie. An adult will say “You look fine,” but if a kid tells you you’re fat? You’re fat.


Now I own a FitBit because my daughter saw me naked.

And I have to explain to her how she can and cannot play with dolls while at daycare.

That would be a story for the ages, hearing my daughter showed all her classmates what Mommy and Daddy were doing in the bedroom.

Long story short: now we lock the door.

**What you just read is a truncated version of the story. Want to hear what it sounds like live on stage?

better world

Photo: Getty Images


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