The Awkward Files # 2

If you’ve checked out my home page lately, you might have noticed that the blog has had a bit of a re-brand: well, sort of. I mean, it doesn’t LOOK hugely different, obviously, but I’ve decided to take things back to basics, and re-focus on the kind of topics that made me start writing here in the first place: so all of those random thoughts, and micro-moments that make up my day, and keep me awake at night, too, sometimes.

As part of that, this week I’m kicking off a semi-regular series (By which I mean I’m not committing to doing this every week, or even every month – just any time I have something to say, really…) called The Awkward Files: a roundup of some of the super-awkward situations I seem to keep getting myself into. Such as…


While we were taking these photos at the park recently, another little boy came along and tried to jump into Max’s pile of leaves with him. “This is Hamish!” said the boy’s mum brightly. “Don’t like Hamish!” replied Max, clear as a bell. And then we all quietly died inside. And I thought I was the socially awkward one in the family…

(This incident came hot on the heels of another one, in which he walked up to one of my parents’ friends, who’d popped in for a visit while Max was there, and said, “BYE BYE! Go home now!” Then he actually went and BROUGHT THE MAN’S JACKET TO HIM. I’m SO glad I wasn’t there. SO GLAD.)


For the playgroup Halloween party I mentioned last week, Terry decided to take the camera along and (With the permission of the other parents, obviously) take some photos of the proceedings. Once we got there, I was so busy keeping an eye on Max that I forgot about the camera… until we got home, and I flicked through the photos, only to find that one of the mums had apparently been dressed as Gollum the whole time, and I hadn’t even noticed. Because it was ME, people. ME. And, I mean, I’ve always known that candid photos are not my friend, and that I have to be posing carefully if I want to look even half-way human, but WOW. Just… WOW. When did I get so OLD? And … SAGGY?

So, yeah, I mean, I’d obviously been aware that I’d let myself go a bit since Max came along (Not through choice: mostly just because I always leave the house like I’m being chased now, which gives me approximately 3 seconds to get myself ready every morning…), but I was genuinely shocked to see what I look like when I don’t think anyone’s looking at me, and combined with the realisation that my hair colour has randomly changed colour, and I really don’t like the colour it’s changed to, well, I’m pretty sure I’m having a mid-life crisis, basically. And I REALLY don’t have time for one, trust me…


Oh, and on the subject of playgroup: it was at the same Halloween party that I suddenly realised I’ve now asked the same woman what age her baby is AT LEAST three times, purely because I suck at small-talk, and also at facial recognition, apparently. (And, seeing as we’re being brutally honest here, I didn’t actually realise AT THE PLAYGROUP… I realised later that night, just as I was about to fall asleep, when I suddenly jerked awake with the sinking realisation that, YES, I DO know why that woman looked at me kind of funny today: it was because I keep on asking her the same stupid question, in a lame attempt to make conversation! GAAAAAAAH.)

Hey, I wonder why I’m not making any friends at playgroup?

Anyway, having realised what I’ve done, my only real option now is to never go back to playgroup again. This actually suits me fine, because…


Max might not have been the only child at playgroup who wasn’t wearing a Halloween costume that week, but he most definitely WAS the only one without a costume at the kids disco we took him to a few days later. D’OH. In my defence, this event took place AFTER Halloween, and the invitation said, ‘Costumes optional’. How was I to know that actually meant, “Everyone wear a costume, except Amber’s kid, poor thing.”?

To make up for our complete failure to Halloween appropriately, we treated Max to no less than three fireworks displays for Bonfire Night, though. Because it’s all or nothing with us, basically.

I promise I will make an effort for Halloween next year, though. No, really, I will. I feel like I have a LOT of ground to make up here, after all…

So, go on then: make me feel a little bit better by sharing some of your own awkward moments from the past few weeks: I dare you…

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books by Amber Eve
  • Oh gosh, Max telling that man to go home now and getting his jacket sounds hilarious! In retrospect of course, totally embarrassing at the time I can imagine! I’m not a fan of candid photos of me either. I asked my husband a few weeks ago to take more photos of my daughter and I and so he’s been taking photos without me realizing for instance when I read her a story and he always seems to catch me at absolutely awful angles and just looking way worse than I imagined in my head.

    November 8, 2019
  • Alice


    When my daughter was newly toilet trained and we were on a train, if someone got up to walk along the corridor, she would say “is he going to the toilet to do a poo?”. She also pointed out to me a lady who apparently had no knickers.

    Now she is interested in where babies come from (she is just 3) and so says things like “that man is big, did he grow inside your tummy too?”.

    I like it though! I hope she stays unselfconscious for a long time.

    November 8, 2019
  • My friend has a little boy who is two and he will tell random strangers he doesn’t like them, or tell his mum to stop talking to whoever she’s talking to. So you’re not alone. People who have children understand, and people who don’t will just think he’s cute. xx

    November 8, 2019
  • Brenda


    Max is a card! He will keep you on your toes. I always said that my kids kept me very very humble.

    November 8, 2019
  • I hate when people ask me how old my child is. Because then I’m wishing I’d thought to ask it first instead of being stuck with the super awkward, “Oh, he’s just turned two. How old is he/she/yours?” which just sounds like I’m only asking because they asked first. Which I am. I’m fine at chatting, just not asking questions. I never know anyone’s names because of that…

    It doesn’t help that my two year three month old is really behind on speech and I also have to answer all questions he gets asked as well.Them – “Are you having fun?”. I think ‘do I go with “yes he’s having fun”?’ But no. I do the idiotic “Yes, you’re having fun, aren’t you” to my child. Then I hate myself just a little bit.

    November 8, 2019
    • Alice


      I think it’s weird to be asking those questions of a two year old. Anyone who does perhaps doesn’t know much about children? My daughter is 3 and has very good speech but if a stranger asks her a question she never answers.

      November 11, 2019
  • I LOVE Max, he is so freaking funny!! I mean, sympathies to you, because obviously I would die if it happened to me, but the kid knows how to speak his mind, hey?! I haven’t had the pleasure of being embarrassed by Bailey yet (well, apart from him farting incredibly loudly during a wedding ceremony in a cathedral. Which come to think of it was majorly awkward!) but last week on holiday with friends he was a bit fussy when we were out for lunch and their two year old said loudly, ‘He’s crying again. Put him back in the bag!’ I think she actually meant my breastfeeding cover, but still, no one really knew how to respond to that!

    November 8, 2019
  • Ha! BOTH of my kids have brought guests their shoes/coats and said, “Bye bye!” Don’t sweat that one – it’s totally normal. I just wish it was acceptable for grown ups to do the same – “Had enough now. Leave the biscuits and go away.”

    November 11, 2019
  • Sounds like a pretty awkward week! My toddler has learned the word ‘help’ but instead of asking politely for help she screams it. In public. Whilst running from is. In a nutshell we look like child abductors – pretty awkward.

    November 12, 2019