When I was a kid (and especially a teen) I hated nothing more than being embarrassed by my parents in public. My hatred for these mortifying moments was nowhere near as strong as that of my sister, however, who found EVERYTHING my parents did embarrassing. In fact, if I close my eyes now I can still see her crossing her arms and yelling “Mom!” or “Dad!”

Since Annie may share her aunt’s intense “parental embarrassment” gene, I’ve decided to preemptively resolve any future tensions by having Annie sign a revolutionary PARENT/CHILD EMBARRASSMENT CONTRACT.

Check it out… you may want to have your kid sign one too!


THIS AGREEMENT made and entered into as of October 13, 2011, by and between Michael Spohr, henceforth referred to as Dad (“Dad”) and Annabel Spohr, henceforth referred to as Child (“Child”), pertains to public embarrassment.

WHEREFORE, for good and valuable consideration, the parties agree as follows:

1. Dad will not spit wash Child’s face in public so long as Child agrees to avoid making a mess while eating, playing in the dirt, or engaging in any other messy activity.

In the event that Child’s face becomes soiled (even through no fault of her own) Dad will use best faith efforts to clean Child’s face without saliva. These efforts include, but are not limited to, potentially embarrassing actions such as using a baby wipe or dipping a napkin into a can of Diet Coke.

2. Dad agrees to make good faith effort not to sing in public while in the presence of Child. In return, Child acknowledges there are certain instances in which singing is unavoidable, including but not limited to, when: A) An obscure Paul McCartney song comes on the radio, Another adult sings first and encourages Dad to join in, or C) Dad is in a parking garage where his singing voice sounds really cool with that “parking garage echo.”

In exchange for these concessions Dad agrees never, under any circumstance, to sing in the presence of a boy Child has expressed interest in. Furthermore, should Dad be transporting Child and boy to a movie or similar date-like activity, Dad will only speak when spoken to.

3. Dad will refer to Child exclusively as “Annabel” or “Annie” in public, and not “Honey Bear,” “Monkey Baby,” “Belly” or any derivative of these pet names.

Child acknowledges that there will be times when she does something so adorable that Dad will accidentally call her a forbidden pet name. In these circumstances Child agrees to waive all right to pout or roll her eyes.

4. Child agrees that, when meeting a friend, business associate, or relative of Dad for the first time, she will smile, be polite, and respectful.

If Child upholds this clause Dad agrees not to make Child perform any talent or skill such as piano playing, dancing, poem recitation, etc., for the friend, associate, or relative.

5. Child, when having a meltdown in public, will avoid using statements that cast aspersions on Dad’s parenting such as “I wish you weren’t my Dad!” or “You’ve ruined my life!”

Dad, in return, promises to maintain composure in the face of poor service at a restaurant, store, or theater, and never shout mortifying declarations such as, “Oh, really?!!? That’s how you want to play this, Denny’s? Well, in that case you have seen the last of my business!!! Good day, sir!!!!”


Michael Spohr, Dad

Annabel Spohr, Child