Ari: Well hello there. I’ll spare you the overview and jump right in. So me and my mom are at Ikea, we bought a new chair and are making our way out of the ginormous maze, suddenly… enter 80’s music 

Ima: Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo-doo doodoodoo

Ari: Instant 100 damage on my mom!

Ima: Baby look at me.. (abruptly cut off)

Ari: No!

Ari: She’s starting to groove. I'm looking around to make sure that no one I know is anywhere in sight.  I think the more embarrassed I get, the louder she's singing. I'm trying to get her to be more quiet, people are looking at her. This corny song is building up, she is in a trance!  just as I think it can’t get any worse… IT DOES! there's a pause in the music … my mom pushes the giant shopping cart full speed ahead and leaps in the air singing ..


- trombone intro -

Ari: Yeah, so this is At Your Level, I'm your host Ari Kelly and this is the embarrassing parent episode. Our first guest is so awesome, I bet you’ll find her fun like I did. 

Swara: My name’s Swara and I’m from India, Bangalore actually, and I’m 9 years old.

Ari: How cool is that?

Swara: Wait! I have a question for you Ari - in America, are there monkeys and chimpanzees sitting all over the place?

Ari: We were comparing embarrassing parent situations and the topic of monkeys came up. 

Swara: In India, in Bangalore, monkeys are as common as pigeons, ok, it’s just like, if you see a monkey sitting on the ledge you’d probably point to everyone else and be like ‘hey, look guys, there’s a monkey!’ but in India, we’re like, monkey, no big deal. But now, if it was a baboon, that’s a whole new..

Ari: Yeah, cause baboons are dangerous.

Swara: One time, when I was a baby,  a monkey broke into our house! And then, um, and then started stealing our fruit and I was like..  

Swara: And there’s a lot of guinea pigs also roaming around the place, like.. 

Ari: Oh, that’s cute!

Swara: Chuckles.

Ari: Ok, so let’s get right to it, I asked Swara and I’ll ask you - do you have any embarrassing parent stories?

Swara: My mom, she’s not embarrassing most of the time, but this one time I went with her swimming, swim meet, and she is so competitive, um so when I was like, swimming, in the swimming competition, she was literally yelling her head off at the bleachers, like, ‘Swara you got this! Come on, let’s go!’ and then, and then, I was just swimming, and you can’t hear anything under water, but everybody outside could hear it, and at one point they stopped, they stopped looking at the people swimming and everybody stared at my mom like, who’s that lady?!

Ari: Haha (claps) That’s great. That’s actually great.

Ari: What do  you listeners get embarrassed by? I was very happy to get this recording from the big mic on my website.

Lily: Hello, my name is Lily, and I’m 8, and something embarrassing that my daddy has done, my parents like, (laughs) I was on a test and they’re talking about stuff and doing loud stuff and I was like, ‘trying to do a test, I am unmuted!,, during school, so can you please just stop doing loud stuff’ it’s really kind of annoying, but, you know, when your parents do something you don’t wanto and it’s really really embarrassing. 

Ari: Yes! It’s the loud annoying stuff they do that embarasses me for sure! Back to Swara and our conversation about our moms:

Ari: there’s a lot of really embarrassing things she’s done, like one time we were at a mountain, and so she was talking, and I swear I could hear her eccho, cause legitimately every single time we go on that hike, I can hear her talking in an eccho, and then, I tell her, ‘can you please be a little quiet cause you’re being very loud’. She actually, like yelled, full volume ‘nobody’s here, they can’t hear you’ and oh my gosh…

(Swara chuckling) 

Swara: Wait, was there someone there? Or was it like, 

Ari: It’s a popular mountain, I’ll tell you that.

Swara: You don’t know overcrowded, ok? Bangalore is such a big city, I went to this mountain climb, there were literally 50 people there, and like, and there’s this thing called, um, a Dupatta, it’s kinda like a thin cloth that you put around you, people are just putting that over their heads and walking up the mountain and then literally so many people, like 100 people there’s gotta be, even if we start at 5:30, there’s always like a 100 people there’s a traffic jam in the mountain, we’re like ‘move it along’.

Ari: Listening back to her stories, I realized how awesomely different our lives are. And also that maybe being embarrassed by your parent is a very Amercian cultural thing.

Swara: And also, um people, in um, you know, TV shows, the embarrassing parent thing is so popular in TV shows and they watch so much of it and then become, you know.. But in India, I don’t think most people have that embarrassing thing.

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You know how I tell you about Kids Listen? Some of the best kid podcasters out there take turns hosting the Kids Listen Activity podcast. Well, for the next episode, which will be my turn to host, we created a really special activity that you might want to check out - it’s a riddle me this segment where I walk you through an activity to create your own riddle. I hope you check it out, I hope you play along and write a riddle, and most of all, I hope you send me your riddle so I can play it on the show. You can find a link to the Kids Listen Activity Podcast and the PDF for the activity on my website AtYourLevelPod.com

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What shall we nerd out about for this wacky episode?

Well, how about embarrassment’, what does it mean to be embarrassed?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ‘embarrassing’ as causing a feeling of self-conscious confusion and distress. So let’s start with what self conscious means. They define it as ‘intensely aware of oneself’. 

In the beginning of the ikea story, remember how my mom was grooving to the music and everyone started to look at us? Well I felt EXTREMELY self conscious right then and there.

So that was one example I had. What makes you embarrassed? What in general do people find embarrassing? Here’s a few examples for you:

So let’s dig in a little deeper into what we feel when we are embarrassed. 

According to the Huffington post, ”it's like an explosion: adrenaline starts pumping and blood vessels begin dilating”. Your body gives you the same signals it does when you are in danger. It’s as if a tiger just randomly appeared in front of you.

By the way, since this is the Nerd Out, I do wanna share that it happens in the ‘pregenual anterior cingulate cortex’. Got that? That’s also on the inside, cause that’s a part of your brain.

There are signs on the outside too. It’s written all over your face, cause you’re probably blushing, sweating or just plain hiding. We also hear it - yeah, in your breath, and the way you speak, like you might even stutter.

But here’s the deal: your brain is making it a much bigger deal than it is in real life. I hate to break it to you, but you’re not the center of the universe. Most people won’t notice or at least not think much of it. So play it down and move on!

According to Psychology Today, it’s better to accept acknowledging and learning from embarrassing mistakes instead of letting them fester. If you stop focusing on the embarrassing thought it will go away, but if you dwell on it, obsess about it and not let it go, it can turn into anxiety or shame. 

Bottom line, it’s ok to feel embarrassed, it happens to the best of us. It’s an emotion, feel it. But just like all emotions, it will pass. Think of it like the weather, maybe embarrassment is like a cloudy or rainy day. Give it time and the sun will come out.

- trombone - 

Can I please ask you for a favor - can you please subscribe and share and write me 5 star Can I please ask you for a favor - can you please subscribe and share and write me 5 star reviews and stuff? Cause that’s how things work these days, so I need you to help me spread the word - if you like this podcast and you think other kids would too, then these are the things that help - subscribe - follow - review - share … You can pause, I’ll still be here when you’re done. Thanks a trillion.

- trombone-


It’s time for bizarre ASMR, the segment where I play you a sound and you guess what it is. The hint is always the episode’s title. And uh, let’s just say I made a teensy weensy itty bitty teeny tiny mistake… I kinda forgot to ask the guests to do the ASMR for this episode…. WAIT WAIT WAIT! Before you boo me off, I would like you to understand something. Everyone makes mistakes right? Right? Yeah ok now that that’s settled forget I said anything alright just imagine the guesses. *in mason’s voice* Um I think that it’s um jumping around while doing stuff… yeah.

*back to normal* so yeah just imagine something like that but for everyone… k? 

But.. then.. This awesome thing happened.. 

I got a couple of recordings on my website from Ava! I’m really excited to meet you and you totally saved the day! But first, let’s hear that video games bizarre ASMR again..

- ASMR S2E1 Video Games- 

(((This is Ari and if you’re reading this transcript, you might be hearing impared, so I don’t think you can guess the mystery sound, or at least I don’t know how you would. So how about a riddle instead? --

What do you call an ape who is just like his/her parent? -- I put the answer at the very end of the transcript in the same triple parentheses )))

So here is Ava, who would like be in an episode about drawing. 

Ava: I think the ASMR recording for the video games episode was, like, a video games sound, but like, were you playing different clips of it? That’s just my guess.

Ari: Another website submission was from Swara - yup - the one, the only, Swara the great! 

Swara: Hi Ari, this is Swara, and for my guess for the bizarre ASMR, the previous one - the video games episode, was background music for a video game.

Ari: You know what it is? 

It’s a video game. I mean, obviously it’s a video game, but what kind of video game? 

The sound you heard was my feet! I was playing a VR game. I had headphones on, so you can’t hear the game, only the sound of my bare feet. 


If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. 

I think this one’s really good. 

Remember, the hint is an embarrassing parent. Can you guess what it is?

- ASMR S2E2 Embarrassing Parent -

- trombone - 

As you may or may not know, the ‘on-stage’ episode is coming up next. I’m really excited to meet the kids that reached out and unfold the ‘on-stage’ topic with them. If you would like to be in an episode, you can connect too.

Are you a dog person or a cat person? I’m recruiting kids that want to be in the cats vs. dogs episode. Which team would you join?

- trombone - 


Ari: Ohhhhh Father!

Liam: Yeah Ari? Oh wait is it that time already. Ba-

Ari: STOP! Heh heh heh, I will have you know that you are not doing the Bad Dad segment for this episode!

Liam: Wait what?! Why?

Ari: Well… heh heh, we have been *sad voice* replaced :(

Liam: WHAT!

Ari: Well it's not that bad because these two podcasters are just as corny just as bad and just as talented! (cough cough but maybe a little more humble).

Ari: I’d like to introduce you all to Rasa and Jeremy from You Must Know everything.

Rasa is a 5th grader, just like I am, and Jeremy is her proud-to-be-embarrassing dad. 

And get this - they ALSO explore a different topic in every episode!!

But slightly different topics and in a totally different way. 

You know how we have a nerd out segment, well, they have a ‘vexing question’ -- yeah, I didn’t know what vexing means either, it’s like a question that you’re itching to find the answer too, I mean something that really bothers you that you don’t know the answer to. Well, they’ll be answering my vexing question soon and you can ask them yours!

So check them out - look for ‘You must know everything’ on your favorite podcast player. I have a feeling you’ll love it.

And as for the bad dad segment, take it away Rasa and Jeremy:

Rasa: Hi dad!

Jeremy: Hello Rasa, what’s up?

Rasa: We were recently introduced to another kid-hosted podcast, and he asked us to help contribute to the most popular segment of his show.

Jeremy: What’s that?

Rasa: Bad dad jokes!

Jeremy: Wow! What a category, as you know, I pride myself on my a hundred percent original bad dad jokes. In fact, I think this is a huge opportunity for me.

Rasa: How so?

Jeremy: If At Your Level airs my material, maybe I can win a prize for the best worst dad joke teller on earth.

Rasa: I see you’ve already been taking notes. Hit me with your worst shot.

Jeremy: (clears throat) What did the mathematician say when he was turned into an oak?

Rasa: What?

Jeremy: Gee, I’m a tree!

Rasa: Tree jokes? That's the best you can do?

Jeremy: How do you ride a horse made of pancakes?

Rasa: How?

Jeremy: Syrup stirrups!

Rasa: Getting funnier, but still pretty bad.

Jeremy: Did you hear about the professional service that lets you turn trouts and minos into musical instruments?

Rasa: No.

Jeremy: It’s called tun-a-fish!

Rasa: Oh no!

Jeremy: What’s the difference between streaming radio shows on the internet and using a fish to stick things together?

Rasa: what is it

Jeremy: One is pod casting and the other is cod pasting

Rasa: Oh, come on!

Jeremy: What’s the difference between your hands and a bear combined with a shark?

Rasa: What’s the difference?

Jeremy: one has fin-gers and grrrr-fins

Rasa: I’m in awe with how bad these are!

Jeremy: well, what’s the difference between a common vegetable and Kermit the Frog?

Rasa: what?

Jeremy: one’s a green bean, and the other’s being-green!

Rasa: The horror!

Jeremy: Did you hear about the new streaming service to teach kids math?

Rasa: no

Jeremy: it’s called Disney plus.. and minus.

Rasa: puns, really?

Jeremy: did you see all those ghost videos on the internet?

Rasa: no.

Jeremy: they’re on boo tube

Rasa: these are so bad.. and yet, addictive!

Jeremy:  maybe you’ll like this one - did you see all the videos about people complaining about my jokes?

Rasa: no!

Jeremy: those are on boohoo tube

Rasa: well, that’s funnier.

Jeremy: did I tell you about the time I went to the hospital because I got hit by a tomato?

Rasa: why? What happened?

Jeremy: the tomato was in a can.

Rasa: dad!!!

Jeremy: do you know why the cereal went to the big football game?

Rasa: why?

Jeremy: it heard it was a super-bowl!

Rasa: I have to admit, I am moderately amused.

Jeremy: did you know the first dad to make a bad joke? 

Rasa: no.

Jeremy: it hasn’t happened yet, all dad jokes are awesome!

- sad trombone -

What did you guys think? Was Jeremy the best worst dad joke teller on earth? I think it wasn’t just the full-cringe delivery, I’m pretty sure he actually wrote the jokes himself!  

Props to you Jeremy Smith!

And to you at home listening, smells like some serious challenge to me. 

Jeremy: there’s even a link for kids to submit their own bad dad jokes, isn’t there?

Rasa: Yes! But it’ll be hard to be worse than yours.

Jeremy: Well, that makes sense, I’m a professional cod paster, after all.

Rasa: Please, make it stop!

Ari: Rasa, Jeremy, you guys rocked it! Thank you for that fabulous bad dad. Rasa, I bet you get a lot of practice rolling your eyes. 

Rasa: well, you got me there.

Jeremy: Thank you for this opportunity, Ari and At Your Level.

Ari: Thank you both! And we’ll catch you on the next episode of ‘You Must Know everything’.

- trombone - 



Thank you so much to Martha for drawing the cover art! It looks amazing and.. If I’m being honest, really embarrassing. You did a great job and thank you so much for submitting your art.

- trombone - 



Oh, but there’s more! You know it doesn’t have to always be a dad telling bad jokes, some embarrassing moms are excellent at it too! 

So my mom loves listening to podcasts even more than I do and there are these two ‘modern mamas’ with a parenting podcast that she raves about. Well, they were awesome enough to play along.. Roll the clip..

Jess: Hi, Jess Gaertner here, host of the Modern Mamas podcast with my good friend Laura Bruner and I wanted to send over my funniest mom joke. My kids love it slash think it’s embarrassing, so here we go: where does the king keep his armies? …..in his sleevies, of course (chuckles). We love it around here, I hope you guys love it too. Thanks so much for having us.

- trombone - 


It’s time for a new segment, don’t you think? Well for this episode only, Swara and I played a fun little game. We decided to name it ‘the embarrassing parent extravaganza’. We’re basically gonna see if we can top each other’s made-up embarrassing scenarios. Here we go:

Swara: let’s do the megaphone thing.. like she comes like ‘come celebrate Ari’s birthday’ and you go like, somebody goes like..

Ari: and then you’re like..

Swara: and then she has a boombox on her shoulder… or something

Ari: and she starts vibing, and she goes like..

Swara: and the boombox on her shoulder.. you the 80’s thing with the boombox on the shoulder?

Ari: Yeah yeah, yeah, I got you..

Swara: and she goes like ‘come celebrate Ari’s birthday’.. and then she’s like ‘follow me to the school kids’.. and then everyone follows her into the school.. Like.. and yeahy.. and then she projects um, pictures of your baby photos...

Ari: wait wait

Swara: ‘this is Ari when he dropped his ice cream’.. ‘This is Ari when he…’

Ari: and um this is Ari...

Swara: and she brings a huge cake..

Ari: and this is Ari when he did his first poopy

Swara: laughs

Ari: and this is Ari when he pet a monkey..

Swara: this actually happened in my school once, at my friend’s birthday, her mom projected her baby photos on the screen (giggles)..

Ari: so, she comes over, gives me the treats and I’m like ‘thanks’ but then she’s like ‘oh no! I’ll stay here’, and then she shouts ‘for your PLAY DATE’, because you know, nobody likes that word. I don’t think a single person likes that word.

Swara: I’ll stay here for your play date (giggles)..

Ari: continuing with the story: those guinea pigs start coming out from the projector and so do monkeys, and then a monkey comes and sits on his head and poops on him, and then she goes ‘oh Ari, I’m like you’.. And um...

Swara:and hum.. Anyways, let’s get back to the photos.. And then she’s like ‘this is Ari, when he first, when he pooped his diaper’... ‘and this is Ari jumping on the bed.. Trying to be a seagull’... 

Ari: and then I cut her off saying ‘No mother! You’re not allowed to do this anymore’.

Swara: giggles

Ari: and then everybody gives me the new nickname - show stopper monkey pooper.

Swara: laughs

- trombone - 


So I’ve been wanting to set up a Patreon for a really long time, but I wanted to think of something really awesome to give and a way to connect with you. And then this recording from Ava came:

Ava: ‘I normally use the podcast while I’m drawing’

And BINGO! Or BAM or something!!

Wouldn’t it be awesome if every month, right before an episode comes out, you’d get a little package in the mail with an art project that’s related to the episode topic?

You know how At Your Level is brought to you by Art and Light Society? 

Well, my mom is an artist that loves encouraging kids to express themselves creatively. You probably noticed the music Ben plays and my, well, podcasting, but we all enjoy all sorts of visual arts too. We thought this would be a really nice way to spark more fun for you. So for a Patreon membership of $10 a month, you will receive a small art kit that we’ll put together for each episode. But that’s not all - also once a month, you’ll get a zoom with yours truly (that means me by the way). You can show me what you made, or ask me any questions you have about the art project, tell me what you thought about the episode or what you’d like to hear more of, or just tell me about yourself and talk about whatever you want to talk about.

To sign up, go to Patreon.com/AtYourLevel

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There’s only one thing left to do.. Thank you! Yeah you! Thanks for spending your time listening to my lovely voice. I cleaned out a few voice cracks for ya (; 

Swara, you rocked it! Please stay in touch and well, thank you!

Rasa & Jeremy, we loved meeting you, loved your bad dad version, can’t wait to hear your answer to my vexing question and also, thank you!

As always, thank you Ben, dear brother for all brass, or should I say brassias (gasp!)

And thank you, to my embarrassing mother who wrote that last line there and made me say it!

See you on the last Wednesday of next month.

I’m your host Ari Kelly and At Your Level is a production of Art & Light Society

-trombone x3 and a tuba outro-

(((The answer to the riddle is a chimp off the old block)))