Open Season

Pregnant women's bodies appear to be accepted as social property and pregnant women are daily accosted by comments about their appearance and size and ambushed with unsolicited advice. I discovered this early on in my first pregnancy when I was told by concerned people to, for instance, have a natural birth at home/take the epidural as soon as possible, read as many books on pregnancy and parenthood as I could/eschew all literature and focus inward etc etc  Apart from contradictory unsolicited advice from good samaritans all around, concerned waiters would always "double check" whether I really asked for a one shot latte or a decaf, kindly confirming that they had decaf if I should so prefer it. If I ordered a glass of wine, intending to sip some throughout my long dinner, admonishing eyebrows were raised. Hardly a day went by when people would say "oh, you must be seven months by now!" (when I was 4) or "you haven't popped yet?" (when I wasn't even in the third trimester) or my favourite "weren't you due weeks ago?" - everything a pregnant woman wants to hear. This becomes even more unbearable post-partum, when you've evicted your tenant but they've left the accommodation a mess, with a belly protruding out where a once flat stomach you were so vain about used to be... vanity of vanities saith the preacher, vanity... I believe one day I actually cried when I was asked how many months I was, my son barely three months on my lap.

This time round, it's the SAMO with a twist. My favourite comment this time round is "wow, you are sure bigger than last time!" - which makes me feel wonderful. This is the sequel from my first when it was simply "boy, you are big!" - at least a logical succession, I suppose. People also love to comment on the spacing of my kids, noting how quickly we had a second. Some people wink and say they're "Irish twins" (technically, they are not). Others point out the positive/negative aspects of the small time difference (21 months). My favourite were comments from my tailor. She had boys 5 years apart. "I liked it that way" she continued, "mainly, because we separated their college payment - you, why you will be paying two college tuitions at the same time!" she laughed. I'm sure she meant it in the nicest way possible, but my heart beat through a few summersaults. I hadn't even thought of college - let alone two payments at the same time! Hey, you in there, any chance we could take a rain check??


Popular Posts