Monday, April 11, 2016

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??

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