A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

People say the darndest things- to pregnant people

I'm winding down this pregnancy, so I am at my biggest and for some reason that seems to invite more and more comments from strangers and acquaintances alike. Throughout the whole pregnancy, I've really only had a few strangers approach me... with their hands. I really don't mind, I just think it's a bit weird. I mean, I don't really even want to touch the bellies of people I know- so it's just weird to me that anyone would want to touch a stranger's belly. But, I always saw the kind, excited, and good-natured looks in the people's eyes as they "went for it" and I do always welcome good vibes.

As I write this, I'm counting down and have about 3 1/2 weeks until my due date. So, I'm, you know... huge. People, I know I'm huge. You don't have to tell me. And yet, you still do! Here are two of the most popular comments I've gotten in the last few weeks (and what I've heard):
-"WOW! you look like you're ready to go any day now"; "Looks like it's time!" (what I hear is: you look at least one month more pregnant that you actually are)
-"Ugh, you look so done!" (what I hear is: you look tired and miserable)

I've often joked that I should have a tshirt made that says, "End of January. It's a boy. Yes, we're excited" since those are the things that people always ask. But, on that note, I think it's weird that people ask if we're excited. I mean, obviously we are excited and thrilled. Of course there are a select few people for whom I should also add the line, "yes, we were trying." I mean, really. People also ask Ben if he's ready to be a parent since this is his first biological child and the first child he's parenting from day one (even though he's been parenting Little Bird with me for some time now). At this point, he has fun with it and gets existential, "is anyone ever really ready?" Usually that ends the train of awkward questions. Although often times when people find out it's a boy they say, "Oh! Ben must be so excited!" as though he'd be less thrilled to have a girl?? 

At some point, we just kept rolling with it. We'd answer questions, smile at their awkwardness ("are you sure there's only one in there?"), and move on. People often ask if it's our first. Whenever I politely answer that it's my second and that my daughter is almost nine they ask the next inevitable question: "is she excited?" (unless they know her/me/us and then they ask, "does she understand any of this?" For the record, yes, she understands that we're having a baby boy and she will become a big sister. Does she get that he's going to completely control our lives for a while? probably not, but I'm not sure Ben and I are totally there either!) So, they ask if she's excited and looking forward to being a big sister. Because I have no interest in prolonging conversations and having an Autism 101 discussion with strangers these days, I never even say the big A word to them. My standard answer is usually something about how she has a doll that she feeds a bottle to and then practices putting a pacifier in its mouth- likely a skill she'll come to master. I'd be lying if I didn't acknowledge that's a tough question for me- is she excited? I also cringe each time someone innocently says, "oh! you'll have a built-in babysitter!" Little do they know that I not-so-secretly hope that someday the baby will be able to help with the bird (not the other way around). Again, I just flash the smile and hope I can safely exit the small talk and continue making my way down the grocery store aisle or out of wherever I happen to be at the time. 

I know it's all well-being and innocent and very kind and for some reason, people love talking to pregnant people. So, I smile and politely play along. And I know I'd better get used to it because there's no way people can resist talking to a new mom with a teeny little (obviously going-to-be-gorgeous) baby!

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