“I can’t think why mothers love them. All babies do is leak at both ends.”
– Douglas Feaver
Wise and R2 are both pregnant and due about the same time. I’ve had a slew of acquaintances spawn recently. Last Friday the office girls and I had that conversation about childbirth that traumatized three-quarters of us, and at dinner last night my god-uncle (jokingly) asked when J. and I were going to add to the list. Short answer, not any time soon, Deus Volent. Pregnancy seems to be on everyone’s collective brain these days.
Apart from my completely lack of desire to have children in the near future, pregnancy, as far as I can tell, produces all sort of undesirable social effects. I can’t begin to count the times that pregnant women have been accosted in public places by, as far as I can tell, perfect strangers. People seem to feel it’s their prerogative to run up, clap hands on their stomach, and demand when they are due or coo over them in an alarmingly possessive manner. I can personally guarantee the first stranger who tries that with me when I’m eventually ready to have kids will have their ears blistered.
Also, it seems to turn people (in their minds at least) into friends with everyone in sight. Which can be awkward for the individual on the receiving end of this jovial goodwill.
Friday evening I ran to Nordstrom to find a baby shower present for R2. When I stepped off the tile floor into the carpeted are of the baby section, I might as well has crossed the Bosporus!
There were choruses of “Awww!” from every corner, even though I saw next to no people anywhere. A creepy enough beginning, but it got more bizarre. Wandering past a rack of clothes a perfect stranger leaped at me out of nowhere clutching tiny shoes in her fist.
“Aren’t these the most adorable things you’ve ever seen?!” she demanded shrilly before disappearing behind shelves of diaper bags.
A bit shaken I began flipping through clothes when a woman on the other side of the store held up a pair of pajamas, waved them back and forth to get my attention, and when I furtively glanced up, yelled, “These are just too cute, I had to share them with someone!” I nodded and moved away quietly…
Only to back into a third woman who held up two onesies asking my opinion which one she should buy, launching into the life story of both herself and the person she was buying this present for.
“Uh, the one on the left?” I offered.
“My left or your left?” she demanded. “Are ducks gender-neutral enough?”
“By the way, when are you due? You’re not showing at all,” she said, reaching for my stomach.
“I’m not pregnant,” I managed through clenched teeth, nearly tripping as I backpedaled to avoid her hand.
“Oh. Well, you have time,” she said, patting the shoulder I couldn’t wrench away in time.