Adventures in Parenting: You Better Have Thick Skin and Quick Wit
Parenthood involves being asked embarrassing and inappropriate questions by other adults
I have four children. It’s no secret. If you see my husband and me, you will likely see four little ducks trailing behind us. Playing in the park is the good stuff, but parenthood involves hearing frequent embarrassing and inappropriate questions.
When I was pregnant with the second girl, many people said, “Now you’ll have to try for the boy.” This is when I took a deep breath and tried not to assume the other person was a sexist pig. Here’s a sampling of real comments I’ve heard throughout the years and how I wish I had answered.
When are you going to start having kids? Never. I have a cat that I push around in a baby carriage. I’m not sure why people are worried so much about other people’s reproductive habits. If you want to have kids fine. If you don’t want to have kids fine. (But can you babysit for me?)
Are you pregnant? Nope. Just fat. Better yet. No, I'm not pregnant. Are you pregnant? Better yet again. No, it’s just a giant tumor.
Are you sure there’s only one baby in there? I'm carrying a litter of puppies, plus an alien from “Alien.”
What does your husband think about the pregnancy? I haven’t told him yet. He doesn't like the movie "Alien."
Do you work? For working moms, the answer is, "Yes." For stay-at-home moms, the answer is, "Yes." Carpool, ballet, soccer. I eat bon-bons and watch "General Hospital" all day.
Are you going to keep working? Oh, no. Having kids is like winning the lottery. It means all my bills are paid! Of course, I’ve got to keep working. My kids like to eat food.
How many kids are you going to have? 8 at a time. Up to 24 kids. Whatever will get me my own reality TV show.
Did you mean to get pregnant? No, I was just trying to get lucky.
Now you’ll have to try for the boy. Remember what Yoda said, "There is no try, just do." My husband's boy sperm are broken.
You need someone to carry on the family name. I'm pretty sure the other 500,000 people with that last name will carry it on just fine.
Your nose is getting bigger. Your face is getting fat. My face is staying the same. Your face is getting thinner. Better yet, Really? I’m gestating another lifeform, my blood volume has increased by 50 percent, and you think I’m worried about a little pudge in my cheeks?
Are you sure you’re pregnant? Your boobs aren’t getting any bigger. This was said to me at work, in a breakroom full of people, no less. Really. Talk about HR violation. I was seven months pregnant at the time and said, “Yes, I’m sure and I have small boobs.” Who says this at work? Me, apparently.
Are you going to get your tubes tied? Hello? Are we now talking about my internal organs? Are you going to have that triple bypass?
I don't like that name for a baby. My ex-girlfriend had that name. The biggest jerk at my high school had that name. That’s such an old sounding name for a baby. When you get pregnant and tote around a lifeform for nine months, you get to name it anything you like. Or better yet. Buy a dog and name it whatever you like. Guess what name is old? Adam. He was the first man and no one complains about his name sounding old or weird. It’s my uterus. I can name my baby “Orangeyougladididntsaybanana” if I want to.
Do you know how many strange comments my husband has heard throughout the years? None. Remember how I took a deep breath and tried not to assume that people are sexist pigs? I just let that deep breath out.
No one asks men about their sperm count or reproductive habits. The world would be a much funnier place if we did.