Friday, May 4, 2012

7 quick takes: Awkward baby comments edition

Yesterday I took my 2 sweet girls for a walk to take some "new" neighbors a house warming-ish gift of banana bread (they have been in the neighborhood for many many months now and I am just getting around to this) I am a regular Mister Rogers.

Anyways, on my little jaunt we ran into my sweet elderly old lady neighbor and stopped to talk for bit during which time it came out that several of the new families in the neighborhood have at least a couple small children- this fact greatly excited me as the general population of our neighborhood is currently of the same elderly make-up as this said woman. Our sweet neighbor expressed that she too was happy that there would be "more children" in the neighborhood, at which point she asked the ages of our girls. I said "3, 18 months, and we have another on the way!" (excitedly with big smile) and she responded "Oh, Ok". That was it. Her general happiness at the thought of more children faded almost immediately with my little announcement. Maybe she pictured in that moment our whole street crawling with babies: babies on her roof and in her vegetable garden, babies coming our of her heating vents, I don't know. I am inclined to think that we just crossed the line with our whole "were gonna break the rules and have more than 2 kids" attitude.

Anywho, this was the first reaction of this nature I've gotten since conceiving this babe and I fully expect to have many, many more like it in the next 5 1/2 months.
Here are some others I think we'll encounter (way more exciting than, "Oh, Ok"- she could have done better than that)

1) "You're done, right?" (not even "are you done?" this person feels the need to really impose what you should be doing first, then double check, "right?")

2) "How many kids are you going to have?" (I always picture a teenage, air head asking this question, as if there is actually an answer)

3) "You know what causes that, right?" (This one deserves as awkward as a response as you can think of, since it is the MOST awkward question anyone could ever ask)

4) "You're a baby making machine" (A friend just told me she got this response, I can't quite think of what is going through the person's head who says this)

5) The immediate defensive remark like "We're waiting", or "we waited" or the explanations of how they are done and have been sterilized (this puts you in a really weird position, but it is at least a conversation starter, unlike the rest of them)

6) "You're going to have your hands full" (why yes I am)

7) "Why?" (again, at least a conversation starter)

Let me know if you've gotten other responses so I can prepare myself for them, also if you have any good responses, I'd love to hear them!

For more quick-type takes, visit Jen and many others at Conversion Diary.


  1. I am preparing for these questions too. Every time we're all out together, I feel like I have to brace myself. People are so forward!

    Ooh, you have to add the "So you're trying for the boy" question...I know that's a popular question (just the other way around) for us.

  2. Oh man, I could write a book with all the comments we got having five kids aged 8 and under. The absolute worst one was when a male coworker told me that I could prevent pregnancy with an aspirin. I looked at him like "Huh?" And he said "Just hold it between your knees." SO RUDE!!!

  3. I just had the "why" conversation last week. That was awkward, especially when all 3 of mine were with me. My in laws told some people we were expecting our third (these people hadn't seen us in years) and exclaimed "wow! they sure did get busy quick!" Wow. I don't know why, but that one really bothers me.
    Oh, we had two boys first so there was a lot of "I bet you're hoping for a girl" while I was preg. with the 3rd. Uh, no, actually I just want a healthy baby.

  4. Well I haven't gotten any comments like this yet of course...I have some catching up to do (if that's even a good way to put it), We'll just see what God thinks, that's better =), haha anyway I know as a kid I actually had a friend say something really embarrassing. My Mom would have flipped but we were watching Monty Python and it was the video for "Every Sperm is Sacred" of which I had no former knowledge, and proceeded to sit through with a group of sibling friends of mine, and the older brother was like "that's like your family, hahaha" and I was totally stunned and had no idea what to say. I felt like it was really rude and assumptive. I also had someone ask why my twin sister was pregnant...with her first one! I was not very nice. I said something to the effect of "well, she's married and that's what happens, duh" thinking "why aren't just just saying 'congratulations!" ? It seems I have some prepping to do so as not to be angry or silent toward people when they say such things. . . Best of luck with the responses!

  5. ah!! I'm so sorry Ana!!

    I was asked by a fellow NFPer if Sebastian's pregnancy was "planned?!" in horror --- which (probably irrationally) really upset me. I always think of good quips after the fact -- but its probably best I just turn red and get awkward rather than am rude and a poor witness.

    Keep up the good baby-machine-making-work!!!!!!!!! You are blessed.

  6. I loved this, Ana. I haven't had the comments quite yet...but am anticipating them soon. People are so forward, but like myself, I'm sure many just don't think before they speak. My husband is the best at giving people the benefit of the doubt - I AM NOT. I'm working on it.

    God bless that little babe inside! (and the two outside!) What a great witness and mama you are (delivering banana bread and all!)

    ...ok, that's one too many exclamation marks in one comment...

  7. Ug, I've had most of those too, but a lot of nice comments as well which has helped me not smack any of the rude givers. A strange, and common one for me this time around has been the guy with the beer belly who CAN NOT HELP HIMSELF and says while sticking his gut out, "See, I'm nine months too!"
    Um, no. no. no. please no.
    Anyhow, here's hoping you run into some nice people with nice things to say!

  8. I'm so happy for you!!! Best responses other people have said to nosy nosy questioners would be to
    3) "Yeah, that's the best part" - Momma to 7
    6) "Better full than empty" or my sister's favorite "if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart" - of course a little cheezy to say to the awkward stranger.

    Regardless, you are blessed!!!!

  9. So happy for you! Announcing our pregnancy with our third did seem to push us into another realm --people seem suspicious, because now you are being counter-cultural. Our mothers, sisters, aunts, friends...they were just baffled! "Oh...well, that's a surprise" "You guys are crazy!" " you have two boys?" (as if we would only want a third child if we were trying for a different variety!)

    So let me say CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS! This precious being is going to bring something special to the world that has never been here before!

  10. I got several of those, my least favorite being the "You know what causes that?" Ick.

  11. This is getting into a very tiny sub-culture of the population, but do you think it is rude for fellow NFPers to ask one another if a pregnancy was planned? As someone who is practicing NFP currently to post-pone pregnancy, I don't think it's that odd, given the situation. I think that practicing NFP implies that you are always (in some way) open to life at any time. If something unexpected happened, my take on it would be, "this is not what _we planned_, but God had a better plan for us." I would try to be open about it. It's not an "accident" like others want to call it, but a "surprise." I'm sure most of the commenters feels this way, but I'm just wondering if you think its appropriate for fellow NFPers to use this kind of language with each other to talk about this kind of scenario. I think everyone is always wondering, but since we know, amongst ourselves, we are all open to life, why not be honest about it?

  12. I had my last two babies 15.5 months apart, and you'd think I was single-handedly overpopulating the world!

    anyway, this post made me laugh about it:

    Here's to giggling without losing our bladders!

  13. I am one of the older children in a really big family, 15 to be exact and people always ask me, so how many kids are your parents going to have? I usually claim that who knows because my parents can't count or it's up to God. It just depends on how sarcastic I feel...since I feel that is rather a personal question to ask!

  14. A great response to the " you know how that happens, right?" question is n equally awkward answer "yes we do, and we enjoy it very much along with the resulting children!". That usually shuts them up!


    Amy (mom o 5 boys, pregnant with our 6th and, yes, hoping for a girl!)

  15. My fave response to "You know what causes that..." is "yup, and some of us are better at it than others." (mom to 4 littles)

  16. lol, I am also pregnant with my 3rd (22 weeks) and I recently got a great one

    "so are you going to have 9 children?" ... "because my neighbor is Catholic and she has 9 children."

    huh?! My husband and I weren't quite sure what to say to that one except to stare open-mouthed, then laugh. Because surely anyone nuts enough to have 3 kids is surely crazy enough to have 9 too. And isn't it in the Catholic Catechism that we all must have exactly 9 children? Not 7 or 8 or 12, but 9 exactly :) But my husband is Lutheran, so maybe we should only have 4.5 kids? Oy, sure gave me a laugh though.

    I get a lot of "wow your hands are full" and usually just respond with "yes they are" and smile. Because my hands are full, and I'm really really enjoying it :)

    Just wait until this girl (we have 2 boys) pops out and then everyone will start saying "Oh good, a girl, you can stop now" with relief. I feel like I got a free pass this time since I have 2 boys and no girls yet. Next time it should get downright hilarious with the comments!

  17. I don't find it so offensive. You never know what is motivating people's comments: maybe they maybe they hoped for more kids, and are jealous; maybe they grew up in a big family and felt neglected; maybe they are just trying to make small talk and don't mean anything by it. I'm expecting my first, but even at thirty I am the first of my college friends to head down the parenting road. Knowing that I am Catholic, I have gotten a lot of "so you're gonna have a lot, huh?" and "how many are you going to have?" and even "you know you should try to hold off for a bit before having the next one." But these comments reflect really different life and cultural experiences, and they really can be conversation starters with an honest, open, and unoffended me on the receiving end. I don't feel like the spokesperson for an ideology of child-bearing, but an individual trying to be happy, just like them - this makes it easy to enter into a discussion without offense.

  18. BUT the aspirin comment is just TOTALLY OUT OF LINE! I'm so glad people posted about that - now I will be prepared. If someone says it to me I'm going to do the totally-awkward-call-out: "What are you suggesting? ...No, really, I want you to explain it to me, right now. A joke? Well not an appropriate one."