As the mother of two late summer babies, I can't help silently repeating "at least you're not pregnant" approximately 600 times on days like today (high 80s, more humidity than I can handle).
A few summers ago, when I was carrying my second child, highs hovered in the 90s for weeks. At times I wondered if I'd make it to delivery before I landed in jail on assault charges. It felt like no one seemed to understand that that last leg of pregnancy is generally uncomfortable in the BEST of circumstances, and the addition of heat makes the extra 25/35/50 pounds feel like it is due to a furry head-to-toe polyester bear costume. (I wore one of those several times too, so this comparison is based on factual information.) Leaving the house became an exercise in restraint, as my inner monologue took a turn for "Roseanne and Andrew Dice Clay's love child."
Consider this a summer PSA. If you feel the need to utter these words to a pregnant woman in your life, or, God forbid, a woman you've just met, please know that she's calculating just how far she can reach beyond her belly to strangle the life out of you.
"Are you sure it's not twins?!"
Oh, I don't know. How could we possibly even be sure these days? Would you like to put on a monocle and shove your Mr. Peanut-sized head up there to inspect? Please. I'm curious myself. And then, once you're up there, I'll practice my kegels and kill you with my vagina.
"Wow! Any day now!"
(The disdain here is reserved solely for any schmo that utters this without any prior knowledge of the due date.)
Actually, I was due yesterday. Do you have any favorite dry-clean-only garments in your wardrobe you can go grab for me? I'd like to shove them down my pants and hope my water breaks.
Yes. Any day next month, you tactless chimp.
There was a house I walked by nearly every day on my way to work where a gentleman of leisure parked himself on his porch from what seemed like sunup to sundown. For weeks he'd toss this gem at me like it was the first damn time I walked by. My response went from a polite "not quite" to a clenched-teethed "anybody's guess" to a silent "I will suffocate you" stare to the eventual crossing to the other side of the street to avoid it altogether. If I had had a baby, I might have thrown it at him.
It's. Just. So. Wrong. I don't care if I look like I'm smuggling the blue ribbon giant pumpkin from the county fair under my car cover of a dress. Manners are manners. Also, I'm not huge. 747s are huge. Elephants are huge. The GRAND CANYON IS HUGE. Get a little perspective, and a filter that sweeps up the crap that flows from your brain to your lips.
I've never understood why some people find it appropriate to make statements that would NEVER fly with a non-pregnant woman just because a freeloader has taken up residence in someone's uterus. Like suddenly we're just some walking science experiment that has no connection to her ever-expanding baby cooking vehicle. Newsflash! It's never OK, and now I want to see you run over by every middle-aged tourist taking a Segway tour.
"I didn't think you could get any bigger! But you did!"
I liked to think people couldn't get any more insensitive and stupid, BUT YOU DID!
So if there's a pregnant woman you love -- or if you just pass one in the heat -- get her cold beverages. Go swimming with her. Help install some AC. Or at the very least, offer a silent nod of solidarity. But for the love of pearl, do not say anything stupid. Because she may even write about it three years later.
Happy summer, everyone.
More tales of parenting woe can be found on Sara's blog, oddlywelladjusted.