Having a baby opens me up to all kinds of awkward encounters that I never imagined that I would have.
It’s like the baby (even if still in-utero) nullifies the existence of the “personal space bubble”. That is not good for me. I like my bubble. The bubble is awesome!
Old women (or even creepier, old men) will reach out and touch the protruding abdomen of pregnant women. How does one react to that? I personally, tried to never leave my house again. Ever.
Also, people see a pregnant woman and they decide that you need to know their life story including, if not especially, the gruesome details of their own birth experience (or that of their cousin’s friend. Who was in labor for 300 years and gave birth to a 12 lb wookie).
And once my son was born, it didn’t end. People recounted tales of their own (usually horrifying) experiences with children. Plenty of “just wait until he is *insert milestone*”. Gee thanks.. Now that I know having a child that walks is hard, I’ll send him back to the manufacturer. Oh wait…
Strangers also have all kinds of weird and usually invasive questions.
Some of my favorites (complete with appropriate answers):
Question: “How old is he?” Followed immediately by “How old are YOU?”
This one is really silly, as I was 24 when I gave birth. That’s just one year younger than the national average age at first child. But apparently to elderly grocery store patrons, I look like a teenager. I digress.
Answer: I’m 47. I’ve had extensive work done. I could give you the name of my doctor if you want.
Question: What is he? (I’m assuming they meant “what is his ethnic background?”)
Answer: a baby.
Question: When are you going to stop breast feeding him?
Answer: hold on, he’ll be done in about 10 minutes.
AND FINALLY the crowning moment of awkward (complete with the responses that may or may not have happened) goes to this experience:
Background: Recently my friend from my home town in Louisiana visited me in San Diego. It was a situation in which it was necessary to go out and run the risk of interacting with strangers. It was bound to happen…
Woman working at a desk at a museum: so are you guys from here?
Friend says “she is” and I say “no” at the same time.
I clarify that while I currently reside in San Diego that I am not from here.
Woman: well if you live here then you are from here.
Me: funny because I was under the impression that I was from Louisiana and had only moved here a few months back.
Woman: “huh… “*motions towards Moses who is clearly in boy clothing (a bow tie!) “boy or girl?”
Me: I was thinking I would let him decide for himself.
Woman: oh I see… Well what is his name?
Woman: wow that is a …strong… name for a little guy. Like the Moses from the bible?
Me: no. Like the basketball player.
*friend is visibly embarrassed by my antics and mumbles that we are leaving and drags me away from this woman.
I have no idea what it is about tiny human beings that makes people lose all tact. But it’s totally a thing. Beware socially awkward mothers! Beware!