After torturous analysis, discussion, and brain-bursting over thinking (all on my part), we are now expecting a fourth child.
Following the announcement, I started a tally of responses. The leading one, in its many formats (text message, email and phone calls) was:
Oh. My. God.
OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!
There were variations in size of font, capitalisation, tone of voice and decibels but they were all saying the same thing: “Are you crazy?!” It’s as though we told people: “We’re having a fourth child. Would you mind carrying it, birthing it and raising it for us?”
The shock horror was closely followed by:
“Congratulations! Are you hoping for a girl this time?”
I thought a puppy might be nice for a change.
And coming in at third was:
“We knew because your face was rounder and your gut was fatter.”
Nice. Thank you.
You’d think I’d be used to the extensive assortment of questions complete strangers (and family and friends) ask once you become a parent (or even divulge you are about to embark on the journey of trying for a baby). Despite the innately private, intricate and detailed topic matter there is an open forum for comment with the-no-holds-barred approach a favourite. Some say it is simply people making innocent conversation and that people don't mean anything by it. I say, it is simple people. Surely we can come up with something more intelligent and remarkably more interesting than the torn and tattered cliches?
For anyone who is tactfully deficient, I have included a list of answers to some of the questions I have been asked with the announcement of our fourth pregnancy.
Let me know if I have missed anything!
Yes, it was planned.
No, we are not crazy, insane, demented or a sandwich short of a picnic.
Yes, they all have the same father.
No, we didn’t have anything better to do (what would you rather be doing?).
Yes, we own a TV.
No, the power was not out that night.
Yes, we know how babies are made.
No, we don’t rely on the rhythm method.
Yes, we understand the concept of contraception.
Yes, we know that four children is a lot.
No, I wasn’t that attached to my pelvic floor.
Yes, we know we may have another boy.
No, we didn’t “try for a girl”, we’re not “hoping for a pink one”, or “praying for more oestrogen in the house” (but of course, a girl would be lovely, as would another boy).
Yes, we have sorted out names.
No, we won’t be finding out the gender.
Yes, this will be our last.
No, we are not hoping to start a football team.
Yes, we realise how much money children cost.
No, we didn’t do it for the plasma bonus.
Yes, we know about the need for a bigger car.
No, we will not have to buy a mini-bus.
Yes, we’ll have our hands full.
No we don’t value sleep, we’ve forgotten what it is.
Yes, we have enough space (is it illegal for kids to share a bedroom?)
No, we are not gluttons for punishment (you see children as a punishment?).
Yes, we’re taking congratulations!
My favourite response was from my adorable friend Amy, who lives in the States. She knows all about the idiotic comments people make - she is in her mid-30's, single and currently without children, so she has heard them all, albeit from a polar angle.
Simple, concise and so accurate:
Congrats, my dear. Best of luck with not smacking the idiots.
What was the most interesting or intrusive question you were asked when you announced your pregnancy? Did you feel like smacking anyone who asked one of those questions?
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