Thursday, 1 December 2011

Public Property

 Public Property.

People are really interested in you once you are pregnant, particularly with twins. Colleagues who had never even held the door open for me were suddenly stopping by my desk for extended chats. I was always amazed at how complete strangers would ask me intimate questions in a perfectly casual manner and then seem surprised that I wasn’t inclined to discuss stretch marks, piles or my pelvic floor in the middle of the office.  Apparently it was perfectly acceptable to comment on how enormous I was getting (really? I hadn’t noticed) and to give the bump a good old rub as if it wasn’t in fact attached to an actual person. Sorry to say it but older people were the worst at this. Also inexplicably were childless women in their 50’s who were suddenly an authority on childbirth because their neighbour’s cousin had twins 20 years ago. You just have to smile and pretend to be as interested in their unsolicited attention as they suddenly are in your pregnancy.
If anything this phenomenon increased after I had the babies and I felt like handing out a card to every stranger who quizzed me about the babies with their names, weights and the make/model of my pushchair. I got overwhelmingly positive comments but there will always be those people who say negative things (I got a “poor cow” comment in a shopping centre) or who ask ridiculous questions (I always found questions about whether my girl and boy were identical tricky to answer with a straight face). Be as polite as you can and move on quickly. You’ve got better things to do with your day.

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