Last weekend was our 5th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a rare night out for just the two of us, as we left the Little Dude with a saintly friend for a few hours of
peace and quiet adult time. I made a conscious choice for us to go to a grown-up restaurant (i.e. no menus with pictures & no crayons anywhere on the premises), hoping that we could enjoy a low key dinner with no interruptions. I should have picked another restaurant.
After playing Wingman during 1.67 pregnancies, I’ve determined that there’s a hierarchy of inappropriate questions that strangers feel are appropriate to ask a pregnant woman. I don’t know why they feel the inquisition is necessary, since beyond the 90 seconds we are behind them in line at Trader Joes, I wouldn’t recognize them again if I was locked in a Smart Car with them. So in order from least to most offensive, here are my:
Top 6 Inappropriate Questions Strangers Ask Pregnant Women
1) When are you due? It’s a fair question and its answer should be the end of the discussion. If I tell you October 64th and you tell me that is your great-grandmother’s birthday, am I supposed to care? How would you like me to respond, “Great, we should have a joint birthday party!”?
2) Do you know what you are having? Many years ago, I heard a pregnant woman answer this question with “yes, a baby”. At the time, I thought that was obnoxious and still kind of do, but so is the questioning that pregnant women incessantly receive. Boy or girl, if I don’t know you, what’s the difference? We didn’t find out the gender in advance when Mrs. Dude was pregnant with the Little Dude. If we made a decision not to find out from the doctor, why do you think I want your opinion, Gas Station Attendant?
3) Do you have a name picked out? We always answer “no” to this question because in all honesty we don’t. Some people like to Tweet that they are having a baby named Jemima Alkaline Smith while still holding the wet pregnancy test in their hand. That’s not our style. The problem with this question is that strangers, who know nothing about me, start offering suggestions: “Oh, well Banana is nice!” or “What about Pepcid?”. Guess what, if you don’t know my name, do you really think I’m going to let you name my kid? Maybe if you pulled me out of a burning building you’d earn some say in the matter, but I’d probably at least ask your name then.
4) Can I touch your belly? Yours isn’t that much smaller, go rub that instead.
5) Are you having twins? If you ask a woman this question and she isn’t wearing a shirt that says “Future Mother of Twins”, expect something heavy to be thrown at your head. Personally, I would never ask a stranger if she was even pregnant unless her water broke on my foot while she was standing next to me at the hospital. But some people feel entitled to more or less call a random pregnant woman extra-fat. Thanks a lot, stranger, that’s going to work out well for the hormonally stressed among us.
6) Are you having a Natural Delivery? Again, people don’t think about how personal of a question this really is. Do you really need to know if my wife is planning on squeezing 8 pounds of flesh through her private parts? Better question: did you ever wonder why they are called “private parts”? Spoiler alert: it’s because those organs are not a subject most sane people ask random strangers about.
If you are someone I care about, you probably know the answers to many of these questions, but if not, I have no problem with you asking the first three. If you are a waiter named Beelzebub and are endlessly trying to sell us on the merits of giving our unborn your ridiculous name, please do me a favor. Please get me my iced tea already, and mind your own business.
What inappropriate questions were you asked during pregnancy?