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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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A Maternal Dilemma

I find myself in an awkward position.

There’s a girl in my office who I think may be pregnant — but not obviously so. Yet. Unless she’s not actually pregnant, which is a very real possibility.

So now the timer is ticking. You only have a certain window of time once a woman starts showing — or, maybe, simply ‘enfattening’ — to say something nice about the joys of motherhood and how special this time is, and something something ‘positively glowing!‘ something something.

(What is it about impreggerated ladies that makes people believe they want to be called ‘glowing’, anyway? It’s bad enough that they’ll soon look like amateur beach ball smugglers; do we really have to point out how shiny they’ve become, too?

Eventually, it just crosses over into ‘cruel’. Haven’t these poor women been through enough already?)

“It’s one thing to share in the joy of a pregnant woman’s girth with a hug and a soft pat; it’s quite another to yank up some husky woman’s shirt and fondle her navel because you want to ‘feel the heartbeat’.”

At some point, that ‘compliment timer’ dings, and if you haven’t yet mentioned to the mother-to-be how beautiful and courageous she is for feeding a half-baked fetus from her insides until it shoots out her hoohah nine months hence, then you’ve lost your chance. If you hang around waiting for her water to break before saying, ‘Oh look, you’re preggers; hey, good luck with that!‘, then suddenly you’re the insensitive jackass. It hardly seems fair.

On the other hand, there’s the risk that this girl’s just plumping up a little. There’s no shame in that; it happens to the best of us. Maybe she’s been cramming nuts in preparation for the long, barren winter ahead.

The point is, I can’t be certain that the extra lumpiness under this girl’s blouse is a burgeoning fetus, and not a growing mountain of triple lattes and Twinkie cream. So I can’t risk commenting warmly on her newly-knocked-upedness, for fear of being wrong. It’s one thing to share in the joy of a pregnant woman’s girth with a hug and a soft pat; it’s quite another to yank up some husky woman’s shirt and fondle her navel because you want to ‘feel the heartbeat’. That’s when you’ll find the one situation where the distinction between ‘with child’ and ‘beer-bellied’ is mostly irrelevant — when you’re being sat on and squished into the shag carpet.

So I’ll be keeping a close eye on this woman and her expanding torso. In another week or two, it should become glaringly obvious whether she’s birthing a baby, or binging on bonbons. At some point, the appearance of maternity clothes — or a Weight Watchers’ muumuu — should give it away.

Or I could just ask one of her friends. But jeez — where’s the fun in that?

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “A Maternal Dilemma”

  1. kerry says:

    you could try casually walking past when she’s talking with her friends, pretend to drop something, and eavesdrop to see if she mentions being pregnant.

    it works for hubby.

  2. Roofie Raccoon says:

    If you find you cannot determine the answer and must choose on your own which path to take, ALWAYS choose to be the “late, insensetive to her pregnancy” asshole rather than the “called her fat” asshole. I’ve not experienced the first but the second one will get you NEVER forgiven.

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