One thing that looks really annoying to me about watching pregnant women try and go about their day, is witnessing people who want to lay their hands on the belly.
I know that it’s not the end of the world and the sentiment behind is usually pretty innocent and all. Heck, I’ll admit it can even be kind of cool for it to happen when it’s a grandpop-to-be or someone on that level doing the deed. Still, I am totally baffled whenever I see total strangers approach a woman and try and “go in for the pat.”
What it is that possesses certain human beings to simply have to get a Buddha rub on your baby momma’s belly? I really don’t know. And I will likely never uncover that depth of mystery.
Is it for luck?
Do they want you to know that they love babies?
Are they a little drunk? (Sadly, sometimes they are a little drunk!)
On the flip side though, if you are a lovely lady who just so happens to be carrying some precious cargo, or if you expect to be one sometime in the near future, and if you, like a lot of folks, tend to shy away from that whole “Hey there, please touch my baby belly like it’s a farmers market cantaloupe!” crowd, then today is your lucky day.
See, after two pregnancy go-arounds that included plenty of trips to Walmart (a veritable snake pit of belly rubbers!) with my lovely but leery wife, I have been to the mountaintop my friends! And these days I humbly consider myself somewhat of a Jedi Ninja in the art of keeping other people’s crazy/greasy/grubby/booger-pickin’ hands off of the most important bun in the oven of my world.
I thought you might be.
This ain’t no honeydew. 1 of 16
Hands to yourself.
Toddler Help 2 of 16
Take your toddler with you everywhere you go (grocery store, mall, for a walk, etc.)—the more tired they are, the better. Then watch as people who might have had that strange belly-toucher glint in their eye run for the hills when your exhausted little cranky monster has the inevitable tantrum and drops to the ground like a rabid honey badger. It never fails.
Gym Nuts 3 of 16
Beware of the gym! All of that weightlifting and elliptical stuff gets people really feeling unnaturally good about life for like a half-hour/45 minutes and that's when trouble happens. They feel connected to the world in weird ways and all of those endorphins pooping off in their heads makes them think that they just HAVE to come over and rub your cute pregnant belly. So strike first and wear brightly colored ear buds (so they can't miss 'em), engage in no small-talk, and avoid any eye contact at all costs.
Buffets 4 of 16
Do yourself a favor and stay away from those buffet restaurants while your baby belly is visible. Let's face it, here in America food is a narcotic and those all-you-can-gorge places are loaded with people who are tweaking out on saturated fats and atomic sugars. Then, at the sight of a mama-to-be these poor lost souls can't help themselves. They put their hands out like a deep-fried Zombie and come right at you.
At The Office 5 of 16
There are going to be people you work with who feel it is their duty, their job even, to touch your baby belly. Make sure you cut them off early in your first trimester by mentioning (as much as possible) that you can't stop eating these crazy garlic sardines you found at the Dollar Store. Tell 'em you crave them by the case and then add bashfully, "But they do a real job on my breath (giggle)....and my innards!" You won't hear from them again until you give birth.
Spell It Out 6 of 16
Some people are so clueless that it's almost impossible to avoid their unwanted advances toward that bun in your oven. So it might not be a bad idea to invest in a few comfortable t-shirts that use clear language to present warnings to potential violators. That way, if all else fails, you can always show the cops your shirt as you explain why you went all kung-fu on the fool.
Eat On The Go! 7 of 16
No matter how unconscionably reckless many humans reveal themselves to be during the course of an average day, one eternal truth holds fast: no one messes with a hungry pregnant woman! As a result, when you're fully showing, try and make it a habit to carry around a visible snack when you're out and about. It will help ease your hunger pangs and frighten off the belly-touchers. (An empty McDonald's french fry carton will suffice when you're not actually hungry.)
Drunk People 8 of 16
If you are pregnant and simply have to be in a place where there might be some drunk people, by all means be vigilant. Unsteady and overly emotional drinkers will end up in full-conversation sessions with your unborn child if you're not careful. Be wise and plan ahead. Order a large red wine with ample stain power to sit on your table. You might not be drinking it, but you'll be glad you have it when you need to spill it hard on the first blotto kook that comes along.
Cell Phone Fakery 9 of 16
If you have never pretended to be talking into your cellphone when there is no one on the line just so you could avoid some kind of socially awkward moment, well... congratulations. You are the very last one. Pregnant women can and should take advantage of the magic force-field that a cell phone offers whenever they sense a belly-nut in their midst. Speak loudly and urgently, seem incredibly distracted and unapproachable, and pray that the darn thing doesn't ring while you're talking to yourself!
Religious Folk 10 of 16
If religion is a part of your life, then by all means enjoy church or temple or wherever you go to worship while you are pregnant. However, be on your toes! People who have just been a little bit closer to their Lord (just like gym rats) are often feeling very, very good about life in general for a short time after services end. And believe me when I tell you that good righteous folks coming off a spiritual high just loooove to get their hands all over a big old baby belly.
Snuggies 11 of 16
Are you one of the 9 million Americans with a Snuggie in your closet collecting dust? Break it out if you are "with child" and need a fresh new way to dodge the baby belly gangs. Yeah, I know. It might seem a bit far fetched, but try it and see. Slip your Snuggie on before you head into the supermarket or the mall or even church. Are you making new friends? Heck no! People simply do not ever approach a human wearing a Snuggie in public. And who can blame 'em?
Reverse Psychology! 12 of 16
Let your freak flag fly. Adopt a whole new "mentality" when you sense a stranger's grubby fingers closing in. Stare wild-eyed into the gaze of all passing strangers and talk to yourself with relish. Put on an Academy Award-worthy performance as the most lovable insane woman to ever grace the silver screen and you know damn well that no one will bother you in the slightest. Who knows, you might even get free stuff at the checkout!
Ride the Scooter 13 of 16
Why not just throw all your grace and caution to the wind and grab a scooter, Ms. Pregnant Lady? Everyone else is. Oh, PRIDE SCHMIDE! Remember the last time you saw someone roaring down the aisle on one of these buzzing things? What happened? Yeah, you hightailed it out of the way and aimed your body toward some far flung corner of the store, that's what happened. So, yeah... I rest my case. Ride that scooter into the sunset, baby mama.
Nothing To Worry About 14 of 16
Dear Glowing Pregnant Ladies, please don't worry about people trying to get their mitts all over your baby belly if you happen to have one like this woman. Trust me when I wholeheartedly assure you that they won't even try. It's all just too damn overwhelming.
Kids 15 of 16
I know you know this, but if it's kids who are the ones trying to rub your baby belly, well. Please just let them do it. Kids are good luck and they always mean well when they make a move for your bump. Plus, they'll probably be oohing and aahing so loudly that that tiny one swimming around in there is going to hear those young voices out in the world and smile. And how could that ever not be a good thing, right?
Hands On 16 of 16
Hey, I hope you had a few laughs here today. I mean, that's what this whole thing was really all about. To be honest, I'm a guy and so I can't speak for pregnant women at all, but I actually think that people laying hands on a baby belly is a pretty cool thing a lot of the time. And I'm not alone evidently. People just need to be really respectful of mamas-to-be all of the time. So have a happy and healthy pregnancy, friends. And may the force be with you.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
Keep up with Babble.com on Facebook.
More from Serge: