I’m sure this topic has been written about extensively but I can’t help myself. I was at the park the other day with the tyrant also known as Fiona (she’s 20 months old now!). She was owning the park, flying down the slide, trying to climb up the rock wall meant for 10 year olds (that I can’t physically follow her on because I am the size of a house and have my own orbit). At 8.5 months pregnant, I surprise myself when I make it all the way to the park without having to stop for a snack break (let alone attempt to climb a rock wall).
So it’s only 9 AM because I won’t go after that because I’ll start melting once it hits 80 degrees (pregnancy is very glamorous) so we’re alone at the park (except for the geese that are NOT afraid of us and put the “squeeze” on us by coming right up to the edge of the park and daring us to go out into their field). All of a sudden, these 2 guys walk up and I assumed they were just casually strolling until they park it on a bench nearby. The weather is unusually crappy for summer in Minnesota: super humid, 85 (feels like 100) and kind of misting/raining. I brought a towel to be a dutiful slide wiper-offer for Fiona so she could get in her daily kicks.
One of the guys waves at me and points up to the sky and shouts, “RAIN!” It was barely sprinkling… as in, I wasn’t worried about my IPhone sitting out. I’m on level 199 on Candy Crush; trust me, if anyone’s worried about their phone getting destroyed (and all that hard work), it’s me.
This guy was probably late forties and had a huge smile on his face. Fiona said, “HI!” with a huge smile and walked up to them and started dancing. My little ham. I walk over in case she attacks them with hugs (or, let’s be real about my biggest concern, they pick her up and run away). The guy LITERALLY STANDS UP AND TOUCHED MY BELLY FOR A FULL 7 SECONDS (I counted) and said, “What are you, 7 months pregnant?” I was horrified. Not only was he way off (although let’s be honest, I was a little flattered that I look like I’m ready to pop and he thought I had 2-3 months left but that wasn’t the important part!!) but he was touching my belly! It wasn’t in a weird, sexual way that made me uncomfortable it was the fact that, oh, I don’t know, A GROWN MAN WAS TOUCHING MY BELLY. I literally moved away while he was touching it, grabbed Fiona’s hand and said, “Well, have a good day. Hope it doesn’t rain all over you” and I put Fiona in her stroller and we left. I’ve never been more uncomfortable (okay that might not be true… I’m very awkward by nature).
Why is it that people think it’s okay to touch a pregnant woman’s belly? Have you ever walked up to someone that isn’t pregnant and stroked their stomach? Oh, that’d be weird? SO IS TOUCHING THE BELLY OF A PREGNANT PERSON! Okay, if you know me you can touch my belly— it’s hard not to when it’s likely in your personal space. If you don’t know me and just want to remember the days when you/your partner was pregnant… hands off! I wish this was a singular event but this is probably the 3rd stranger to touch my stomach this pregnancy (and the 7th from both my pregnancies). I don’t understand the motivation or frankly, the balls someone must have to reach out and touch someone’s body in such a weird way.
If you’re someone who touches pregnant bellies and you can’t help yourself, please enlighten me. Is there something I’m missing? Is it now socially acceptable to grab the belly of a stranger?
Here’s a picture of Fiona on the way to the park that day. I am no longer posting photos of myself because when I see a camera aimed at me I literally scream and ninja jump away (nothing against pregnant women… I’m all for women being beautiful at every size but I just don’t really want to see myself through a lens right now…).