Belly Rubs

October 13, 2008 at 2:03 pm (Baby Stuff, Daily Life, food) (, , )

This is Buffy, showing belly that she wants rubbed.

Yesterday at family Thanksgiving, I received my first unsolicited belly rubs.  It’s a strange feeling to be proud of a “paunch” rather than totally ashamed, and when a friend (who happens to be dating my brother in law!) told me “You don’t look THAT pregnant” I wanted to yell YES I DO! Ah well.   As it turns out, a friend of hers had a baby this weekend so I guess, compared to a 9 month pregnant belly, I don’t look that impressive after all 😉

Anyhow, belly rubs.  Okay.  I know some women hate them, and since I’m not a terribly touchy-feely person to start with, I’m sure that the first time a total stranger decides to touch my stomach I’ll be completely repulsed.  But family? I was okay with it.  It’s the only way they have of saying hello to her 🙂  And it brings them closer to me, physically, which in some ways is almost as awkward as the “goodbye hug” where you don’t know if you are supposed to turn your head for a kiss on the cheek or just wait there for a kiss that could be on your lips (fuck, that stresses me out), but, since it’s not as forced — is far less awkward.  Plus, I was wearing a silk shirt, so it felt good.

Maia was surprisingly still yesterday… either that or I was so busy interacting with people that I didn’t feel her moving much.  She kicked a few times after dinner (when my pants felt so tight I thought I might die), and then again during dessert, but maybe the turkey put her to sleep because I didn’t feel a thing all night.  Today though, she is more than making up for it and practicing for a mosh pit again, I think :]

Our family gatherings are almost entirely adults, except for these two horrible boys — one is in 5th grade (I don’t remember how old that is? 10?) and the other a few years younger.  Every single time I hear them come through the door — they are the type of children you hear long before you see them — I cringe.  They spent dinner running around the table screaming about how the decorative squashes looked like “wrinkly scrotums”, shoving balloons up their shirts that they described alternately as “model boobies” and “blue balls” (HAHA GRANDPA, THESE ARE YOUR BLUE BALLS!!), and bemoaning the fact that they were too full to eat anything.  Oh, anything except the chocolates set at each plate, which they so charmingly tried to steal by crawling under the table (it was difficult to suppress my kick reflex when I felt a knee on my foot) and then reaching their admittedly very clean hands up onto the table like savages.

I guess the worst part of it all is that their parents don’t seem to care; their mother sits at the opposite end of the table, talking with family (I understand she’s probably taking a break and trying to relax), but her husband sits beside the boys and ENCOURAGES them.  At one point, a hand reached up to steal my chocolate — my father-in-law grabbed the kid by the wrist and said, “Stop it.  You don’t steal from people, especially not a pregnant lady.”  I looked over at the kid’s father, who was just watching.  The kid refused to drop my chocolate, so my father-in-law just held on until he did… and the father just. kept. watching.  I heard him later on saying “Go get those balloons again and tell your grandpa what they are!”  I mean, seriously?  Can you please teach your children a little respect?  I totally understand that kids will be kids, and sometimes that means they’ll be loud or rude or improper, but encouraging them is just… disturbing.

I dunno.  I’m not there yet myself, where I have a kid with her own personality running around at a family gathering, but I really like to think that neither myself nor Chris would let her get away with that kind of behaviour.  The sad thing is, if the kids had just come up to me and asked, “May I please have your chocolate?” I would have given it over.  Hopefully Maia will be sweet and manipulative like that 😉

PS:  Green bean casserole was a hit, although I didn’t make it very well (too many mushrooms, not enough green beans, and I didn’t let the sauce thicken long enough).  I guess that’s what happens when you decide that measuring ingredients is for pansies!



  1. Gala said,

    Well, judging by the way the parents acted w/those boys, they are not setting a very good example. The hardest thing about being a parent that wants to be a GOOD parent is that you can never back slide. Rules are rules, be it at home or out in public. So, if you don’t want your kids to jump on grandma’s couch, you better not allow them to jump on your couch. Never let your children disrespect you, and they won’t disrespect other adults. Anybody can be a parent…it takes hard work 24/7 to be a good parent. And in the end, when they all move out, you just hope you did well.

  2. Ms. Myg said,

    On the belly rubs, I am with you. I am at 21 weeks and twice your size (I got two cooking in there though). I look like I’m a good month ahead. I had a coworker just rub my belly without invitation and I was like, “Excuse me??? Do I look like a petting zoo captive to you?” We’ve all got different boundaries on this stuff and I’m not sure where mine are.

    On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago it was the 2 year anniversary of my father-in-law’s death and we were spending the day with my mother-in-law. She got teary eyed at one point talking about him and reached out for my belly and then hesitated, like she wondered if it was okay. I grabbed her hand and placed it on my belly and held it there, and she just smiled. At that moment I had this sort of epiphany.

    Being pregnant is like having this extra life force with you and I think people are just drawn to it. When I thought about the connection between my husband’s dad exiting the world and his two sons’ soon-to-be entrance, that whole cycle of life thing just hit me in a totally new way. So I was really honored to share a moment with my mother-in-law like that, and it made me a little less irritable about people who are moved to touch me.

    I don’t want to be groped by random folks in the grocery store, by any means. But I think I have a better feeling about that impulse in people. It’s not just that they’re rude, though some definitely are. It’s that they’re drawn to something that’s this every day miracle. And I can understand that.

    As for the two boys at your family gathering OH. MY. GOD. If I had to sit through a day of that I’d probably go insane. The parents are raising those kids to be highly dysfunctional as they get older. Expect tales of spectacular school failure and run ins with the law. I am serious! I’ve worked with a lot of different kids with a lot of different problems over the years, and there’s nothing worse than kids whose parents never taught them boundaries. They are the worst and the hardest to deal with, by a long shot. I actually feel bad for them!

  3. Ms. Myg said,

    Holy crap that was a long comment! Sorry – I should have done my own blog post!!!

  4. fyreflixie said,

    @Gala: All I could think about when the boys were misbehaving was how you would NEVER have put up with any of us doing that sort of crap!

    @Ms Myg: It was such a great comment tho! Maybe copy & paste for a new blog post 😉

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