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The Learning Zone

As some of you know, we are expecting a baby, our second, in April.  I am in the third trimester, a time where you become so constantly uncomfortable that it eventually motivates you to go through whatever pain is necessary to get the baby out!   As I am reaching the end of this pregnancy, I am reminded of exactly why I disliked this stage of pregnancy so much last time around.  Yes, you say, there are the good parts like feeling your baby kick and picking out all of those cute little tiny versions of big people clothes.  But then there are the bad parts too and nowhere is this more obvious than when making a trip to the grocery store.  

I spend most of my time teaching children through our tutoring business.  I also spent a good bit of time this year teaching manners to middle school students through etiquette classes offered at a nonprofit.  However, it has come to my attention recently that it is actually the people at the grocery store who really need an etiquette lesson.   So here it is, the list inspired by my most recent trip:

The Top 3 Things not to Say or Do to a Pregnant Person While they are Trying to do their Grocery Shopping or At Any other Time:

  1. Tell them Horrifying Stories or Give Unsolicited Advice

pregnant_grocery_shopping.jpgWhy do people feel the need to tell stories of how their labor went horrifically wrong or was unbearably painful?  I was just looking at tomatoes, why does that mean that I want to know that you went through 26 hours of labor with no pain medication because you asked for the epidural too late, that you had to have an emergency C-section and the baby almost didn’t make it because the cord was around its neck, or that you had a horrifying experience where your water broke in public?  The same goes for bragging stories of your all natural birth or nursing a child until they were three.  I just want to shop for my produce, and now I also have to worry that I am going to go into labor, that it will then be catastrophic, and I will mess up my child with pain medication.  I have done this before, but thanks a lot AGAIN for your advice and super helpful stories!

  1. Touch Pregnant People That You Do Not Know Well

Why do people feel like it is okay to touch you when you are pregnant?  People of the public, it is ALWAYS weird when someone you don’t know or have just met touches your stomach.  And this is just the beginning; when your baby is born you can’t even go to the grocery store without some stranger trying to touch their hands or feet!  Why do people do this?  

By the way, it is also rude to stare.  Even if you do not reach out and touch me, I still see you.

  1. Make Comments Such As:  Are you having twins?  Wow, you are huge! You’re really getting big (or any variation of these things, really.)

This was inspired by the lady at Walmart when I was pregnant with my first, who yelled across the parking lot, “Oh my gosh; you are huge!  Are you having twins?” And also by the checkout lady at my local grocery store who asked last week if I was having twins.   No, I am not having twins, stranger at the grocery store, my husband is 6’4’’ and I am 5’1’’.  I have only gained 15 pounds, but thanks for letting me know that you can see every one of them.  I appreciate that, and didn’t realize it enough when I couldn’t get my pants to fit, even with that stretchy elastic band thing this morning.  Not that it is any of your business because I DON’T KNOW YOU, but thanks a lot.  Here I was thinking that I was looking pretty good once I finally managed to find jeans that fit relatively not uncomfortably and cute shoes that actually still went on my feet, but thanks for that reality check.  Now not only can I feel miserable on the inside, I can also know that the world thinks that I look huge on the outside.

So, you know how normally, when you are in public or talking to someone, it would be rude to all of a sudden just tell them how fat they are or really to make any negative or ambiguous comment about their appearance?  Yeah, the same thing applies with pregnant people.  It also applies after the baby is born, when you ask rude questions like, “When is your baby due?” when you can clearly see that there is a baby right in their cart!

 By the way, I really appreciate all of the people who say things like, “you look fabulous,” “you are the cutest pregnant person I have ever seen”, or “look, all of the weight is in your tummy; it’s like you’ve got a basketball under your shirt.”  They may be lies, but they are good lies that keep you going when you spent all morning trying to find clothes that fit over your ginormous body.

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About Nina

nina parrish

Nina Parrish graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Following graduation from the University of Mary Washington, she received the Project PISCES scholarship to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she completed her certification in Special Education for K-12 students with learning disabilities, mental retardation, and emotional disturbance. After obtaining her license, Nina earned a Master's Degree in Education for School Counseling in grades Pre K-12 from Virginia Commonwealth University. Nina taught in the public schools in North Carolina and Virginia for 7 years. Nina currently owns, Parrish Learning Zone, a K-12 local tutoring service with her husband Jay, who is also a teacher. They live in Spotsylvania with their daughter.

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