I almost had foot for lunch today with a side of embarrassment. Like most of the country, it is blazing hot in Chicago today. So, I decided to take a break and take the kiddos to our neighborhood pool.
Since I am outnumbered 3 to 1, I always take the kids to the baby pool. The baby pool is a happening place for all the moms in my community with babies and toddlers especially on a day like today. So, I’m sitting in about 2 inches of water with the baby splashing next to me and the other kids screaming and running in circles as if they are never let out of the house. I’m trying to keep cool. Did I tell you it was hot?!?! Then a fellow mom and her two adorable daughters about 2 & 4 arrive at the edge of the pool. Even though my daughter has never seen this 4 year old girl before, she immediately yells “friend” and runs to her. Oh, to be 5 again!! The girls are instantly BFFs and run to play.
This suburban mom in her 30s is dressed in a dark pink maternity tank top and pair of loose black running shorts sits down next to me with her youngest daughter. I smile politely and notice that she looks to be about 7-8 months pregnant. She’s cute. She’s glowing. She looks tired but only a few months from having her 3rd child. I immediately feel horrible for her having to be pregnant in his horrific heat. I was there last summer and it wasn’t fun! Since we are literally sitting about 2 feet from each other, I decide to strike up a conversation just to make small talk. As I am about to open my mouth and ask when she is due with her baby and whether she knows if it is a girl or boy, I am distracted by my 3 year old that is basically feeling up the teenage lifeguard. I yell his name but, of course, am ignored more likely because he’s three and not because he couldn’t hear me. So, I grab the baby and head toward my 3 year old and the very uncomfortable teenage girl sitting in the lifeguard chair by the edge of the pool. That small talk would have to wait! As I approach my son, he is poking at the lifeguard’s belly button ring and asking what it is. Without even hearing the answer, then he proceeds to poke at the top of her swimsuit and tells her “I like your swimsuit” in what would be a pretty creepy tone of voice if he wasn’t 3. Think Joey on Friends when he says “How YOU doin’?” That kind of voice! I apologize to the lifeguard and drag my son back into the pool.
As I get back to where my seat is, I overhear a conversation with the same mom I was sitting next to and a couple new moms that just arrived. The first thing I hear is “Are you getting close? When are you due?” The pregnant mom’s face fell and she softly said “I actually already had my daughter last week.” OMG!!! She was NOT PREGNANT!!! The other two ladies look horrified that they would assume such a thing and then actually say it and immediately started to cover their tracks. “Oh, boy or girl? You look great!” I was horrified for her. I was horrified for them. I was horrified that I was almost them!! I was about 1 second away from asking that same question. I have been in that place 3 times and I almost was the one to make this woman feel bad. You know, a week after the baby is born and you still feel like you look pregnant? I wanted to hug this lady and tell her she looked great and she was a complete trooper for being at the pool so soon after giving birth but didn’t want to bring any more attention to the awkwardness of the whole situation. So, I left it go. And that woman eventually packed up the girls and headed home. I hope that she knows that no matter if she is still in maternity clothes that it has only been a week, she looks great and we have all been there!