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The Telling of the Tale

May 1, 2009
by

It’s a good thing I’m not entrusted with national security matters. When I found out I was pregnant, I had the worst time keeping it secret, and it didn’t take long to start leaking it to anyone who would listen. I started blogging anonymously, but I’ve never been good at that; I think I’m only doing this here because I’m trying to cultivate a more reflective voice while retaining my humor, which I’m actually fairly well known for.

We told my in-laws over Easter dinner, and we’re telling my parents over Mother’s Day weekend. It was really funny with my in-laws. When Doodlemaier told them we were expecting, my mother-in-law laughed, because she thought we were joking. “Oh, yeah, right,” she said. I smirked, and said, “Um, actually, it’s not a joke.” Her mouth dropped open and her hands went right to her reddening cheeks, not unlike that Home Alone moment, just without the ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH.

So now I’m trying to figure out how to tell my parents in a clever, but fun way. They are older than my in-laws; I think my mom and my father-in-law are about the same age but her having married someone significantly older than her has made her older, if that makes any sense. Also, unlike my in-laws who live 15 minutes down the road, my parents are half a state away. I had considered getting a cake made that said “you’re going to be grandparents, again!” but then I realized how hard it’s been to not tell them during our weekly-ish phone conversations–and there was no way I was going to be able to wait until dessert. I’m considering bringing a “mother’s day” flower arrangement with a card attached with a similar message, but I don’t want my dad to feel left out, and the cake was actually a nice idea because his birthday is coming up so I could have made it a combined birthday/mother’s day cake.

I have a week to figure it out, at least. The setting is that we’re going to an afternoon dinner at my parents’ favorite seafood restaurant, and meeting them there. It’s really important that I get there before they do because I’m starting to show, but because I lost a lot of weight (about 30 pounds) before getting pregnant and they’ve only seen me a couple of times in that 8 month period, hopefully they’ll just think I’m putting some of that weight back on. (The nice thing is that my pre-weight-loss pants will most likely fit well into the summer!)

Now, a couple of things about me. As a teenager in the 80s, I was the kind of kid who dyed her hair cherry red or purple, and I never really outgrew my punk tendencies. I can’t stand saccharine gestures, and if I go too silly my parents will wonder if I’ve finally gone insane (which would probably look, to most people, like I’ve finally gone a bit normal). I remember reading through ideas to tell one’s husband and seeing things like “Bake cinnamon buns, and when your hubby comes down for breakfast announce you have a bun in the oven!” Cute, but oh my gag. That never would have worked with Doodlemaier anyway because we were both so shocked by this development, anyway.

And the other thing about my relationship with my parents is that we’ve had a lot of problems over the years, but the best way we’ve had for coping with them has always been our collective sense of humor. So it would likely be best if I found some way of incorporating the funny into this announcement, without being too cute.

One thing I considered was going in wearing one of my bulkier hoodies, and placing a baby shirt over my belly, unzipping the hoodie, and saying, “So how do you think this looks on me?”

I’ll figure it out, one way or another, but I’m curious–do any of you have funny stories from announcing the news to family? Tragic ones? Touching ones?

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