We’d had our 13 week scan, everything was looking swell (especially me) and so it was time to tell Mum and Dad that I was not just portly but also pregnant.
I wasn’t quite sure how the scene would play out. None of us are really into grand public displays of affection and my preferred method of expressing filial piety is through sarcasm, mockery and standoffishness.
We had a few ideas on how to tell my parents (each less subtle than the last), from taking them out for a pizza at Baby to hiring a big band to play the Lion King’s ‘Circle of Life’.
In the end we got really imaginative and decided to just tell them, with me wearing a mini ‘baby on board’ badge pinned to my t-shirt.
I was slightly nervous. Our baby news was a tacit admission that I had not kept myself nice. That the Englishman next to me had had his wicked way with me. And so what if he did?! We only did it once and neither of us enjoyed it. I lay back and thought of Glen Waverley while my partner tried to convince me that ‘tantric’ was a synonym for ‘premature’.
Maybe Mother would accuse me of skulking. Or Dad Eng would reach for his shot gun and stare us off the back patio. Or perhaps the worst of all possible scenarios would occur: tears and sentimentality.
We approached the back door and did the whole long-drawn-out-Mother-loves-her-beige-carpet shoe removal bit. As we sat on the couch, I shimmied my ‘baby on board’ badge in their line of sight. While Mother rattled on about lamb curry, cruise ships and dried billy button flowers, my peculiar upper body wriggling went unnoticed.
Finally we resorted to pointing at the badge. Mother came in for a closer look and did a Grandmother-again!-type squeal, while Dad squinted at the badge (he’s a touch short sighted, you see), wondering what all the noise was about.
When the news finally sunk in to all parties, Mother lumbered toward me for a full frontal hug. I did the mature thing where I plaster my arms to my side and pretend to go all rigid like a plank of wood.
Dad ‘poker face’ Eng even raised his arms up five centimetres away from his body and it looked like a hug was imminent. I went in for a high five instead.
After this excessive outpouring of emotion, everyone went back to normal. I assumed my usual position in front of the pantry, the Englishman nervously cleared his throat (looking about as sexually predatory as a cow), Mother made tea and Father went off to wash my car for half an hour.
When we left, Mum insisted we take 24 rolls of toilet paper.
Postscript: Quite a few people have asked how (our imaginary dog) Dennis Wongbert is coping with the news. He couldn’t be more delighted! In fact, he believes the human baby is his twin. When the baby catapults into the world, he is going to run up the hill at the local park and howl at the moon!