The Most Annoying Question Ever?

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While it’s not quite the most annoying sound ever, it’s close.

It started in the hospital. I’m sure it’s a funny joke among the staff, because they are only involved tangentially, and they go home after a twelve-hour shift. We didn’t get to go home for five days.

It seems like a reasonable question.

When are you going to have the next one?

Um, what?

As soon as you have a child, one of the most common questions that everyone asks is, “When are you going to have the next one?”.

This is perhaps the most annoying question ever.

In the hospital, the staff were joking that they’d see us in two years. While I’m sure that’s fairly common, I don’t see the humour in frazzling new parents any further with the thought (however potentially prescient) that they’d have to be back in the future.

Other people, who can’t seem to grasp (or who have forgotten) what it’s like to be a new parent, ask this question almost religiously, as if it were some kind of duty for you to have a second child.

That’s not to say that we won’t. Who knows? We don’t. However:

  • We’ve only just had our first child. He’s colicky (and it’s been diagnosed – I’m not just saying that) and that makes him a bit of a handful. He’s a great kid and I wouldn’t change anything about him for the world, but it’s a bit of work for us to look after him, especially at night when we’d all rather be sleeping. (I’m up early to write this as I’ve had about three hours of sleep, for instance.)
  • We’ve only just had our first child. We’re enjoying the experience of having him. Late nights not withstanding, he’s an amazing little boy who is growing like a weed (seriously, he’s not even 3 months yet & already wearing 6-9 months clothes already) and every day brings something new to his world, and ours. His smile will bring light to your eyes and his laugh will melt your heart, and that is something worth savouring every chance we get.
  • We’ve only just had our first child. Sure, we’re thinking about the future (do we keep these clothes he’s already grown out of or donate them?) but it’s the future. Planning is necessary, but we have to plan for the existing child as well, and that takes precedence at the moment.

Did you notice what I did there?

We’ve only just had our first child.

If/when we decide to have another, we’ll wait three months and tell everyone just like we did with the first one.

If you really want to ask new parents a question, the question should be, “What day is good for you to have the cleaning service I’ve arranged visit?” 😉

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