A guy (lets call him Dad) and his daughter (call her Bee) walk into a maternity store to try to get a nursing nightgown for some big ole’ pregnant lady (known as Jungle Woman).
Further cast: Employee Woman, Expectant Mother, Expectant Father and Their Daughter.
Overhearing, between Employee Woman and Expecting Family-
Employee Woman: So, do you know what you are going to have?
Expectant Mom: A little boy.
EW: Oh GOOD! Is this your daughter?
EW: Oh, wonderful – then you are done then!
Expectant Father: Oh no we aren’t.
EM: (unsettled) Don’t get him started.
EF: We are going to have 14 kids.
EW: Oh, lol, that’s a lot 🙂
EF: No it isn’t – people always used to have 12 or 14 kids.
EW: lol 🙂
EF: (dead serious) …speaks a bizarre little speech about how he is serious, everyone becoming uncomfortable…
Then the expecting family leaves.
Bee to Employee Woman: My Mommy is going to have a baby!
EW: She is! Do you know what it is?
B: Yes – it is a girl!
EW: (less chipper, strangely solemn and conciliatory) Oh – so you are going to be a big sister?
EW: Would you like some bubbles? (hands child bubbles)
B: No thanks, I have lots at home. (hands bubbles back)
EW: Oh – well you can have some for the car (tries to hand child bubbles).
B: No, thank you.
EW: Then here – have some stickers! (hands child stickers)
B: No, thank you. I have a box of stickers at home. Thanks for offering!
EW: Oh – well, okay – um, good job, you don’t take things from strangers!
We leave, because they don’t have the gown that Jungle Woman requested that we go and get for her.
I’m not going to editorialize too much – but here are the facts:
• Employee woman asked everyone what they were having, and if it completed a set of one boy + one girl – that meant that you should stop – because you’ve achieved what she feels is the goal. If you have not achieved this, it appears that she assumes you are disappointed. I think it is possible, her being an employee there, that this dialog plays out all day every day.
• That guy wants 14 children, and is very serious and kind of confrontational about it. He also had ‘crazy eyes’ – an objective assessment, since it is factually/statistically unusual to see the whites the whole way around somebody’s pupal as they respond to joking with bared teeth and are unreceptive to attempts to placate them.
• Sometimes offering gifts to children is a sophisticated way of determining whether they have been introduced to ‘stranger danger’.
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