By Ben Wakeling
My wife is due to give birth to our third child in August (a girl, thanks for asking). Combine this with the fact that I often say things before thinking about the consequences, and you have yourself the perfect storm that often ends in my wife giving me a swift kick to the groin in a hormonal rage.
In fact, the five things that follow are actual things that I’ve said to my wife during the time she was pregnant with our two sons. Amazingly, we went on to have more children, so my apologetic skills must be top notch.
Please, do not try this at home.
“It’s like rubbing two joints of gammon!”
It’s a well-known fact that pregnant women often suffer with swollen limbs, ending up with toes the size of cocktail sausages and feet that swell to twice their size. I was massaging my wife’s feet when I made this ill-timed remark, and am lucky to escape unscathed. I’m sure if she had the strength to lift one of her massive swollen legs she’d have kicked me square in the face. When I mentioned this on Twitter many people overlooked the fact that I was massaging her feet in the first place, thus doing a very good deed.
“Oh, it’s just like squeezing a bar of wet soap through your hands.”
This comment was made during a conversation about birth, as women screamed in the background as we watched ‘One Born Every Minute’. The subsequent glare I received would have reduced even the most hardened man to a quivering wreck. ‘Men have no idea about birth,’ she said in response, and I’m inclined to agree.
“You’ve picked up a hand towel by mistake.”
To be honest, I’m lucky to be alive after saying this; I think the only redeeming factor is that it was a genuine mistake. My heavily-pregnant wife was stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel around her body. It looked kind of small, so I assumed it was a hand towel. It wasn’t.
“I think I’m dilated ten centimetres!”
Said during the birth of my first son in an effort to lighten the tension and raise spirits. It did neither of those things. Even the midwife gave me a bemused look.
“Just because you’re eating for two doesn’t mean you should eat double the amount.”
OK, I admit – I’ve never actually said this. It would be a horrible thing to say. But something, somewhere deep inside me, wills me to say it every time my wife sits down to eat. It’s not even like she has a larger portion. I think I just have some kind of personality deficiency which means I like to get myself into trouble.
Ben Wakeling is the author of
‘Goodbye, Pert Breasts: The Diary of a Newborn Dad’ and ‘Teething Pains: How to Survive Being a Dad’. He also writes the blog ‘Goodbye, Pert Breasts’