They’re everywhere. They sit next to you at work, smile at you in church, or make polite conversation at the grocery store. They’re masters of disguise: the friendly dry cleaner, the new neighbor, your elderly Aunt Agnes. But they’ve got one thing in common; they’re on a mission to invade your parental privacy. “How long do you plan to breastfeed?” they ask. “Are you hoping for a boy this time?,” “Did you need an episiotomy? How many stitches?” they inquire.
My friends and I are simultaneously horrified and amused at the intimate questions posed by total strangers, business acquaintances, and well-meaning relatives. Naturally, one response doesn’t fit every question. Here are a few fun approaches to consider.
When a careless question leaves you completely flabbergasted, sometimes the best response is none at all. Whether you answer a question with a question or use your cell phone as a distraction, this classic tactic has worked for politicians and children for years.
Suffer No Fools
Contrary to what our kids are taught, there can be such a thing as a bad question (those of the insensitive variety, especially when coming from a stranger, are a good example); and sometimes a bad question deserves a smart-aleck answer. Well-timed wisecracks not only send a not-so-subtle hint to the offending party, they’re also deliciously fun to deliver.