The Art of the Comeback
Great responses to common pregnancy and parenting questions
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.
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