Sweet, Charming, Lovely Bus Driver

My son’s bus driver pushed a few of my buttons this afternoon. For reasons best known to herself, she thought it appropriate to ask, in front of my son and a bus full of children, if I was pregnant.

 

“No,” I answered, dismissively. This woman hasn’t exactly impressed me with her manners, so I was prepared to let it go.

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“Are you sure?” she asked, eyeing my belly expertly. “You’re carrying a little extra weight there.”

“Yes, I’m sure,” I replied, frostily.

“You might be,” she said. “You should get it checked. You never know.”

“I would know,” I replied, turning away.

“Maybe it’s just your winter coat. It makes you look, you know…” She made a motion with her arms as though she was scooping up imaginary rolls of fat and setting them down.

Ignoring her, I marched my five-year-old up the driveway. “You could be! You never know!” she loudly called after me. I am grateful there were children watching, because I was sorely tempted to (ahem!) behave unbecomingly. I wanted to march back down the hill, stare pointedly at her midsection, ask if she was experiencing a surprise pregnancy late in life, or if menopause was slowing her metabolism. Or just punch her in the throat.

Seriously. Okay, so every woman gets wrongly asked if she’s preggers now and then. My skinny mini size 2 friend who can’t gain weight even when she tries has been asked her due date. Clueless people abound. Sometimes, honest mistakes are made and “Congratulations!” quickly turns into embarrassment for both parties. Typically the the guilty party apologizes and says something like: “Oh, it’s just the way the wind came up and made your shirt poof out! You totally do not look pregnant! I’m so sorry,” while hastily backing away. A sensible person does not make things worse by pointing out that you gained weight!

 I know this woman is not the brightest bulb, but honestly, her remarks felt mean. There was definitely a hint of malice in her eyes as she loudly asked her “innocent” questions.

True, I did put on some pounds over the past few weeks. My metabolism goes haywire when I’m under stress, and I’m under quite a bit these days. We are in the process of selling our house and buying a new one in a nearby town that hopefully uses more discretion in hiring bus drivers. However, I have just lost a few of those pounds and even dropped a size in jeans, so I was feeling pretty proud of my efforts.

My mother’s advice to me (her blurt-questions-now-think-later child) has always been: “Unless you can see the baby’s head crowning, never ask a woman if she is pregnant.” And she is absolutely right. Even if a woman looks pregnant to you, she could have gained a few pounds, had a big lunch, eaten something that gave her tremendous gas and inflated her stomach, have uterine fibroids, etc. and so forth. Or, she could be pregnant, showing early, and not want to tell anyone yet. Or she might, sadly, be in the process of miscarrying, and really not want to discuss that with Mister or Miss Nosy.

So, if you think a woman might be pregnant, unless you are her doctor, keep your mouth shut, instead of loudly asking and pressing the issue in front of a bus full of curious children.

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3 thoughts on “Sweet, Charming, Lovely Bus Driver

  1. jeanine says:

    *jaw on floor* How on earth did she think that was appropriate once – and then to insist and gesture – oh man. I would be very upset. VERY.

  2. mrspodge says:

    I seriously thought about complaining to her supervisors. But, you know, she takes care of my very young son (who LOVES to take the bus and thinks she is a “golden queen”–his words, not mine) for half an hour twice a day, and, while I don’t think she’s mean-spirited enough to pick on a little kid, I’m not willing to risk it. She’ll only take him to school for two and a half more weeks, before school vacation and our move. If she pushes my buttons one more time, I’m going to resume driving him to school (which will break his heart) and make a phone call.

  3. mrspodge says:

    So, I did report the bus driver to her superiors, in an as non-inflammatory, bare bones way I could. I wouldn’t have mentioned it if I believed she was merely clueless, but I couldn’t shake that mean glint in her eye. My son really misses taking the bus and continues to think the bus driver is a goddess. I’ll try not to disillusion him.

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