I once told my mom I was expecting a baby.
– Wait, wait, let me explain.
It was a series of unfortunate misunderstandings. I knew no better (than to tell my mother that she would be a grandparent, you might ask).
And get this: I was in grade one.
[These Soweto kids are quick, eh?] – Wait, let me explain.
Suffering from a nagging stomach ache on a sunny Johannesburg day at Fairways Primary School, I confessed my agony to one of my close friends. I was so grateful to have an attentive ear listen to me bearing all about the pain I was in.
I got what I perceived to be sound advice and followed it to the tee. I wasn’t feeling any better by the time I got home in the mid-afternoon.
My tummy was still sore when my mother arrived from work that evening. She gave a familiar sigh as she sat on the couch, placed her spectacles on the table and rubbed her eyes groggily. It must have been a long day.
“How are you, lollipop?” she asked. [My mother still calls me that when she wants to taunt me – and she usually does so when I am in the company of a lass. Imagine… Lollipop? I cringe].
I went on a very brief tangent about how horrible my day had been. Then I looked her squarely in the eyes and said it, as advised by my friend:
“Mommy, I’m pregnant.”
That was one of the swiftest transitions from sleepy to hysterical. Ever.
“You’re WHAT?” she quizzed, fighting off fits of laughter. She didn’t even give me a chance to repeat myself. Instead, she summoned my father, brother and older sister to indulge in what was clearly a moment they savoured.
I didn’t think it was that funny. I was seven, confused and had a sore tummy. I was pregnant by my understanding, for goodness sake. That’s what my friend had told me. These people were laughing at me!
After a few minutes in which I repeated my pregnancy declaration a couple of times [to more roaring laughter], my mother finally gathered herself and explained what pregnancy really was. And also that tiny fact involving women who carry babies.
All I wanted at that point was a normal tummy.
I felt so betrayed. Why did my friend tell me I was pregnant?
I ignored him for a few days, just like I will ignore to mention his name in this post. That bloke is still out there and still responsible for that mini-humiliation I endured all those years ago.
Crazy memories. I’ve decided to let you in on a series of extremely awkward moments in my formative years.
Welcome to the awkward childhood series. I’m not sure when I’ll give you another one from those archives.