The one with the rooster.
People say some fucking bizarre shit to you when you’re pregnant.
Strangers offer you all sorts of advice. The pinnacle of this was when we were returning from Europe - me 4 months pregnant - and the customs officer who was searching our luggage for contraband began explaining to my husband, in graphic detail, how to unblock an infected milk duct. Everything you want to hear when you’re pregnant, nauseous and jet lagged.
A guy in the elevator in our apartment building asked how far along I was: 6 months. His response, ‘Oof. Good luck with that.’ What the actual fuck?
Sometimes, it can be helpful: a waiter at Enmore’s Stanbuli noticed my not-so-food-baby belly, and explained all the elements of our order to ensure I wasn’t going to eat anything problematic.
Anyway. My favourite interaction with a stranger came quite some time after this.
Nearing 100kg in a full-blown Sydney summer, I refused to waddle myself to work any longer. My cankles had taken on epic proportions, and my feet would only be slotted into an oversized pair of Birkenstocks. So, every day of those last torturous weeks, I poured myself into a taxi for the morning commute.
One morning, my taxi driver began to enquire about my pregnancy: when was I due, etc. He then very sweetly began to explain the Chinese horoscope to me, declaring that my child would be born in the Year of the Rooster, and as such would become a Professor, a Politician or a Scientist.
It seems silly. But this conversation was one of the absolute highlights of my pregnancy. The taxi driver was being kind and generous, and had nothing but happy things to share with me. It was a little bright moment that I don’t think I will ever forget.
And, to end this on a weird note: if I had to pick a spirit animal for my son, it would most definitely be the rooster. He’s obsessed with them: he can watch YouTube videos of roosters crowing for hours on end. He has a rooster figurine that he carries everywhere. And, about 500 times a day, I hear him say: ‘Oodle, oodle, oooh’.