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Should I have congratulated neighbour?

(28 Posts)
GrandTheftQuarto Fri 09-Jan-15 22:30:40

I live in a terrace. Neighbour came round to pick up a Mothercare parcel I took in for her. Looking pregnant in that is-she-or-isn't-she oh-god-maybe-she-just-ate-too-many-mince-pies way. When I handed the parcel over, I got the feeling the conversation paused for a moment, like she was waiting for me to say something... and I remembered threads on here and said nothing. MN, what have you done to me? Should I have said something? Or have I dodged a podgy bullet?

WerewolfBarMitzvah Fri 09-Jan-15 22:33:18

No! Never assume!
I did once and NEVER will again. The shame.

Clairej81 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:34:04

You can always think something but once you have said it you cannot take it back. You can always congratulate her again in the future. I would have done the same.

WanderingTrolley1 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:36:45

You did the right thing, I think.

DramaAlpaca Fri 09-Jan-15 22:37:58

No, you did the right thing.

I was on the receiving end of a misplaced congratulations once. I told her no, I'd just put on a bit of weight. She thought I was joking & that I really was pregnant. I told her, no, definitely not. Poor woman was mortified when she finally believed me grin

so was I, and I went on a diet immediately

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 09-Jan-15 22:39:58

She probably did want you to 'guess' so that she could feel someone! But you err'd on the side of caution. Wise move!

ChristmasEva50 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:40:04

You were quite right to say nothing. When she tells you you can look surprised and congratulate her then.

GrandTheftQuarto Fri 09-Jan-15 22:43:48

Was just about to relax into the unanimity when you posted that, Chipping - that's what I thought she might want, too.

And if she is, that means a newborn in the bedroom separated from mine by a thin party wall. Oh goody. wink

Life is complicated.

GrandTheftQuarto Fri 09-Jan-15 22:45:01

<practices surprised face>

102030 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:47:57

You did the right thing. I never ever mention it if I think someone is pregnant. I also never ask if someone is thinking of having kids or of having more kids.

HolyTerror Fri 09-Jan-15 22:50:33

No, you did the right thing. In her position I would have appreciated the discretion because it's all too rare.

GrandTheftQuarto Fri 09-Jan-15 22:56:07

That made me think, actually - wouldn't it be better if Mothercare stuff didn't have the word Mothercare on it? For privacy's sake like vibrators from Lovehoney?

I always inadvertently get to find out these things anyway because I'm at home most of the day so end up taking a lot of my neighbours' parcels in. I know who favours Mamas and Papas and who is addicted to Amazon.

MsVestibule Fri 09-Jan-15 22:59:12

I am one of those dreadful women who made the crass error of assuming a woman was pregnant when she wasn't. I then compounded it by saying 'I'm so sorry, it's just that you're really slim everywhere else...' She was lovely about it, completely undeservedly so. I've learned my lesson.

If you know her, you could have said "Oh, Mothercare! Are you expecting, or is it a present for somebody?" Or maybe not. I just don't know anymore.

FightOrFlight Fri 09-Jan-15 23:03:41

Other than saying "oooh, who is this for" which would have made you sound beyond nosy it was a difficult call. I'd have said nothing just to be on the safe side.

I'll never forget a male acquaintance saying to me "when is the baby due?" and me replying "he was born 4 weeks ago"

Mind you I think he was doing it to be deliberately offensive as we had a difficult relationship (I once rejected him). I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes by that point without even a bit of muffin-top. I'd had terrible sickness throughout the pregnancy so had only put on baby/placenta weight. I still felt shit after his comment though, really knocked my confidence.

MaMaMarmoset Fri 09-Jan-15 23:07:29

No you did the right thing. She might not have been ready to discuss and been a bit upset that you got the package!

lauralouise8 Fri 09-Jan-15 23:08:05

You totally did the right thing. I have stepped into that elephant trap before and it is mortifying for all concerned. I stood up for a woman on the train, mistakingly thinking she was back end of 2nd trimester. She was horrified. To compound matters, the man with her said "see, I told you you need to go on a diet". Gruesome.

BumWad Fri 09-Jan-15 23:10:13

You most definetly did the right thing op!

AlleyCat11 Fri 09-Jan-15 23:16:05

Twice, recently, while wearing a particular dress, I was asked by men of my acquaintance when the baby was due. I don't know who was more embarrassed... When in doubt, say nothing!
Dress went in the Oxfam bag & I'm off the pies. But I must admit that day one of my period does make me look a little bit pregnant. Which I used to my advantage at a music festival last summer...

FightOrFlight Fri 09-Jan-15 23:17:15


Did a similar thing once, difference was I was pregnant at the time (small but obvious bump) and turned out she (probably) wasn't. She looked ready to drop to be honest - slim everywhere but her stomach. I think perhaps she had a medical condition (fluid retention?) but it was still mortifying for both of us. It was the look of horror on her face that gave it away but she gamely replied not to worry as she was getting off at the next stop.

I often wonder if she got off at the wrong stop just to avoid the awkwardness of it all.

SASASI Fri 09-Jan-15 23:20:52

You did the right thing.

I remember being blocked one nye & some girl that knew my husband asked me when the baby was due. I wanted to punch her! I've always carried my weight on my middle but with a bottle of wine in my I was more cross that she thought I would be heavily drinking when pregnant rather than my belly.

Gruntfuttock Fri 09-Jan-15 23:21:17

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights "She probably did want you to 'guess' so that she could feel someone!"

Oh no. I hate it when my neighbours try to feel me.

blanklook Fri 09-Jan-15 23:38:06

Thing is, you could be having a Mothercare parcel delivered to you as it's a gift from you that you want to give a relative or friend in person.

I have lots delivered here in named boxes that aren't necessarily for me.

GrandTheftQuarto Sat 10-Jan-15 00:39:10

Oh no. I hate it when my neighbours try to feel me.


Yep MaMa, that could be awkward if you didn't want anyone to know and then your neighbour guessed because of a parcel though she really does look preg.

Neverknowingly Sat 10-Jan-15 01:59:09

Reminds me of when weird NDN took in a matalan changing mat for me when I was pg with DC1 saying I think they may have sent the wrong item :-/

A few weeks later NDN on other side finally plucked up the courage to ask me as they had both been speculating grin

You did the right thing. When it is finally obvious you can say "oh I wondered but didn't like to ask" and share a little laugh.

GrandTheftQuarto Sat 10-Jan-15 02:08:22

<wonders how big neighbour needs to be to count as "obvious" if she doesn't tell me>

I think your phrase could work Never grin

We're not close (I live in commuter-land) but know each other to smile in the street and take in parcels.

I hope I'm not the weird NDN.

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