Thursday, 22 January 2015

There's always one

Every class I've ever taken has always had one.  You guys know who I'm talking about.  That person.  The one who monopolizes the discussion or asks a bajillion questions, completely derailing the class while oblivious to the fact everyone else is rolling their eyes because they're tired/hungry/have somewhere else to be and just want that person to shut the eff up.

Within moments of her (20 minute late) arrival at prenatal class this past weekend, I knew Harriet was that person.  Perhaps it was the way she strolled in with her pregnant daughter, completely interrupting the nurse instructor to regale us with the tale of why they were late rather than apologizing and seating themselves quietly.  Or perhaps it was the fact that she was a 50-something year old woman wearing a children's-style knit winter cap in the form of a cow, complete with ear flaps, side strings and bright yellow knitted horns.  

Sorta.  Except much less cute.

Harriet (about whom we would all learn waaaaay too much in the coming hours) came to class as the support person for her daughter Emma, who was having her first child without a dad on the scene.  But lucky us, Harriet also seemed to think that the nurse teaching the class could benefit from some real, honest-to-goodness birthin' stories from Harriet's own labours some 25 years ago.  Literally every time the nurse started a new topic, Harriet had something to say.  Most of which could be filed into the "useless" category, cross referenced with "too much information".

For instance, we all had the joy of picturing Harriet's perineum as she told us that she had an episiotomy with Emma but tore naturally with her second birth, since she delivered her son in 1.5 hours flat.  We also learned all about her genetic disorder which meant that they were considering cord blood banking for Emma's unborn baby.  Other pearls of wisdom were dispensed in shorter, more colourful bursts.

Harriet on nesting:  "I made 12 quarts of raspberry jam!"

Harriet on inducing labour:  "I tried castor oil.  It just gave me the runs."

Harriet on breastfeeding:  "I didn't do it, and the nurses really made me feel like shit about it."

The weirdest revelation came towards the end of the day, when the nurse was talking about sleeping arrangements.  Now, keep in mind this question could (and probably should) have been asked along the lines of "So, are there any specific legal requirements regarding where a baby should sleep?".  But no, that wouldn't have disclosed an uncomfortable amount of personal detail, so what Harriet really asked was, "So, are there any legal requirements about where a baby should sleep?  Because we were told that a baby needs its own separate bedroom, and if it doesn't have one then Child Protective Services can come and take it away.  Is that true?"  Quite leaving aside the question of why you're having ANY discussions about CPS taking your child away before you've even given birth to it, would you not want to keep that particular nugget of information to yourself?


I have to give credit where credit is due, though.  Harriet wasn't all bad.  On one of our coffee breaks she ran to the nearby Tim Horton's and came back with a big travel container of coffee and enough donuts for everyone, just to celebrate all our babies and her first grandchild.  It's hard to be too pissed off at someone when you're stuffing your face with an apple fritter they just bought for you.

The end result of Harriet's constant interruptions (on top of just generally making everyone else in the class irritated and uncomfortable) was that we didn't get to cover everything that was on the schedule for that day.  Lucky for us...we have a second day coming up this weekend!

21 comments:

  1. Ugh. I'm in pain just reading about this woman. Someone (more likely a group of you) needs to email the instructor and ask they she curb "round 2" of this situation. I get that this woman is trying to be supportive, but her emotional issues shouldn't hijack the class. If the nurse won't do it, I recommend squirt guns for all class participants. Every time she opens her mouth with her pearls of wisdom, fire. Like any mammal, she'll get the picture. That and I predict dad-to-be attendance will be 100%. ;)

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    1. Sounds like I'm not the only one who engages in Ally McBeal-like dream sequences wherein I get to shut people up in a myriad of creative ways. It's one of my most fun ways to pass the time in boring meetings!

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  2. Oh my... I really have to confess, that not only do I not want to talk with random people about my pregnancy, I don't want to hear anyone else's stories! Love the squit gun idea!

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  3. How annoying. And the comment about child protective services....just weird. What is one to make of that?

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  4. I may have been known at one time to yell out "shut-up" from the back of the class on occasion. I suppose that would be considered poor form for a birthing class?

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  5. How many weeks are your prenatal classes? Ours were 10 weeks and I couldn't imagine putting up with that for that long... someone is bound to say something eventually, right?

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    1. Luckily, we've only got two full days, one last weekend and one tomorrow. They have longer courses, we're just doing the basics.

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  6. How many weeks are your prenatal classes? Ours were 10 weeks and I couldn't imagine putting up with that for that long... someone is bound to say something eventually, right?

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  7. Oh boy she sounds like a character indeed.

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  8. Oh boy, she sounds like she is quite the fun person to have in class with you! I would e-mail the instructor and she if she can keep miss harriet quiet next time. Have fun!

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  9. I think Harriet was in my college math class. She was a good 10 years older than the rest of us and had a comment FOR EVERYTHING--most totally irrelevant, often totally inappropriate. Aside from the obvious, how are you liking the prenatal class? Do you think it's worth it? Should I suck it up and sign up for one even though I don't want want to?

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    1. We're actually finding it good. Last week was all labour stuff, most of which I knew but not about some of the other pain options besides epidural. Tomorrow is all the stuff we REALLY need, like how to diaper, sleep safety, breastfeeding intro, etc. We also got a tour of the hospital where we're giving birth, which you could do on your own as well. I wouldn't feel pressured if you don't want to.

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  10. Yeah, the instructor needs to nip that Harriet in the bud. But you're right--it's hard to complain with a mouthful of doughnuts. Mmm, doughnuts.

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    1. Not gonna lie, eating that doughnut made me feel like a giant asshole as M and I had just spent our ten minute break talking about how annoying she was. But my hypocritical mouth enjoyed every bite.

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  11. Oh my gosh I was giggling my way through this because YES! There's always one! It's one of those situations that are horrifyingly obnoxious at the time and make for a great story later. But yes, I agree, it would be hard to stay annoyed when she brought doughnuts :)

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  12. Oh. My. Goodness. I applaud the instructor for getting through that class. I would have been so annoyed! Kudos to you for enjoying your apple fritter despite who it came from! Lol

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  13. Oh dear--did the second class go any better? At least you got doughnuts!!

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  14. Wow! At least you could see the good in her. People like that drive me crazy and I have a hard time not being totally annoyed.

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  15. Oh boy. I hope that Harriet didn't come back for the second day!

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  16. made me laugh. (: stfu indeed!

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  17. I know this is an old post but I wanted to let you know how I enjoyed reading this. I'm in my 2ww from my 1st ivf and finding your blog this morning is a blessing. I couldn't stop laughing in my office.

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!