Scary stories from a lovely place
Since living in South Africa flirting has become my ally in dealing with everyday situations. As well as getting married and knocked up (in that order) in the first 18 months I lived here, flirting has also gotten me out of a speeding ticket, made me friends with many security guards, hastened information I needed at home affairs, and gotten strangers to change my flat tyres. Besides the marriage/baby bit Stephen probably wouldn’t approve of all of this flirtatious activity. However one day when my sad little car was making a particularly strange noise Stephen asked me to go to a mechanic, flirt to find out what the problem was, so he could buy the appropriate parts and fix it himself. Now that I’m clearly pregnant I’ve had to slow down the flirting, but my burgeoning belly does apparently render me hopelessly in need of male help. This brings with it many of the same advantages as flirting.
Today I was on one such mission. I headed down Ontdekkers Road with my best flirtatious/helpless smile on and pulled into a panelbeaters to ask if they could fix the black plastic bits on my car. As I waited for the friendly white man to find me the right product, a much taller and rotund man came out from behind the counter to appraise my belly. “Is it a boy or a girl?” he queried in a gruff voice.
“I’m not sure” I replied to Sarkis, as the stitching on his shirt informed me.
“It’s a boy, definitely. I know these things.” I didn’t reply, just smiled my flirtatious/helpless smile. Even my midwife Ntombi told me she didn’t want to guess, so why would I believe the word of Sarkis the panelbeater?
But then this… “Do you like South Africa more than Australia?”
“Well yes I do, but it’s very different, hard to compare. You have a very good ear for hearing accents”, for a panel beater, I added in the mean privacy of my mind.
“Yeah, but you also just look Australian, and walk like it too.” I have wavered between thinking this baby is a boy or a girl, but now I am sticking with Sarkis, I think it’s a boy.
Besides Sarkis, the only person who knows for sure is Dr Molingoane, a gynae I saw because my doctor was sick. When I was lying there with the picture of the baby on the screen and this elderly black man telling me he knew what it was, my lack of self control took over. I started making eyes at Stephen suggesting we should find out. But we didn’t because Stephen knows best… It aggravates me now that Dr Molingoane holds the keys to that particular kingdom. Though he did put my gender into the computer as ‘male’ so who knows if he can be relied upon.
I really don’t mind which gender the baby is (though it’s easier to knit for girls), but there is a fair bit of pressure from the Reid’s riding on Stephen’s shoulders. His brother has so far produced 3 very girly girls. So if Stephen can’t get his sperm to turn the male way then the Reid name will be no more. From my side there is also the concern that if we have a girl she will be just like I was as a child – a little bundle of horror until I was about 16. Mum always said that I went through my teenage years when I was a child. Any boys we manage to produce will undoubtedly be kind and caring and polite like Stephen. Girls will be opinionated and moody like me. Stephen has expressed a worrying desire to train up the boys in his ways, that is to have them kissing lots of Christian girls from a young age. Rumour has it Stephen kissed 20 girls at a Christian camp in the north of Ireland. Apparently it was his southern accent that charmed them, which is understandable when you’ve been faced with the northern one.
So do you want a polite and wonderful, yet loose-lipped boy, or a tempestuous but moral girl? Cast your vote by leaving a comment below. I will even give prizes to the correct answerers!
Here’s some progress pictures for you to make up your mind….