Park gets finishing touches

So here we are: Week 37 of pregnancy.

I say "we" because I get a kick out of making all my non-pregnant friends throw up in their mouths when they hear that. Plus, truth be told, I actually feel like I've kind of earned that pronoun. Seeing as I've been about as heavily involved in this entire process as any father-to-be could be. Prenatal appointments. Ultrasounds. Childbirth prep classes. I've been there for them all.

I even promised my wife that when she goes into labor I'll do my part by simulating my own version. (I'll do this by forcing myself to watch reruns of "Dr. Phil" for 20 hours straight.)

But I'm getting away from my point and that is, at 37 weeks, my poor wife is really starting to look pregnant.

As a result, people feel as though they can come up to her, like she's part of some sort of freakish human petting zoo, and touch her all over while saying completely thoughtless things to her.

Like, "You must be eating a lot, girl," and "Remind me again why you married Bryce?"

Trust me, we've heard them all. Which is why I thought, as a service to all the ladies out there, I'd share a list of phrases and questions nobody should ever say to a woman when she's pregnant.

"Oh, you poor thing."

She's pregnant, not a wounded animal. And don't you think that maybe, just maybe, this isn't the best way to boost her confidence? I mean, if people said this to me 175 times a day, I'm pretty sure I'd start to believe it, too.

"You're never going to make it to your due date."

Nothing burns me up more than this one. As if having a child comes with a medical degree.

Look. I get it. You gave birth to a child once. Neat. Now shut up and mind your own business.

"Are you having twins?"

Granted this has only been asked to us two or three times, but still. Even if she were carrying six babies in there, who thinks asking this is a good idea?

"Do you have a name yet?"

Not only is this the kind of question that freaks us both out, it also makes us think we're not prepared as parents. I mean, I thought we had until the little guy was, like, 1 year old before we had to make that decision.

"You are all belly."

What does that even mean? She's pregnant. Of course she's all belly. Where the heck else is the baby supposed to be hanging out? Her chest? (NOTE: That would be cool, though.)

"Was it planned?"

OK, first of all, none of your business. Second, since when did it become all right to ask people personal questions like that? I tell you what. I'll make you a deal: You tell me how much money you make and in return I won't pepper spray you.

"Do you mind if I touch your belly?"

I like to think of my wife as a fine piece of art hanging in a museum. Nobody, except for maybe that really interesting Dos Equis guy, gets to touch. The only thing worse is the people who just do it without asking.

"That's got to be the biggest penguin I've ever seen!"

Just kidding. Nobody's said that. But if they do, I swear I'll punch them in the face. Once I'm done laughing.

Bryce Donovan can't wait until his son is old enough to start talking so he can pick a name. Reach him at 937-5938 or bdonovan@postandcourier.com. For more Bryce, check out his blog "The Bryce is Write" or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/brycedonovan.