What to say about a baby scan that looks just like every other baby scan

HAS yet another acquaintance announced their pregnancy with a sonogram photo that could be night vision footage from Springwatch? Here’s how to respond: 

“Look, it’s waving!”

Banal, cliched displays of parental pride deserve banal, cliched replies. This is the minimal effort, catch-all response that feigns just enough delight while hinting at a precocious level of motor function and self-awareness in the unborn blob.

“I expect an invite to your gender reveal party!”

The ultimate passive aggressive response. Of course, nothing could be more appalling and déclassé, but this allows you to fake enthusiasm while earning secret kudos from onlookers for your witty swipe at the vulgar commodification of pregnancy. Go you!

“Wow, he’s got your ex-boyfriend’s eyes!” 

Questioning the paternity of a baby is a soap-opera mainstay and fun in real life, unless everyone suddenly goes very, very quiet. Best done on social media where you can leave the post up for 20 frenetic minutes then delete it, leaving only puzzling reactions sure to arouse suspicion.

“Fantastic, here’s my dinner!” 

Posting an shot of your dinner – not even a particularly good dinner – will ironically but actually say ‘Your life event is not as important as my meal.’ You could even add a visual metaphor by plating up a fried egg or a single kidney bean – but a fuzzy black-and-white shot of Findus Crispy Pancakes looks as much like a baby as a sonogram anyway, so why bother?


Not commenting at all is easier on social media than real life, but either way you’re speaking your truth. Considering the post your signal that it’s time to jettison such an unimaginative acquaintance is wise. A sonogram may as well say ‘Hey, for the next few years we won’t do anything and will be no fun. Who’s in?’ Cut your losses.

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The six people you've promised you'll meet after lockdown but won't

IN A locked down world, we’re all making promises we won’t keep. For example, here are five people you’ve sworn you’ll meet the minute it’s allowed and absolutely won’t: 

The Facebook acquaintance

Sure, you appreciated their recommendations on local plumbers, and kind of meant it when you said ‘The little ones would love a playdate!’ But when it comes to meeting people in real life you know full well you’ll meet the people you know in real life. We’ve all had enough of internet randos by now.

The neighbour

It’s crucial to have a friendly neighbour in case there’s a crisis. Those socially-distanced conversations over the fence have been a lifesaver, and last April you were even doing shopping for each other. Invite her in for a coffee? A gossip like that, who’ll tell the whole street how dirty your kitchen is? Let’s stick to emergency-only socialisation, thanks.

The international friend

You really got on with this guy at uni. He was always up for a laugh, and good for getting the first round in. Taking a cold hard look at the numbers, however, it would seem that a few pints here and there don’t quite add up to the airfare required to reach Sydney.

The lonesome ex

It was clear they were single and lonely and suffering, so you took pity on them and enjoyed being in a better place than them and threw them a few FaceTime bones. But now they’re talking about meeting up and being friends and all that? Do they not remember you lie to them all the time, from the relationship?

The extended family

‘It would mean the world to have us all in one room again!’ Yeah, would it though? Half the cousins have fallen out with your sister and the others are the boring ones? The group Zoom was excruciating enough. Best to keep things on a Christmas-card-only basis.

The immediate family

It’s expensive, it’s tiring, you all go back to old resentments in seconds. You never went anywhere together before all this. Why start now?