Thursday, January 8, 2009

How Old Are You?

I just wanted to quickly share something that happened today.  I don't know if I've said it before, but I'm a first grade teacher.  I was sitting next to one of my little guys this morning working with him on his writing when the following exchange occurred.

First Grader (looks up at me and, completely unrelated to the topic at hand, says):  Do you have a daughter?

Me: A daughter?  No.  Why do you ask that?

First Grader:  I don't know. Do you have kids?

Me: No, not yet.

First Grader: You don't have kids yet?  You mean you're not married!

All the other little faces at the table turn toward me and a chorus of "Mrs. One Good Egg, you're not married?" starts.  

Me:  Well, yes, I'm married. That's why I'm called Mrs.. I talk about Mr. One Good Egg all the time, remember.

First Grader (in a tone that could be characterized as disbelief):  But you don't have kids, yet? How old are you then?

This is immediately followed by several guesses from the peanut gallery, some flattering, most not so flattering. 

Me: Hey, hey, hey.  Alright now, enough of that.  Let's just get back to our writing, OK?   

So even in the minds of my first graders I'm an old, married, childless failure.  Fantastic!

*I should mention that I really do talk about my husband and the rest of my family all the time. You'd think if I had a kid that I might have mentioned him or her before now.   It just goes to show how egocentric six-year olds can be that this little guy obviously never noticed.  In spite of, or maybe because of, their egocentricity six-year olds are the coolest kids ever.  And in spite of, or maybe because of, exchanges like the one above I do love my job.  


Heather said...


My husband teaches high school and he had that exact conversation with his students more than once before we had kids. I swear, almost word for word. With teenagers! And he was under 30 at the time!

Wendy said...

I'm a teacher, too, and I get asked the "Do you have kids?" and the "Why don't you have kids?" question fairly often. I usually just answer no, but all of you keep me busy; and I don't know why I don't have kids.

First graders ARE pretty great (even when they say things like that!)

Your students are really lucky to have you. :)

Hummingbird said...

I've been having this conversation with my students since I started teaching 14 years ago. At the time I was in my early twenties!

I guess that's why I didn't really start feeling badly about it until recently. Now at advanced maternal age, I muddle through it and move on as quickly as I can since there's nothing I can do about it. And at this point I kind of agree with their point of view.

Teaching is fun, though! I love my middle schoolers!

Shelby said...

Out of the mouths of babes, huh? I've gotten the same from little ones (although now I work in a high school). It's so much easier to handle because at least they don't know any better, but adults do and yet I've gotten almost identical questions from them as well!

Anonymous said...

Oh, man, that is rough. I giggled a tiny bit, but I know it must have been tough.

Bri said...

It is actually pretty stinking cute! At least the little guy has age to use an excuse! Not like many of the adults I run into!

Lost in Space said...

My love for the honesty and curiosity of kids will never leave me. As hard as it is to hear, we know that it comes from the best parts of their hearts.

Me said...


The Genetic Mule said...

I already commented on your Creme post, but I am SO glad I found your blog. Your posts are great. My defective uterus has found a soulmate! You are a few steps ahead of me on the adoption journey and I am so thankful you are charting the course. Best wishes to you and your hubby, I will be rooting for you.

Midwest Mommy said...

Oh those first graders. I taught first grade for 3 years some of the stuff they said to me. I will admit one little boy did make me cry when I was reading directions and asked if anyone had any questions. He raised his hand and honestly said, "why do you look so fat today." I will admit I started crying as all the eyes were on me in the room.