As you know from my Congratulations? entry, I have learned to be prepared for pretty much any reaction when announcing that I am pregnant.
Well, since my belly was starting to give me away, I finally decided to tell my students at school. I began with my fourth graders. When they came in and got settled, I said, “Have any of you noticed that I’m getting a little fat?” Everyone started shaking their heads. “NO, you are NOT getting fat. You are skinny.” They are my favorite group. Who wouldn’t love being told you’re skinny even when none of your clothes fit right anymore. Finally, I told them, “Well, I am getting fat.” Someone eventually blurted out – “Are you having a baby?” When I said yes, the whole class erupted. They started screaming and clapping – no cryers in this bunch. No body acting angry or upset or even jealous (I expected someone would be jealous). After a couple of minutes of uproarous clapping and yelling, Phillip stood up and said in his deepest, manly voice, “Everybody quite – shhhhh – I’ve got the baby’s name…. Tracy Kenneth Floyd, the third.” Well, you all probably know – Tracy is not a second, nor is his middle name Kenneth. Phillip proudly announced that he came up with the middle name. The rest of the children took Phillip’s lead and began yelling out names, most of which were their own. They actually want me to name my baby after them. I explained that no child of mine would be named after any of them. After at least 15 minutes of total chaos, I finally got them calmed down enough to sort of begin working, though I’m not real sure they got anything done for the remainder of the class period.
I began my announcement the same way with my fifth graders. Only with them, I received a very different reaction. When I asked who had noticed that I was getting fat, about 5 hands shot up in the air – no hesitation. Immediately, Kylie, whose mom has recently had a baby – looked at me with saucer eyes and dropped jaw. She was so shocked she couldn’t even speak. Finally, Allen (my drama king) goes – you must be pregnant (extra ephasis on the preg part). Just like with my fourth graders, the classroom erupted. Instead of immediately wanting to name the child, the fifth graders wanted to know why I didn’t tell them first. Then they wanted to know how far along I was, what was the baby going to be, how long have I known, and finally what was I going to name it. They were full of questions. After all the questions, my very thoughtful young man, Jeremiah, raised his hand and said, “Would you like to borrow my mom’s book of baby names?” (His mom just had twins). How sweet and thoughtful. Also like the fourth graders, the fifth grade group got nothing done that day either. Later I found out from another teacher that I was the topic of conversation at recess. Much whispers were going on about Mrs. Floyd. Yesterday several of my girls came in and told me they had read a book or a website about what’s going on with the baby at 13 weeks. They laughed hysterically when I told them the baby was the size of a lemon. I think they probably visualized a lemon with arms and legs.
My third graders were a whole different story except for the yelling and clapping. When they arrived at the end of the day and got settled, I looked at them and said, “I have some important news that I’ve already shared with my 4th and 5th graders. Would anyone like to guess what it is?” I wore a very snug shirt that day thinking someone would ask if I was pregnant – I thought I was being very obvious. Jentry raised her hand and replied, “We are going on a field trip.” “No,” I said, “Any other guesses?” Logan raised his hand (his mom also recently had a baby) then decided his guess was dumb (he was actually going to guess the correct thing I later found out). Finally, Katelyn, who seems to always know everything, said, “Are you having a baby?” When I responded with a yes, I was congratulated with the same whoops, hollers, and clapping. This group didn’t ask questions or try to name the baby. They all wanted to tell me their baby stories about how their baby cousin was born, or how much their baby brother weighed, or about their cousin who had hair when he was born. Oh, and they told me I was way too skinny to have a baby. I like this group too – alot.
It’s funny how the different groups reacted so differently. Now they have all decided that they can see my tummy. It is getting bigger. I try to ignore the stares. I don’t know what I am going to do when they start trying to touch my tummy – and they will. Personal space is not something they understand at this age. In just a few weeks I’ll be getting out of school for summer vacation. When I return, I’ll be seven months pregnant and I’m sure I will not look “too skinny” to have a baby. August should be interesting.