This past summer, when I knew I was pregnant before starting school, I worried how my crop of new students would handle this little added information about their new teacher. I worried that they'd think of me as weak or hormonally crazed or something. I expected lots of whispers behind my back or jokes about how "she's just being that strict because she's pregnant and hormonal," etc.
However, I've been pleasantly wrong! I teach five classes of Seniors all day, and they have really surprised me with how involved they want to be in the pregnancy (within boundaries, of course). For example, a week or so before we went in to find out whether we'd be having a baby boy or girl, I put a chart up on the board in my classroom allowing each class to vote and choose.
It was sooooo funny to hear them analyze what they knew of my pregnancy and utilize all the 'old wives tales' before making their decisions. They'd make me stand up and turn sideways to see if I was 'carrying high or low.' They wanted to know all of my cravings (peaches, Lemon Berry slushes from Sonic, mustard pretzels, California Club from Jason's Deli, Cappuccino Chunky Chocolate frozen yogurt from Braum's), and then they'd try and figure out if I had more of a sweet tooth (indicating a girl baby, apparently) or a salty craving (boy?). The most ridiculous "test" they wanted to run on me was to have me lay in the middle of the floor, and then a few of them would dangle their car keys over my belly until the keys started to turn in left or right circles!!! Ha! I, most obviously, did NOT partake in this little test, but they were cracking me up with their attempted 'diagnoses.'
Another strange phenomenon that has been taking place in my classes is the abundance of unsolicited yet highly appreciated snacks that keep appearing on my desk. I think the kids believe I'm going to whither away since I've told them I'm against the "eating for two means eating DOUBLE your regular intake" mentality. I think they're worried about the baby not getting enough nutrition....so their solution? Snacks. They've brought me cans of fruit juice, Cheeze It's, Twinkies, BBQ Baked Lays, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Starbucks coffee, and a few random packages of candy. Apparently, it slipped their minds that these snacks aren't too healthy, but I have to smile whenever I come in and find more offerings on my desk, usually signed "To Baby Kern, From 5th hour" or whichever class it happens to be from that day. So sweet...in their high schooler-y, can't show too much emotion, gotta keep my cool-factor way. I'll take it...the snacks and the kindness. :)
I think the students have also caught on to another trend: one day, one of my girls asked me how far along I was. At the time, I was about 4 months, and she replied by saying, "You are SO TINY, Mrs. Kern!" I replied by sarcastically saying, "And you are SO GETTING AN 'A' in here, Kate!" Now, I get loooots of 'you're so tiny's in hopes of grade improvement. Not happening, but it IS nice to hear over and over....especially as I'm starting to appear NOT so tiny as each week passes. Ha!
Also, most interesting name suggestions from students thus far: Sapphire and Appolonia. Yep.
And, finally, these little goodies have made their way into my home, my purse, my desk, my life:
Dang. Thought I could avoid it. NOPE! Bring on the heartburn, Baby!