I WUV you mummy

The first time your baby tells you they love you, you feel like a million bucks.  Charlotte has been playing around with the words for a few weeks now, but never said them to anyone, and never as one complete sentence.  But today, as I lay on the couch sick she was getting snow pants on with Daddy.  She walked on her “pip toes” over to me, rubbed my arm, and said “I WUV you mummy!”  With such conviction in her voice, yet tenderness with her tiny hands!

Let me tell you, crying because you are happy is a real thing.  [It also confuses your toddler, who thinks they have done something good.]  How did my tiny little baby become an almost-two-year-old, with such a full personality and a wide-open heart?

In fact, there were quite a few gems from Charlotte’s mouth today:

“Home is where the heart is!” as she and Daddy returned home after gymnastics.

“Grampie…he’s a good guy” after Grampie dropped off some soup.

And now, for some reason, she has started referring to herself as “Waka Bee”.  It’s her approximation of “Charlotte ‘Bee”, which we call her often.   But every time I hear her say “Waka Bee’s pants” or “Waka Bee watch signing time with mummy!” I laugh because I can’t help but picture a little muppet.

She’s a cute little muppet.  Quite literally, my pride and joy!

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Did s/he really just say that?!

[Been doing a little house keeping on the blog lately, and I found this old column that I just had to repost for kicks and giggles 🙂 ]

In the life of a teacher, as a pregnant woman, and now a mother, I hear a lot of things that make me stop and say “Did she (or he) really just say that?!”

Some are laugh-out-loud funny, and some make me stop in my tracks with incredulity.  So I will share some of the best ones with you. This will be a recurring installment whenever I have good things to share!

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Apparently I am many things, but not a good spelling teacher 🙂

"Mare Cresmis"

“Mare Cresmis”

[However, I got a card from the same child last Christmas that said “U are the bart tetch.”  So we’ve learned a little bit about vowel teams and complete sentences in a year!]

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Baby Names

First grade girl:  “Mrs. Follansbee, what are you going to name your baby?”

Me:  “Well, we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet, so we have to wait and see.”

Girl:  “Well, I KNOW what it is.  It’s a girl.  Because you’re a girl.  So that just makes sense.”

Me:  “Oh….that’s….interesting logic.”

Girl:  “Yeah, I can always figure out if teachers are having boys or girls.”

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Honesty

Fridays always seem to bring out the best in my little kiddos.  Today was no exception, as I took a beating for my appearance:

2nd grade girl:  “Those sneakers are not really that pretty, Mrs. F.  I think you can do better.”

1st grade girl:  “Your hair is so curly today it looks like black olives.  And you KNOW I hate those things.”

Thanks, girls!  I’ll try harder on Monday!

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While making photocopies today, a precocious first grader passes by and says “Baby on the way soon, eh?  Man, I know how that is…”

Really?!  He’s six.  And a guy, no less!

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I sometimes hear the best things while my kids are cutting and pasting, and get to chatting with each other.  I normally try to let these conversations run their course–7 year old logic has a way of presenting itself at some point, and it’s way more funny than if I intervene.

Today I overheard this little repartee from a 7-going-on-17-year-old girl and her oblivious boy partner:  “When I have kids, I want to make SURE they know that I wasn’t born in the olden days.”

Oblivious boy: “Why would you care?  It’s just the olding days…”

She replies, “Well, I just CAN’T lie to my kids.  I don’t want to be a liar, you know.  And I DON’T want them to grow up thinking that I’m OLD!”

Oblivious boy:  “Oh.  Like my dad.  He’s 41.  They definitely hadn’t invented technology when he was a kid!”

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The latest is less of a “Did she really just say that?” and more of a “Did I really just DO that?” moment.

It’s getting a little bit harder to move around school like I used to.  Sitting on the carpet with the kids requires a bit more care and adjusting.  And getting up from the carpet is no longer graceful, nor easy.  So today, when I awkwardly tried to get up from the rug and realized I couldn’t do it on the first attempt, I swung my legs around the other way.  Cue the sassy little second grader who smirks at me and says “huh.  I just saw your undies.”

Note to self: must wear pants or tights every day now.

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I attended my first prenatal water aerobics class this week, and had fun chatting with some pregnant moms to be. In the middle of our flutter kicks, we got talking about childbirth classes.

“Are you all taking childbirth classes at Maine Med?” The instructor asked us.

A fellow preggo answers: “Yes. Well, I am. Not so much my husband. He says I’m the one doing the labor, so why does he need to spend time learning about it? It’s not really his job.”

Beyond ‘did she really just stay that’ I was also asking myself, “Why on earth would you marry a man like THAT? Good luck honey.”

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While walking through Marshalls last week, Fred and I were minding our own business looking at shoes. An older man approaches me and says–out of nowhere, ”Soooo, when’s the big day?”

I looked at him skeptically, thinking we already got married last year. What on earth was he talking about?

“You’re pregnant, right?”

Ohhhh. So this guy was taking the (foolish) risk of commenting on the small belly of a barely-showing woman. Bold move. It still looks more like I ate too much ice cream, and not like I’m obviously with child.

“Well, you’ve got a lot to look forward to….NOT.” He says, as he grumpily herded his unruly group of three children away.

Did he really just say that?  Was he really foolish enough to take that risk?

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We don’t all have to be super moms

An announcement today, by another high-profile female CEO, that she will basically not take a maternity leave, makes me sick.  It’s a ludicrous proposition, that a mother should expect to work so soon after the birth of a child.  And it makes the rest of us look like crap to our employers, the media, and the general public for wanting to take the 12 weeks that is allowed by law (in many cases).  After Charlotte was born, I struggled to even sit and walk comfortably in those first two weeks.  Work was–and should have been– the furthest thing from my mind.

If you’re not familiar with the case of Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, she effectively became CEO, announced she was pregnant, ended the company’s telecommuting policies, and then declared that she would not take a maternity leave.  (But she would have a nursery built next door to her office.  Must. Be. Nice.)

What really irks me about Marissa Mayer is her essentially saying that work is more important than family.  That her job is a higher priority than a tiny new human who is incapable of everything yet needs the love, warmth, and affection of its mother.  And the subtext of her publicly announced ‘no maternity leave’ is that women can (and should!) be expected to work full time in a high powered job, be a new mother, and still look good doing it all.

I’m sure she thought she was empowering women and new moms everywhere, that we all looked to her as a beacon of super-mothering.  But in my mind, she is dangerously swimming against the current of the push for paid maternity leave policies.  We are closer than we’ve ever been to creating actual laws that would protect paid time off.  [Paid time off!  At a time when you’re going through diapers as if they’re going out of style.]  And being such a public figure, as one of the first female high powered CEOs, she’s not making it easier on the rest of us working moms.

A word to the wise

Walking down the hall with one of my second graders this morning, she offered up this little gem:

“Mrs. Foll-som-bee, you should always try to come to school with a smile on your mouth.  That’s what I do.  It makes the day fun!”

How very true that is.  It made me realize how often I have my ‘busy’ face on when I’m at work.  So, here’s to more smiles!

Mrs. Fallingpee

Working with K-2nd graders, I often see and hear a lot of variations on my name.  My all-time favorite is the little boy who called me “Mrs. Fallingpee” for two years running.

I just returned to school after a three month hiatus at home with my Little ‘Bee.  The kids have been thrilled to see me, and have been on their best behavior (can I milk that through the next five weeks?!).  They made a ton of progress with their reading while I was away!  On my first day back, I received this sweet note from a second grader…

mistApparently we still need to work on the idea that past tense requires an -ed ending 🙂  And also, was he trying to draw boobs on the card, then thought better of it?!

Did she really just say that?

I attended my first prenatal water aerobics class this week, and had fun chatting with some pregnant moms to be. In the middle of our flutter kicks, we got talking about childbirth classes.

“Are you all taking childbirth classes at Maine Med?” The instructor asked us.

A fellow preggo answers: “Yes. Well, I am. Not so much my husband. He says I’m the one doing the labor, so why does he need to spend time learning about it? It’s not really his job.”

Beyond ‘did she really just say that’ I was also asking myself, “Why on earth would you marry a man like THAT? Good luck honey.”