Erin Chawla: The Kiducation Learning Curve


You're Huge! And Other Fun Things Kids Say About Pregnancy

Pregnancy through the eyes (and mouths) of kindergarten students

We aim to teach a lot of things in kindergarten.  There is a focus on students gaining independence, making friends, gaining the basics in literacy and numeracy.  However, tact and decorum do not make an appearance on the kindergarten curriculum.  Subtlety is not big amongst your average gang of four and five year-olds.

The Failures Of Full Day Kindergarten

Throw an ever-expanding, pregnant teacher into the mix and you get a whole slew of wonderful, curious, completely unfiltered observations.  As I waddle my seven month pregnant form into the classroom each day, I’m never sure what inquisitive comments will come my way.

At least three times a day, I get some variation of, “Ms. Chawla, your belly is getting so giant!”  Luckily, this provides a great educational opportunity to grow their vocabulary, as in, “What’s another word for giant?  That’s right, gigantic or super-sized are also good describing words.”

Yesterday I was told, “Your little sweater doesn’t fit over your big belly.”  In my defense, I did have an extra long t-shirt underneath that covered every inch of the baby bump and the student was sitting practically on my feet as I was teaching.  I do ensure my belly is fully clothed before going to work.

I get lots of advice regarding naming the sweet baby.  Often, the names are based on the student’s own monikers, but some other great options have included Spider Man, Princess Sparkle and Fluffy (kind of hoping my newborn won’t suit the name Fluffy - just saying).

When I let the kids know that the doctors say the baby is a girl, one confident student nodded sagely and pronounced, “Yes, Ms. Chawla, because you’re a girl.”  I like the logic, although I do wonder if that kid believe there are pregnant men wandering about populating the world with boys.

5 Important Questions To Ask Your Kindergarten Teacher

And then there are the questions.  These young eager minds are trying to make sense of the world around them, including their ever-expanding teacher.  As an educator, I am a big believer in helping students find the answers to their pressing question, but I have to admit, when one sweet little girl innocently inquired, “Ms. Chawla, how did the baby get in there?” I did respond with, “You should ask you mom.”  Weak, I know, but that’s what the old pregnancy brain came up with at the time.

Other winning questions have included:

“Did you eat the baby?” (a sensible conclusion to the whole baby in the tummy thing - I have not tackled the difference between a uterus and a stomach at this point in the year).

“Will the baby also be named Mrs. Chawla?”

“Does the baby cry inside you?”

“Is she wearing diapers right now?”

“When the baby is ready, will it come out of your mouth?”

With a couple more months to go, and a few more sizes to grow, I’m sure my students will keep me smiling, and thinking on my swollen ankles, for weeks to come.