My daughter, Jennifer, teaches first graders. I have the privilege of volunteering in her class whenever I can. The first time I went into Jennifer’s class, she introduced me as her mother. Of course, in the world of six-year-olds, teachers don’t have mothers. They don’t have husbands or families and they live at school.
Once they got over the shock of the realization that their teacher was a mere mortal with a mother and everything, they soon discovered that I held extraordinary power since I was the source of great knowledge about Jennifer. This fact immediately elevated me to star status.
The first time I met the group, they were all seated on the floor listening to Jennifer read a story. Jennifer introduced me and I joined them. The story officially ended when I pulled up my chair and they all began at once asking questions.
“Are you Mrs. “P’s” mommy?” “How old are you?” “Was she a little girl?” “When did she grow up?” “Do you live at school too?” “Where does Mrs. “P” sleep?” “Are you a grandma because you look like a grandma?”
“OKAY, that’s enough!” I yelled. (Well not really, but the grandma question was a bit over the top!)
I told the children that they could each ask one question about Mrs. “P”. We started with Jimmy who said, “I have a mommy too, and a dog named Stubs.”
“That’s a statement, Jimmy.” Jennifer said patiently, “Remember that we talked about what questions sound like. Questions start with words like; who, what, where or when. Why don’t you try again?”
“When I went home yesterday, stubs wet the floor.” Jimmy said.
“Good try, Jimmy.” Jennifer said, “Who has a ‘question’ to ask?”
Kinsley raised her hand. “Mrs. ‘P’ is pretty, but you have those things on your eyes that make you look like a grandma but that’s okay because you’re old.”
“Kinsley,” I said through clenched teeth, “I don’t think that was a question.”
“Let’s try this again.” Jennifer said quickly, “Who has a question?”
A shy little tow-headed boy in the back of the group barely raised his hand. Jennifer cautiously called on him. “Ryan, what is your question?”
“Your mommy is old, but you’re not.” Ryan STATED.
“Well,” I said to the enthralled group. “I think question time is over.”
Jennifer timidly asked me if I was staying to help after the question and answer segment.
“Honestly, Jennifer,” I replied, “Do you really think that those ‘questions’ fazed me!”
Then I felt a tugging on my blouse and I looked down to see a toothless child grinning up at me.
“What do you need honey?” I asked.
“I have a question.” She replied. “Do you take your teeth out at night?”
“That’s it!” I said to Jennifer, “I’m outta here!”
Okay, maybe I stayed for a little while after that. Actually, I stayed for a few hours and I even went back. The thing about first graders is, you gotta love their honesty!