One of my favourite aspects of being a pregnant substitute teacher is the looks I get from the staff in schools I don’t regularly go to.
You see, in my mind there is no mistaking that I’m pregnant. Thus far I’ve managed to keep my weight gain and growth within a healthy limit and the only really noticeable expansion has been in my belly. If someone was looking at me from behind I could see how there could be some questions, but when you look at me head on I think: “BABY!”
…apparently not. haha
A little while ago I was called to go to a school that I have only ever been to a handful of times. My first period was to cover an “on-call”, which means that students are sent to the cafeteria to work instead of being in their regular classroom. There was some mix-up with some other classes, and as the period began I ended up covering three classes while I waited for other supply teachers to be called in to assist. Within 20 minutes I was joined by two lovely little retired men who took the late calls to come in.
It took them a few minutes to get oriented, then once all the students were back on task and working well, they began to walk around / look for something to do. One of the men kept glancing at me and down to my belly with a perplexed face. I could tell that he was trying to work out whether or not I was actually pregnant.
I love the t-shirt & cardigan combo for work. I rarely do the buttons up on my sweaters as a) I like the look of them open, and b) let’s be honest: I can’t. haha! So, my open sweaters often cover the sides of my round belly and lets just the front peek out.
So, this teacher kept glancing over at my belly and I could see that he was trying to work out whether or not I was pregnant and whether or not it was safe to talk to me about it. I found the situation hilarious, so I continued to shift my position every few minutes to poses that I knew either made me look obviously pregnant, to ones that I knew it would be impossible to tell. He came over to say hello and make small talk, and I could tell that he was trying to give me the opportunity to say something about my pregnancy so that it would be okay to talk about.
(I could tell that he was busting to talk about it–it was the kind of cute old man that you just knew had kids and grandkids he loved to talk about.)
After several small conversations and glances in my direction, the teacher who had been glancing at me casually strolled over to the other subsitute teacher in the cafeteria with us. Seconds after they started talking they both looked over at me.
I couldn’t read their expressions, but it looked like they were having a conference about whether or not I was pregnant. haha! I finally decided that I had put this little old man through enough questioning and gave him a clear sign that my gut was not the beer-kind by placing my hand on the top of my belly.
I kid you not, within seconds this man flew over to my side to congratulate me. The relief was evident on his face, and he was so happy to talk to me about kids and how happy he and his wife were.
And of course, he had piles of pictures in his wallet to show me.
I thought that it was so adorable that he was trying hard to be respectful and not ask me outright if I was pregnant, just on the off-chance that I wasn’t. But this little old man, whom I had never met before, was so excited for me. And our conversation wasn’t full of unsolicited advice, but rather was full of stories about how much he loved being a parent.
It was very cute.
…and secretly the whole thing made me feel pretty good. I kind of loved that my belly and body language weren’t screaming “PREGNANT! PREGNANT!” to a random bystander.
Apparently my waddle isn’t that pronounced.