Monday, March 31, 2008

The Middle Wife

as told by an anonymous 2nd grade teacher


I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. "This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birth day."

"First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

"Then, two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. "She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now Erica is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

"My Dad called the Middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to sit down in bed like this." (Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

"And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!" (Erica has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away.)

"Then the Middle wife starts talking to Mom and helping her breath. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they said was from Mom's play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there."

Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another "Middle Wife" comes along.

9 comments:

  1. This story was so awesome. I love how children interpret things.

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  2. I love this story so much. Birth should be a natural part of life ... as a matter of fact as this little girl portrays.

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  3. Wow!

    Love the way children tell it so matter of fact!

    DD and DS were both born at home but DD slept straight through DS's birth. She does remember the midwife coming to the house that evening though.

    x

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  4. that's the best story I have EVER heard!

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  5. I apparently did something along these lines in kindergarten after my cat had kittens in my bedroom. "And then she ate the puh-senta" was the line that prompted a phone call home to my mother.

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  6. I wish my son could have witnessed his brothers birth but his heart is a bit sinsitive and couldn't take the stress of seeing me in pain, I think he could have handled the labor as I was rather quiet until yime to push...then I got vocal :)

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  7. Absolutely adorable!

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  8. I'm in raptures! That is so adorable. Clearly she just had a malapropism issue, and really had quite a good grasp of the situation. The delivery (no pun intended) was then priceless! Love it.

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  9. LOL!!! What a beautiful story!!! I love it!!!

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