I’ve been trying to remember if the nurse I had during my last Pap smear stuck her finger in my asshole or if there was an instrument of some kind. An instrument that was then inserted into my asshole.

I know, I know, you came here for kid pictures or whatever and here I am talking about things being crammed in my ass, but there is an actual train of thought that leads from a topic to the inside of my butt.

What I’m saying, aside from the fact that I find it a bit disturbing I can’t remember what exactly went in in my ass, is that the nurse in question was very young. I mean, she was as nice as could be and I liked her quite a bit right up until the moment when she asked me to bend over and squeal like a pig (I am paraphrasing), but the fact that she likely had no knowledge of a world that included V.I.C.I., the humanoid robot girl in Small Wonder, took a wildly uncomfortable situation and made it even more so. I don’t know why it’s worse to have a young person anally violate you, it just is.

There are certain professions I feel should be limited to people who are Older Than Myself, and gynecology is definitely one of them. Police officers should also not be my age or younger, especially if they’re wearing mirrored aviator shades like a total douchebag and writing me a goddamned 32 MPH-in-a-25-zone ticket.

The whole reason I was thinking of this recently is because most of the kindergarten teachers in Riley’s school are fairly young, and although this certainly doesn’t bother me (as long as they don’t suddenly lunge at my anus with some sort of probe), it doesn’t jive with the picture I have in my head of a teacher. This is because I am having an bizarrely difficult time adjusting to the idea that I am not a school-age student, but the mother of a school-age student. In my mind I’m still the one who will be graded and possibly sent to the pricipal’s office if I don’t straighten up and fly right; instead, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old woman who needs to interact with teachers like a GROWNUP instead of vying for approval or being vaguely worried that they’ll smack me with a ruler.

In the few days since school has started there have been a lot of adjustments—new routines, new responsibilities, new schedules. It’s all been good, but I look at myself—making lunches, filling out paperwork, talking with teachers, planning for my first PTA meeting—and I can hardly believe it. Is this . . . ME? I suppose that sounds a little ridiculous, but I don’t know how else to say it, really. It’s just sort of a momentous sort of thing, this new rite of motherhood. One that stirs up a strange swirl of old memories and associations and makes me wonder if I’m even remotely qualified for this shit.

It’s funny, I expected to be overwhelmed by the milestone of my child starting school, but I didn’t quite realize what an enormous new role it would be for me, too.

Anyway, I’m glad the teachers are young and generally look energetic and motivated and capable of dealing with their teeming Lord of the Flies throngs on a daily basis. But if any of them decides to leave kindergarten behind for a career in reproductive health, I’d like her to wait a few years, maybe develop some authoritative gray in her hair and wrinkles around her eyes, before donning the latex glove and gel lubricant and rooting around where the sun don’t shine. I’m just saying.


68 Responses to “Age expectations”

  1. nicolien on September 9th, 2011 5:33 am

    Can you imagine I have the same thing, and I TEACH at a High School… which means I constantly have to tell myself that these wise people around me are my COLLEAGUES, not my teachers.
    And it also still surprises me when my 18-year-old students address me with ‘ms. [last name]’, as if I’m sooo much older than they are. Which I am, of course, since I’m 31, but I just keep forgetting…

  2. Cheryl S. on September 9th, 2011 5:56 am

    I brought my 6 y/o daughter to meet one of the stars of the Nickelodeon show Shake it Up. She was insanely excited and we stood in the line waiting to get an autograph and picture. As I stood there, I had the same sort of experience as you. I’m the MOM in this situation? Really? That should be me waiting in line, squeeling with glee over some TV/Movie/Rock star!

  3. bessie.viola on September 9th, 2011 5:58 am

    Yes, this. Exactly this. I have been feeling this way all week, with the Forms and the Committees and being a Room Parent. What the hell, I’m like 17. In my head, anyway.

  4. mcconk on September 9th, 2011 6:03 am

    I am just hoping that Naomi B’s story is untrue. Otherwise Oh my freaking God!!!

    I am 46 now and my kids are in high school. HIGH SCHOOL! It is weird, to be sure.

  5. Lisa on September 9th, 2011 6:08 am

    I was perfectly fine being a mom until I realized it meant I had to go back to school with my kids. Hated school the first time not much better the second, third time. Welcome to the world of projects and homework and YOU are really the one responsible for getting it done – not the kids.

  6. Gaby on September 9th, 2011 7:26 am

    My sister-in-law said that when she was going through residency, they had volunteers come in for the rectal exams. WHO VOLUNTEERS FOR THAT?! My god.

  7. Melissa on September 9th, 2011 7:29 am

    My son is 14, so we’ve been doing this school thing for a while & I STILL feel uncomfortable around his teachers and coaches, the other parents even. Like a total fraud. I thought for sure, by now, I’d have my shit together like a real-live grown-up.

  8. Donna on September 9th, 2011 11:11 am

    I’m 62 and still can’t figure out how that happened. Or when.

  9. Jaida on September 9th, 2011 11:57 am

    Funniest set of comments I have ever read. Am dying right now.

  10. Erin@MommyontheSpot on September 9th, 2011 1:36 pm

    I used to be a junior high teacher at the tender age of 23. It was hard to be taken seriously.

    Now, at age 33, my first born is starting Kindergarten and her teacher looks so young . . . like 24, 25 tops. And she makes me nervous!!

    Crazy, I know.

  11. Jennifer on September 9th, 2011 2:10 pm

    Oh yes, I’m also 37 and my gyno is 2 years younger than me! My dad had a heart attack in June. His cardiologist? Yeah, I feel sure he went home after my dad’s angioplasty procedure, ate Cheetos and drank chocolate milk, played some XBox, then his mom mad his lunch for school the next day. But oh, was he hot.

    And remember when the Miss America and Miss USA contestants seemed so old and sophisticated? Now they’re almost young enough to be my daughter. And baseball players! All are younger than me! How did we get here?

    And that finger/tool in the ass thing? Weird, man.

  12. Judy on September 11th, 2011 9:49 pm

    I’m kind of surprised because my doctors have always done the finger in the ass thing, they get a fecal smear for the lab that way.

    I am weird in that I don’t like a woman OB/GYN. It just seems like only men and me should be touching my lady parts. For awhile I had a hard time with my doctor though, because he was so young and good looking. I kept worrying that I might inadvertently become aroused and he would notice. I still have the same doctor, but 20 years have passed and he’s losing his hair and I still love him to death but guys, I think I have passed my sexpiration date. It’s no longer a worry. Anyway, he told me at my last internal that I only have to have one more, I’m 69 and if you make it to 70 without cervical cancer they figure you’re not going to do it, so they no longer do paps on us old ones. Now, there’s something to look forward to. Also the hair on my legs quit growing after menopause and there’s no need to shave. Probably nature’s way of saying “I know you can’t bend over to do it any more anyway.”

    As for the insecurity…as I said, I’m 69 now and that seems to have nothing to do with me, I’m still 19 inside and wondering why people think I’m grown up and why are they all calling me “ma’am”???!!?

  13. lisa on September 11th, 2011 10:44 pm

    Don’t worry, I am a TEACHER (starting my sixth year in elementary) and I still felt like a total impostor sending my daughter off to Kindergarten this year. I’m not convinced yet that I’m going to be able to cope. The “pack a healthy lunch every single damn day” thing is bad enough. Then the kid brings home papers for me to look at nearly every day!

    However, I have also been the young(ish) teacher staring down a room full of older (than me) parents on back to school night, and omg if I could have died on the spot I would have. Especially in my area, where we have a lot of Asian parents who treat teachers very traditionally, with honor. I would have these parents, who were 15 years older than I, asking me questions like I’m an expert. I would hear these words come spewing out of my mouth, regurgitated from my credential program, but in my head I’m thinking “My god, I’ve been teacher for six weeks! How the hell should I know how to fix your kid?”

    So glad those days are behind me. Also, so glad I didn’t have to stick my finger up anybody’s ass. Can you imagine?

  14. Sarah on September 12th, 2011 8:17 am

    I feel exactly the same…I always used to be the youngest in a group, now I tend to always be the oldest (unless my husband is also there, ha ha). I am the same age as you. Also, with my last pregnancy in 2010, my midwife was mentioning something that they ‘always do for the younger mothers’ and for some reason I automatically expected it to mean I would be receiving it. Oh no, no, no, I am most definitely not in that category anymore….I think we will always feel like this (my mom says she still feels as young as ever, in her mind).

  15. Aviva (omyc.wordpress.com) on September 12th, 2011 9:39 am

    I was wondering what to write about on my blog (I update it on Mondays), read yours, and was tempted to simply link to it on my blog and write: “What she said!” So funny… and true. I am nearly ten years older than you are and still share your amazement at being mature enough to get my kid ready for school in the morning.

    (I’ve written about technophobia instead, though. :) ) Thanks again for a great blog post!

  16. Melissa on September 12th, 2011 1:22 pm

    I prefer cops to be younger, so they can run faster and catch the bad guys. Otherwise, I agree with you. I think my GYN is just slightly older than me, and so far my kid’s teachers have been at least a little older than me. I feel like a moron when I go into school to talk to them about her, like I need to REALLY pay attention because her FUTURE is on the line if I’m not LISTENING and maybe I’m a little afraid of getting in trouble.

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