Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ellie on maiden names

A week ago Ellie came home with a family tree paper that had to be filled out for a project they are working on at school.  The teacher requested the names of the grandparents, parents and the student's siblings.  I assumed that the teacher wanted last names but Ellie insisted that we only needed the first names.  Fine.  I'm not going to argue with her since she's digging in her heels over the idea of having to write last names.

Yesterday the teacher sent out an email to the parents letting us know that she needed the maiden names of the mothers and grandmothers.  Ellie brought home the paper and I told her we should include the last names of her father and grandfathers, too.  She kept insisting that we make sure we put everyone's maiden name on the form.  Sure thing.

She already knew that my maiden name and my father's last name were the same.  I was actually impressed that she knew it.  Then she asked me for Bryan's maiden name.  I told her and she got angry with me.  I clearly didn't understand.  She didn't need his married last name.  She needed his unmarried last name.  So I repeated our last name again.  She shook her head and told me as she wrote it that "My teacher isn't going to believe this.  She's going to think I'm lying."  By this time Madeline and I were laughing.  Ellie was getting angry.  Then she moved on to my father-in-law's name.  "What's Pop's maiden name?"  she asked.  "It's the same as Daddy's." I replied.  She wasn't buying it.

Madeline and I both explained to her that men keep their last names forever, and that women typically take their husband's last name when they get married.  She didn't believe us.  So then I pointed out that her uncles have the same last name as their dad and their dad's dad and so on.  This, I'm told, is weird.  I also pointed out to her that if she ever has a baby brother that his last name would be the same as Bryan's and that it would always be that even if he got married.

From yesterday afternoon until she got on the bus this morning she told us many times that her teacher isn't going to believe what she wrote on the form.  I did give the teacher a heads up this morning when I sent her a text letting her know that Ellie is certain that she will think we made it all up.  I imagine she probably got a laugh out of it.

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