Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.


What’s really annoying is people who find it so extremely odd that I have a 19-month-old kid at my extremely advanced age that they feel the need to ask me about it several times in a row. 

“So. . . you’re saying she is your daughter?”

“She is.”


For just in case my language skills are so poor that I don’t know what the word means. 

“Yes, my daughter.”

“Huh. And she’s how old?”

“Still 19 months old.”

“Huh. I guess I just didn’t know you had such a young kid. Your daughter, eh?” 

One would think that academics, at least, would be more acquainted with the possibility of 40-year-old women having kids, but no such luck. I’m not in the least self-conscious about my age. But this is boring to me because I only like to repeat things in the classroom where I get paid to do it.

I have a colleague who gave birth at 47. I’m thinking of sending these folks to her so that she can give them a coronary with her late-life fertility and lighten my burden. 

Maybe I should get a T-shirt that says, “Yes, I gave birth at 39. You mind?


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8 thoughts on “Repetitive

  1. Dreidel on said:

    “One would think that academics, at least, would be more acquainted with the possibility of 40-year-old women having kids, but no such luck.”

    You overrate people with high I.Q.s and advanced degrees. My mother was 40-years-old and my father was 48 when I was born, and nobody back in the small Tennessee town where I was born asked any questions. Perhaps that’s because it was a small town where everybody knew everybody else, anyway.


  2. Wait….. did I miss something? You mean to tell me that this charming littel girl that you sometimes post pictures of….. is your DAUGHTER????


  3. Almost 40 on said:

    This must be a regional thing because in my NYC neighborhood, which has a lot of professional women, it seems to me that everyone I meet had their first child between the ages of 35-42. The ones who were younger are anomalous.


    • Exactly. My new friend who just moved here from NYC is pregnant at almost 42 and found it completely normal and unremarkable that I was 41 with a toddler. It was a great relief.


  4. Shakti on said:

    I don’t know why your colleagues are so shocked.

    My grandmother had my last aunt at 37. This aunt claims that if my grandmother hadn’t had a heart attack at my age she would have kept on having children, and I would have an aunt that’s my age. (My mother actually has a couple of aunts and uncles that are her age or younger because her mother’s mother had 10 children.)

    I also read somewhere that <a href=’″>people derive fertility statistics about conceiving after 30 from one study of 17th century French peasants, who didn’t have modern medicine, nutrition, electricity, or reliable birth control.


  5. Agreed. In my small California city, even parents in my toddler’s preschool are in the 35-45 age group. The youngest is 35 (had her kid at 32) and the oldest 44.


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