Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh Baby!

One of my piano students came to class last night with a doll much like the one pictured. What is unique about this is that he is about 16 years old. This is part of a project he is doing for a class at school. For 10 days he has to "take care" of this baby so that he can learn more about the responsibility of caring for a child. A girl at church had this same project, but she had the electronic type of baby that actually cries intermittently 24 hours a day.

This young man's school had each of them come up with their own 10 pound sack of flour "baby". They each had to purchase a 10 pound sack of flour, and could dress it up however they wanted. He chose to actually empty the stuffing out of the doll and fill it with small baggies of the flour. He had to take it to school and have it weighed to make sure it was 10 pounds. When he came to class last night, the baby was dressed in pink, sitting in a carrier like the one pictured. Interestingly enough, he was also wearing a pink shirt, and had pink laces in his shoes. As we talked to him about it, he said, "I have decided that I am going to have a girlfriend, but I am NEVER going to have children!" He said that his arms were sore from carrying the carrier around all day. We all reminded him that this "baby" didn't eat, or poop. But I also mentioned that this baby also didn't laugh, or hugh, or cuddle.

I actually had an assignment quite like this in college. I took a parenting class, and was asked to carry around a raw egg for several days. I had to keep it with me all the time, even sleep with it and bathe with it. Because it was raw, I had to be really careful. Then I had to write a paper about my experience. The difference between my experience and Noel's experience is that I was about 25 when I took my class. I was ready to become a parent. So when I had to get rid of my egg at the end of the week, I felt a twinge of sadness because in some weird, strange way I had begun to bond with it. :)

My two oldest teenagers never had to do this project. I hope my third one has the opportunity. I really think it is a great project that teaches some great life lessons.


deputymomof6 said...

One of my children had one that is programmed to cry and make demands 24/7. It drove the whole family nuts. :) It was a good lesson for her, though. She had to get up in the middle of the night and feed and change it. After helping with my two little ones, they all swear they will not have a lot of children, if any at all. I know they don't really mean that. :)

Anonymous said...

I guess i was blessed with pleasent non demanding kids, cause my twin boys where little to no trouble at all while being luggage "unable to move on their own." From birth they would occasionally wake up at weird hours to be changed or have a 2 am snack, but it wasnt constant or bad at all. We also didnt go to any of those fancy baby education things past or present, but i will say i read alot of books.
For the most part we did what our parents and theirs before them did we winged it with the basic hope we could do better then them.

The dolls are sorta bad cause the following dont work on programed doll.
Getting the kids in a routine is very important, and as for crying binding/bundling or repeated sounds static, waves, heartbeat is important.
rocking and other movments also settles them down, its a built in off switch that keeps them still and not moving while still inside the U.S.S Mom to prevent injury.

Sadly i think i would fail the plastic baby test knowing its a doll after the first cry in the closet with alot of pillows it would go.

A real test of partenting should be having a "Walkie"toddler for a week, they run from you, yell at you, and alot more demanding then "luggage" infants. Plus poop starts well smelling well like poop. ;)


Max said...

Hey D!

What a great post!
Well, nowadays boys wear pink (days have changed); and then carrying a baby is much better than taking care of an egg; isn't it?

I agree with you, these projects also teach how to be responsible (but so does having a dog)!

Have a blessed weekend!

Nene said...

My daughter had to do the "egg" thing in high school. She decided to do extra credit and do "twins". She was worried about how to carry her twins around without "cracking them up" until we got the idea to use her little sister's soft-sculpture doll cradle that I had made out of fabric stuffed with quilt batting. She put her egg babies in there and tucked a mini-blanket around them. I remember having to "baby-sit" them for her while she did something. :0+