Monday, November 7, 2011

Baby talk

My best friend's daughter currently has a class assigned, high tech baby.  Don't even get me started on the debate about the cost of these high tech babies versus the expense through the welfare system of teenagers with babies.  Not from the same budget, people!

Anyway... I never took a child/family class in high school.  I actually don't remember them as an elective option.  But, we've come a long way since the egg or flour sack of yesteryears.

These babies cry and fuss and need to be fed around the clock.  The experience is to assimilate having a baby.  A difficult baby.  My question is... what is the purpose of this experiment, and does it actually work?

The baby has a scanner embedded to verify the student is actually doing all the work.  The "parent" wears a corresponding bracelet.  Myth number one:  new parents have to do all the work themselves.  Isn't it the first rule of parenting to enlist help?  Doesn't it take a village to raise a child?

This baby needs to be soothed in a variety of computer generated cause and effect situations.  Myth number two:  there is a correct way to soothe a baby.  Finding the solution to lull a baby is a two part process;  the trick, and the maternal instinct.  Neither the baby, nor the parent, have this maternal bond.

Is the theory that kids with these babies will have a light bulb above their head moment when they realize how much their lives would change if they got pregnant?  Myth number three:  a baby is, in itself, a form of birth control for teenagers.  I haven't been a teenager for quite some time, but I don't remember my emotionally and hormonally charged self being swayed by that voice in my head when faced with a cute teenage boy. 

Independent, idealistic teens will balk at the idea of having someone depend on them.  Myth number four:  kids don't want a dependant.  There are girls out there so starved for love, they dream of the idea of having a baby, just so someone will unconditionally love them.  And who thinks having a "pretend marriage" with a guy will deter these longings?

My hope for the future is that my kids won't have kids until they are ready.  All I can do is parent them the best I can.  I believe these years of parenting will trump any mechanical baby.  Therefore, I don't believe kids that lack this parenting will find their purpose over a weekend with a baby doll.

The closest I ever got to having a pretend dependant was a spider Traci and I found at school.  We carried him around for several periods, until he was sadly lost.  I remember making a pencil drawing on a table in the media tech room that said:

Lost.  Richard the spider.  If found, please contact Sam. 

Followed, of course, by a crude sketch for identification purpose.

Never did find Richard, but I didn't have children until I was 27.  Hmmm...

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