We had a visitor this week end…

One of my daughters is a freshman in high school and is taking a parenting class. Part of her grade depends on how well she does taking care of a baby for the week end.  The project is similar to the “carry a raw egg around for 2 days without breaking it” assignment that I had, almost 30 years ago. This is so much more realistic – on several levels (I’m jealous, if you can not already tell). She was required to choose an open week end in which to bring the baby home. This task alone almost blew her mind, as every square of our calendar is always filled completely. After a little hesitancy, she chose her week end and requested a baby girl, which she named Charlotte Rose – the cuteness – I can barely stand it! She was assigned a baby, a car seat carrier and a diaper bag filled with clothes and 2 special diapers and a bottle that only her baby could use. This isn’t your typical plastic, take it in the bath tub kinda baby – this is a $900 baby with computerized components that enables it to coo, cry, suck and breathe using the recordings of an actual baby. The baby’s computer monitors how long it cries, if its neck is supported , and if her diaper is changed. My daughter was supplied with a computer chip that was mounted on a wristband. If the baby cried, it needed to be chimed (the wristband waved directly over the babies chest area) and then she had to determine and meet the baby’s needs. This  assured that my daughter was the one taking sole responsibility of the infant – not some excited grandma or little sister that was handed a crisp $5 bill. Charlotte even arrived with 2 special diapers that have a computer chip in them as well. If the baby is crying because she needs a diaper change, as soon as my daughter changes her diaper, she makes a happy cooing sound. If she doesn’t need a diaper change, the baby will continue to LOSE HER MIND even if a clean diaper is placed under her tush. Cue the confused  “I DON’T KNOW WHY SHE’S CRYING!” declarations from the basement. True to life once again, the Mama had to figure out exactly why the baby was crying. Good times. Depending on the data,  my daughter would receive her grade – and she was shooting for an A.

Having seen her sister complete this assignment years ago, she was not going into this week end blind. She was equally excited and terrified. It was very entertaining to watch play out, as a mom of 4 who has been through baby boot camp over and over and over (and over) again. When she arrived home Friday, she was excited to show us Charlotte and her bag of goodies.The clothes were super sweet and we all took turns oohing and ah-hing over the tininess of all the supplies – it’s been a dozen years since we have had a baby in the house! This baby would go “live” at exactly 4 o ‘clock – announcing her presence with an adorable coo.  Charlotte was programmed to need feeding, changing, rocking and soothing JUST like the typical newborn. God help us all. My daughter had already set up the basement as her “home away from home”, as to not keep the rest of the family awake if she happened to cry all night. Bless her. It didn’t surprise me at all that her younger sister was planning on sleeping down there with her, so she could help if needed. Such a great Auntie! The week end progressed and the new Mama fell into a pretty relaxed rhythm – managing to meet Charlotte’s needs as quickly as possible, while also doing other things. We even took her out to eat with us and she was perfect – we all held our breath the entire time – JUST like with a real baby! On Saturday, things got a little crazy. Baby just wasn’t having it and Grandma had to step in and rock and soothe. I’m not going to lie – I had been just waiting to get my hands on that little stinker. The weight of this baby on my chest and the sound of her soft breaths along with her baby powder scent – I needed our time together more than I knew! We finally got her settled and she slept for a stretch. All in all, the week end was a success. It opened my daughter’s eyes to the demands of an infant. She was tired, frustrated and more than ready for when the baby was turned “off” at 7 on Sunday night.  She was proud of herself, yet a bit surprised at how much effort it took. Did I mentioned that she was tired? Charlotte did her best work on Saturday night, waking up at 11 pm , 2 am, 3:30 am  and 6 am. {Aren’t babies FUN?!} I truly believe that each and every high school student needs to take this class. It is a beneficial , real life experience that they will always remember. And as for my Freshman, she received a 96% on this assignment – with points subtracted for a missed feeding and a missed diaper change *whoops*.  No parent is perfect! I congratulated her and inwardly thanked the Lord that no one was grading MY parenting!

And just a side note… our cat Max was a bit jealous the entire week end. He didn’t know who this baby was, or why everyone wanted to hold it. By Saturday he decided to just start sleeping when the baby slept- good advice for everyone!

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4 thoughts on “We had a visitor this week end…

  1. Beth Montanez says:

    I am not surprised that Lizzie was an excellent mother! She has had an amazing example to watch and follow. I cannot believe how far this “baby” has come from the bag of flour I carried around in high school. I believe you are right when you say every kid should take this class and experiment with the unpredictable of “baby”!!! Glad she handled it with grace, knew when she needed to ask for help (a lesson ALL mothers need to learn), and had some fun too. Well done Lizzie, well done Grandma. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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