The other day my son came home with a baby.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t a real baby, but it was a baby nonetheless.
He walked into the door holding a carseat carrier with a baby inside and said, “Hi Mom!” I had one of those feelings I associate with being in the Twilight Zone and then took one look at him, then at the baby and snapped a photo. I had a feeling this was going to be one of those big moments in my son’s life that he was going to learn something the hard way.
And it was also pretty funny!
The ‘practice’ baby (as I decided to call it) wasn’t actually his, it was his friend’s. The Mom had decided it would be a great idea for my son and his friends to babysit for the night while she got a break. 3 teen boys and a practice baby that had a tendency to cry a lot. I chuckled to myself as I said good-bye and watched him head over to his friends house for the night.
My son came back from his sleepover exhausted, which isn’t all that unusual as the boys generally stay up all night, but he kept going on about how he was never going to have a baby, EVER. The baby had woken them up multiple times in the middle of the night and he somehow became the designated parent. There are sensors that get it to quiet, like a button you put on your shirt for breastfeeding and which one of the boys actually had to mimic at one point. Another to bottle feed, rock or change its diaper. No one got sleep…. except the “Mom” of course, who happened to be off dreaming in a bed far away from the baby.
I tried to imagine three 15 year old boys trying to soothe a robot baby by breastfeeding it. I almost regretted not having them stay the night at our house just so I could see it! Of course, then I would have had to wake up to the baby and that was no good. Either way, I about fell out of my chair laughing; my son didn’t think it was very humorous.
The best thing that happened was that it reinstated what I had been telling my son for quite awhile now in regards to teens and sex. I had said that until he could take responsibility for what may come from it (ie: a baby) he shouldn’t do it. Period. As a child from a teen mom, having gotten pregnant with him at 16, he understands this is an undeniable truth. He has seen female peers in school that have real babies, one who was 14 and others that are Sophomores. And although he told me he understood, I wasn’t sure if he really and honestly truly knew what having a baby would be like….. until it arrived in a carrier in my living-room.
Although these babies may not do the job of warning girls very well (as I have heard it sometimes backfires the other way) it seems to work on teen boys well enough. All three of them got a very good idea in one night what it would be like to have a baby 24/7 and all of them had decided that some things weren’t worth giving up their freedom for.
Not even a robot baby.