Robobaby


The words every mom of a teen is fearful to see in a text, "I got the baby!" These were not so ominous because she only had it for 24 hours, so I texted back, "awesome!" and waited for Robobaby to arrive.

My daughter, as a sophomore, has had "Health" this year instead of gym. It has been a terrific class, which the teacher gleefully describes as having one goal - making sure that none of them gets pregnant. It is much more than that. This class has been so enlightening that I think of it akin to the salad making scene in "To Sir, With Love". Ms. B. is getting them ready for the real world; they rolled the dice to get a job or career (so far, so good), they planned their weddings, wrote vows, made a yearly budget ("why do I have to pay for my husband's deodorant?!"), watched videos of real births ("like, 15 times! disgusting!") assembled their layettes, and finally she brought Robobaby home for a sleepover.

First the school had us sign a paper saying that if anything happens to Robobaby we are responsible for the cost, $350. (I imagine my husband at 2am going at Robobaby with a phillips-head, trying to disarm its crying mechanism.) The kids get the baby for a day (no raw eggs or bags of flour for Murrow!) They have a key that is attached to their wrists with the kind of unbreakable tag that you get at amusement parks so that you can't hand responsibility over to someone else. The key disarms the crying mechanism. The baby records how many times you neglect it or don't support its head. My daughter had to get special permission to delay her baby because she was in a play. For a split second she could tell, Ms. B was thinking, "well, what are you going to do if you had a REAL baby?" and she thought better of it. (Nobody crosses the Murrow Drama Dept.)

So, yesterday afternoon she arrived and was promptly placed in the darling hand painted cradle that held the stuffies and cowbaby. Of course as a new mother, my daughter checked her every 10 minutes because the baby wasn't doing anything. (She had been told it was programed "colicky"). I said, "just wait", and yes, at midnight Robobaby started to cry at irregular intervals until the three of us made my daughter and her progeny sleep on the sofa where we couldn't hear them scream. I am sure that she will get a good grade. She is a very attentive mother. Mostly, I am thankful that she can now stick to a budget, that she knows how much her cell phone costs, that she is thinking about her 401K and that she will make her husband buy his own deodorant.