A blog named BETTY

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here, have a fake cigar

So, I participated in the "grandmother for a weekend" program. I don't want to brag, but I think I did pretty well. I should be ready to grandmother a real baby sometime in the next decade.

Shnookie2 is taking child development in school, and the pinnacle of that experience is being entrusted with a fake baby for a weekend. And when I say 'fake,' I mean fake on steroids. These babies have computers inside that simulate the craziness of motherhood pretty well. In fact, I think they may have surpassed the mark on discouraging teen pregnancy here--we'll be lucky if this generation will EVER have children after a weekend with these little gremlins.

As you may have guessed, this weekend was Shnookie's long-awaited turn with Robo Baby. She was hoping for an Asian boy, but ended up with a Caucasian girl (we've all been there). Of course, she was just thankful it was healthy. She named her Payton Shea Bishlack (which is the compound last name Shnookie's friends have started using for her to avoid the 2 last-names confusion). Please note that Payton is pronounced according the Utah dialect: no T... "Pay-en." (To hear Shnookie saying it like a Utahn over and over was somewhat disturbing. Then I realized that she has been raised in Utah, so what do I expect?? It's not like I can blame someone else! Not that I won't try...)

Here's a picture of Pay-en with her custodial parent. (She won't tell me who the father is, but I'm suspecting it's either one of those Old Navy mannequins or else Ken ((Barbie will be livid!))):

I think she has my nose. Speaking of which, the girls were playing the "I'm gonna steal your nose" game with her, and she didn't smile once. Hmph! Fake kids these days.

In case you haven't seen one of these babies, the rules are pretty much like Parenting 101. When it cries, try changing its diaper or feeding it or burping it. If you do the right thing, it will giggle once and then be quiet. HOWEVER, sometimes it just cries and there's nothing that will make it stop. That was a condition I was all too familiar with. This process goes on 24/7--right through the night.

The biggest concern when mothering one of these creatures is that you avoid abuse at all costs. You can't let its head tip back, or drop it, or shake it, etc, because it registers abuse in its little implant computer and its parent will have to answer for it. Protecting your charge sounds much more simple than it is, since humans seem to have an inordinate amount of macabre curiosity. Social situations--especially of the teenage boy variety--are a nightmare. Evidently, there is nothing more people would like to do than throw a plastic baby against the wall and see what happens. And the more Shnookie begged them not to hurt it, the more they wanted to see blood. I had to reassure Shnookie repeatedly that this phenomenon is unique to fake babies and she won't have to fight people off of her future real babies. We are an odd group, we humans!

So here's the visual that will stay with me from this experience: Me walking out of the chapel and seeing Shnookie2, holding her baby out in the foyer, right in the middle of a group of other mothers and their (real) babies. They were swapping stories. I kid you not!

And here's the audio I will remember, from a phone call: "MOM!! Come and get the baby! I'm in a meeting and she won't stop crying!!"

Well, I drove over to the meeting, picked up the baby, and thanked my lucky stars that I will never hear that phrase again from my teenage daughter.

And then I went home and put the baby in the dryer on fluff cycle. Just to see what would happen.


Ing said...

Brilliant post! If Malinda hasn't read it yet, I'm going to make sure she does.

Malinda said...

Good one Erin. Olivia used to cry for no apparent reason when she was only a month old. Drove me crazy. Wish I had thought of the fluff cycle.

Anonymous said...

that baby was difficult. good thing its over (: ps mom her middle name is spelled shay not shea. duh (;
schnookie 2

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

Dear Schnookie 2,

Fortunately, you were a beautiful baby. Fortunately, you turned into an amazing young woman. But you weren't always this way. You cried. A lot. I know because I slept on the sofa one night while your mother was digging through the garbage in the bedroom, piecing together letters she wasn't supposed to see. Then I helped her to surgically alter some of your dad's clothing.

And then you cried, ruining our fun.

Turnabout is fair play.