That baby

Story_squareI was more puzzled than miffed when our teenage son pounded on our bedroom door at midnight accompanied by the sound of a wailing baby.

“He won’t stop crying,” he said in a tone that would have shoved the baby in my arms if only he could.

Our son had brought his baby home from school that day complete with a pastel diaper bag, bottle, diapers and toys.

We’d taken pictures and even named the little guy.

But only our son had the key.

This baby was a mechanical doll from his family living class and it was programmed to cry randomly. Only the caretaker with the key could try to address his needs.

Did it need a new diaper? A bottle? Burping?

The caretaker used a magnetic wrist band to access the baby’s data bank before offering solutions.

This all sounds a little crazy but not nearly as crazy as being awakened at midnight.

I have some experience with flesh-and-blood babies. I didn’t even have a key for this one.

We learned later that the mechanical baby needed to be reprogrammed but, at midnight, our son didn’t care.

So I got up and offered empty advice and he finally took the baby back to his room where it cried all night despite his best efforts.

He carried the wailing baby into school the next morning where the teacher reprogrammed it.

But he’d lost so much sleep that he slept through the normal cries the next night.

Our son is a terrific father today to three sweet little boys but he also carries the distinction of being the only student in his class to fail Parenting 101.


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