Friday, DeAnna became the proud mother of "Baby Dee". (She named it of course after herself.)
Baby Dee is what they call in her child development class a "Real Baby". She has a computer chip in her that makes her cry when she needs a bottle, needs a diaper change, needs burping or is just generally fussy. She came with a bottle and two diapers, both of which also had computer chips in them. DeAnna also had a non-removable bracelet on (they cut it off on Monday), which made her the "mother".
Every time Baby Dee cried, DeAnna would have to respond to her within 2 minutes by chiming her with the bracelet. She then would have to figure out which of the four things the baby needed to stop her from crying. If it was a bottle, she had to sit and feed her for at least 20 minutes. Diaper changes were easy, she just had to switch them. Burping, however, could take up to 30 minutes and fussiness could last for however long the baby decided. It was indeed like having a real baby in the house!
The baby had a sensitive neck which needed good head support at all times, and was also sensitive to any trauma to the body which would make her cry. (It was possible to kill your baby by giving it shaken baby syndrome or if it received excessive trauma to her head.) She also woke up several times during the night needing attention. (Just like a real baby!)
It turned out that we had quite a lot on this weekend. Baby Dee had a trip to the mall, attended Mike Jr's football game, went to Golden Corral for lunch with us, accompanied DeAnna to a sweet 16 birthday party and came to church to name a few things. The trips out in public were definitely an experience. We did have a car seat and stroller which she borrowed from Ruthy to make it a little easier.
Anyone not paying a lot of attention didn't realize it was a doll she was taking care of until they got right up on her. Though there were many people who knew exactly what this was, I found myself explaining to a lot of people who obviously didn't, that this was indeed just a school project. As I watched various people whisper and pass judgement on my daughter who is only 15 and obviously not old enough to have a baby, I was disheartened by some of the lack of humanity that was shown. Comments passed, dirty looks and judgement that was aimed at her and then shot over to me and Mike made me feel a little sad. I was especially disturbed with one lady in particular who was verbally bothered by the fact that Little Dee was black. It really disturbs me that there are still people in the world who can't get past the color of some one's skin. :(
I was very impressed with DeAnna and how well she took care of the baby. While feeding the baby on the sidelines of the football game, the tackle came in our direction and the QB got thrown right in to DeAnna. As instinctive as a real mother, she turned the baby away and took the brunt of the hit herself. She was very protective of the baby's feelings which I found interesting. Many times when we were out she mentioned that she was glad the baby didn't hear all the rude comments and have it's feelings hurt. She really didn't complain the entire weekend. She got up with the baby at least three times a night by herself and talked to it almost like it was real. She even dressed it in a Cowboys dress, Copper Hills hair bow and sporty socks.
Although I felt kind of stupid feeding and burping the baby, I did give DeAnna a little help while she was trying on clothes in the dressing room or getting ready for church etc. I have to say that by Sunday afternoon I had kind of become a little attached to the baby myself. :) The best part was when she cooed after you finished doing something right. I will tell you this much, while I am definitely not ready to be a grandmother yet, I have a feeling it will be a wonderful thing when it comes time.
All in all it was a good experience. Little Mike even got attached to Little Dee and although he laughed with his football buddies at the baby, he kept cooing at her when they weren't looking. :)
DeAnna who has always loved babies soooooooooo much DOES realize that she is not ready to have her own baby yet, although, she still wants twins... and though we were sad to let Little Dee go back to her drawer in the school, it has been nice to have a bit of peace and quiet around here the past couple of days. Now if I can just get her to wait at LEAST 10 years before making me a REAL grandma... :)