After bundling up for the cold weather, I stepped outside. Walking across the frosted lawn, I was struck by the sight of a teenaged boy awkwardly holding a baby car seat, straight out in front of him. As he passed by me, I glanced inside. He firmly held a bottle to a baby’s mouth.
A naked baby.
A naked baby?
After doing a double take, I realized it was simply a doll, albeit a rather sophisticated version of a real baby.
What was going on?
You likely already know.
I have heard of this concept of giving teens ‘something’ to care for a week so they understand the time consuming responsibility of caring for a baby. Many teens today don’t have younger siblings to care for and perhaps the goal is also to impact teen pregnancy.
Since that morning, I have seen several teen boys carrying that baby car seat. They all tend to walk with that same awkward step, holding that seat with that same none too pleased look.
While I can appreciate the thought behind the concept, this is not daddy-hood.
Yes, babies are time-consuming and interrupt important moments.
Yes, babies need to be fed and changed at the most inappropriate times.
Yes, babies throw up on your best clothes and cry for no reason.
But, this doll provides a fake experience of parenthood.
Nothing can compare to the experience of holding a Live baby.
Women experience a sense of wonder when pregnant.
Men experience a sense of awe when becoming a daddy.
It happens when they hold their child that very first time in their arms.
A man becomes a daddy who will more likely hold his baby like my husband did, cuddled close, protected within the bend of his arm, rather like a football.
A man becomes a daddy who will dance with his baby for the umpteenth time to the same song, just to make his child laugh.
A man becomes a daddy who will feel pride when his baby says that first word – Dada.
Give teens an opportunity to feed living babies.
Give teens a time to laugh while holding a baby with smiling eyes.
Give teens an opportunity to develop a relationship with a living baby.
With the person who will call him-