Most of the time, parents love to see their children succeed. But, let’s face it: sometimes dragging kids on the internet is (almost) as rewarding. That seemed to be the case for one Georgia mom who refused to take care of her daughter’s robotic baby — and boasted about it in a now-viral Facebook post.
“Meet William. He’s Olivia’s interactive baby assignment for her Early Childhood Education Class. Now, meet Olivia with William,” Lawren Galloway wrote, alongside photos of the baby doll and her exhausted daughter.
Galloway continued to say that her daughter, who was responsible for caring for the baby from Friday night to Monday morning, was “absolutely exhausted and ready to quit the class.” The post must have resonated with parents because it’s since racked up more than 208,000 likes and 126,000 shares.
“My favorite moment so far is when she came into my room last night around 3 am. She was crying real tears while feeding him his bottle,” she concluded. “She was begging me to help her because she just wanted to get some sleep. Yeah, no.”
The timing of the project couldn’t have been more perfect as the Galloways welcomed their fourth child, Violet, into the family just one month ago. Olivia quickly learned that providing around-the-clock care for an infant is a lot more difficult than occasionally helping out with diaper changes.
“You would think that with all of her siblings that [Olivia] would have some kind of clue, but she was completely clueless,” Galloway told Today. “Just because a child grows up with siblings, it doesn’t mean they’re ready for parenthood at all.”
Can you repeat that louder for everyone in the back, Lawren? Of course, the assignment wasn’t just about making kids feel tired or “clueless.” It was also intended to show students that having kids is a huge responsibility, teaching them everything from how to burp a baby to how to do household chores with a newborn. The lessons had a huge impact on Olivia, who told Today she doesn’t “ever want to have kids because of that thing.”
“[Taking care of a robotic baby] sounds like an easy task, but then it repeats at ungodly hours,” Galloway told BuzzFeed. “It would wake [Olivia] up crying when she was dead asleep and then cry again an hour later.”
It’s worth noting that the assignment, while impactful, still doesn’t give kids an accurate picture of what parenting really entails. After all, schools don’t inform kids about the realities of breastfeeding and what happens to your body after giving birth — and these dolls don’t even do much aside from cry.
“There’s no chance of a blowout diaper, spit up, or diaper rash,” Galloway told BuzzFeed. “No fevers. No sickness. And, hey, she didn’t have to nurse, buy formula, diapers, wipes, or any other essentials. She’s still clueless, but maybe just a bit more educated.”
Are robotic babies the solution to quelling teen pregnancy? Probably not. (In fact, research conducted in Australia indicated that giving kids robotic infants may have actually increased the number of teen pregnancies.) But if these early childhood development assignments can encourage kids to appreciate their parents just a bit more, maybe they’re worth the temporary sleep deprivation anyway.