I was the offered the chance to look after a baby, I initially thought
- that'll be easy, Im good with animals, kids should be the
same. Ive now had time to reflect and can confirm that children
are mildly more involving.
wasnt just any baby though, this hi-tech piece of kit, while
baby-shaped, did in fact contain all the elements needed to drive
any sane person mad. Its normal use is to scare teenage children
into understanding that like dogs, kids arent just for Christmas.
And boy what an effective tool this baby really is!
journey into parenthood began with a firm lecture on the dos
and donts of operating this electronic baby. Once I had been
warned not to mistreat the baby it was programmed and brought to
life using a series of special keys. Unfortunately these keys were
not given to me and I now had to contend with being a baby father.
together now.. aah!
first thing that hit me was the amount of stuff such a small child
needs to keep it in good working order. I have often berated parents
who insist on driving huge 4X4 with just one small child. But after
squeezing all the stuff in my small car I began to understand the
benefit of these road going beasts.
the journey home with baby firmly strapped in the car seat I realised
I hadnt thought of a name! While I was thinking traditional
English names such as Elizabeth or Mary, I had a flash of inspiration
and settled on Diamonique. Fans of a certain TV shopping channel
will realize this is often used as an alternative name for Cubic
Zirconium - fake diamonds. So with a fake baby it sort of sounded
to get everything indoors but with me and Diamonique home, I sat
down and tuned into Cbeebies as I thought this was standard practice
for parents. We watched for a whole minute before my brain melted
and I was forced to find something with some intellectual content.
stayed quiet for a couple of hours, I began to think that she may
be low on batteries, but then all hell broke loose. She started
crying and just wouldnt stop, I inserted the care key and
held her tight and whispered soothing songs. The sound of silence
followed, I let go of the key and she was off again, so I learnt
the key had to held in place.
crying is meant to last between one and 20 minutes, after 29 minutes
I began to think Diamonique may be broken, but then a delightful
sound of baby laughter ensured I could put her back down.
I work on the Milton Keynes Breakfast Show, Im normally in
bed by 9pm and I rise about 4am. With me and baby in our respective
beds I was hoping for a quiet night, I entered the land of nod and
began to dream.
peaceful night's sleep was shattered just after 11pm when Diamonique
decided to demand my attention. I was hoping for a shorter spell
this time, but no luck, 30 minutes of care followed.
her down and hoped for the best, I woke up at 4am having not been
disturbed, brilliant I thought, quick shower and Ill be ready
I walked towards the bathroom, I realised Id left the baby
unattended. I went back to get her, and as if by magic she started
another crying fit.
holding the baby I attempted to work out how I could shower but
I couldnt until she was finished. In half an hour I barely
managed to brush my teeth. I was now late for work, unwashed and
feeling unnecessarily stressed, welcome to parenthood I hear you
my job and child proved a lot more difficult than I had envisaged.
With the help of producer Lee and presenter Big George I was just
about able to do my job. But in reality this would not be possible
without some serious child minding facility being available.
time with Diamonique was due to finish that afternoon, so the last
couple of crying fits further built up my desperation to hand her
back to her keeper.
was the so called simple tasks that proved how difficult parenthood
can be, without the benefit of a baby monitoring alarm, everywhere
I went - so did the baby.
a few raised eye brows in the gents toilet, even more so when my
fellow companions realised it wasnt the genuine article. I
now fear that I will forever be known as the odd bloke who plays
with toys (not that far from the truth).
hand back time, I was tired, stressed and prone to unexpected bouts
of emotion aka crying for no reason. A quiet word with some mothers
in the office assured me this was nothing untoward.
my desire to have children has not been affected, but my previous
thought that I would be a stay at home dad has now been changed
forever. The lucky mum, whoever she may be, will have to stay at
home while I earn the money to buy a big car, house and even a Turkish
Britain really does have the highest teenage pregnancy rates in
Europe, then these electronic babies should be given out to all
children as soon as possible!
you are aged between 13 and 17 and would like to see what it's
like to be a parent with our virtual baby, please contact us at
C McLintock, glasgow
28-Jun-2005 11:00:10 BST
don't think teenagers realise just how hard bringing up a
baby is these days you can almost guarantee that you and your
partner will find the sleepless nights and hardly any social
life very hard, trust me i know from being a teenage mum myself.
from ardoune, srdoyne
16-Sep-2004 11:09:46 BST
would really like a baby as i am only 15 people tell me thatr
it is to hard but i think i would be good
25-Jul-2004 19:30:19 BST
would like to try one of these virtual babys and see what
its like coz i really love babys and i think i would have
the time for one
30-Jun-2004 17:21:28 BST
done i think that even though you are really nice and good
to look after a babi well done :-)