When I was in Grade 11 I took a 'Parenting Class'.
I believe these optional classes should be mandatory...not because they actually teach you how to 'parent properly' but for the exact opposite reason. It teaches you that, at the tender age of 17 you, quite imminently, are not even close to ready to raise a child.
I remember 3 things from that class.
1. The teacher who was as old as my grandmother and had no children of her own. (which makes about as much sense to me as a dog teaching a bird how to meow).
2. The extremely graphic videos of women giving birth...at which point I excused myself for fresh air (and to vomit).
And the one I'd like to share with you today;
3. The assignment of taking care of an 'egg baby'.
This was the classic parenting assignment back in the day before freakishly life-like crying babies were invented.
We were to take care of this 'baby' for the week.
Although to take care of an egg baby is to what? I don't know...make sure you don't break it? Because babies are fragile like that? Because if you drop a baby it'll splatter all over the ground like liquid yolk?
I was soon to find out what the purpose was.
After carrying around my 'baby' for a day and a half and feeling entirely idiotic, I had to use the facilities.
In a real baby scenerio you would use the wheelchair accessable washrooms so that your entire stroller could fit in the stall with you just in case someone else meanders into the washroom to do their business and impulsively decides to steal your baby while you're innocently taking a pee.
Being the uneducated 'teen Mom' that I was *horror of horrors* I left my 'baby' on top of the hand dryer safely ensconced in it's wee little basket.
I went pee, came out, washed my hands, dried them with paper towel (I have a issues with hot air blowing around in a germ filled room).
And left the washroom.
Only an hour later while eating my deliciously salty french fries in the dimly lit cafeteria with friends did I realize, "OHMYGODILEFTMYBABYINTHEBATHROOM!!"
I ran back to the washroom to find that....
Someone had absconded my baby.
Who would do such a thing!?
The teacher had marked each egg with a special mark that could not be duplicated. Or so was the story she told us.
Yes, I am that gullible.
Needless to say I failed that assignment miserably.
I didn't even last 2 full days as a Mother to an egg!
How on earth would I ever succeed as a Mother to real live babies?!
I'm convinced that this ridiculous assignment caused me many anxiety ridden dreams about;
.losing my baby in random stores
.forgetting my baby in the car for hours at a time
.and a few dreams where my baby was not, in fact, even human.
In one quite disturbing dream I had given birth to a worm baby which I kept in a small box with grass and tissue.
Another, perhaps even more alarming dream, was when my beautiful human baby slowly turned into poo before my very eyes.
Analyze THAT dream analyzer people!
On second thought. Please don't.
However, despite my failed parenting assignment and my subconscious basically warning me that I would completely suck at being a Mother, I gave it a whirl.
Not once but twice.
And though there've been a few days in my short life in Motherhood that I would've given myself a parenting FAIL (haven't we all), so far so good.
I never dropped my babies, nor lost them in a store or forgot them in a car. Neither have they turned into fecal matter before my very eyes although they've had many an explosion that upon first glance one might think so.
But I'll leave the grading up to my boys.
When they're about 35 and they begin to appreciate all that I did for them.
By then they'll have full realization in that they will have (fingers crossed!) become parents themselves.
Their very own babies tormenting them with endless crying and sleepless nights.
Because as children or even adults without children one can never fully acknowledge the mighty love nor the absolute agony that our parents go through until we're bestowed with sweet angels of our very own.