23 January 2012

virtual child, real thoughts.

so guess what i've been thinking about lately??


this is due to a number of things:

1.  a good portion of my thesis requires me to think a lot about babies (unfortunately, in a sad-ish way... no deaths, but lately my writing thoughts have been of the unable-to-have-babies variety and it's depressing).
2. very recently a small child asked me (quite innocently) if there was a baby in my tummy.  the initial :O! went to :( and then :D very quickly.
3. my introduction to parenting class requires that i raise a virtual baby.

raising a virtual baby is a ridiculous-but-interesting experience.  to even get the baby, i had to fill out this personality-type questionnaire, and this was the message that came up after i finished:

her name is kate.  i don't know why, it was just the first name that popped into my head.

i'm also not sure how they determined my kid was a girl after the questions they asked about my personality, but whatever!

anyway, raising kate via internet is a strange experience.

for every 3-6 months of her life, i answer about fifteen parenting questions.  some of the three-month old questions i've had to answer questions are something like:

  • will you breastfeed your baby or formula-feed her?  or a combination of both?
  • if your baby cries, what will your first reaction be?  will you tend to her immediately?  will you let her cry until she stops to teach her to be independent?  or will you wait a few minutes, and then comfort her?
  • your baby sleeps all throughout the day, except when she's eating.  to promote social interaction, will you wake up your baby to play with her?  will you use vocal and physical stimulation in the few moments she is awake?  or will you just talk to her while she's eating?
is it weird that i had my answers right away when i read these questions?  i'm nowhere near close to having a baby, but as far as these general scenarios go, i know exactly how i want to raise my future kids.

that doesn't mean i'm not terrified.

when i first think of babies and children, i feel all warm and happy and giddy inside.  but then when i think longer about babies and children, i get nervous and scared and worried - all kinds of terrible thoughts and questions float around in my brain.  like...

what if my kids don't like me?
what if there's a horrific accident and something awful happens?
what if one of my kids is crippled by a super-mean-awful bully at school?
what if one of my kids IS that super-mean-awful bully?
what if one of my kids has some disease and can't eat certain foods?  what if they want to be a vegetarian?
or worse, a vegan?!?

(i have nothing against vegetarians and vegans, really... i've just VERY MUCH enjoyed a life of zero-allergies or conditions or cultural beliefs that require restrictive diets AND I LOVE IT.)

a friend of mine asked me a few weeks ago how i will judge (many, many years from now) whether or not i was a good mom.  and i told her that if my kids get to be my age and they are still good, active members of the Church i know that i've done a good job.  because if that's the case, everything else will fall into place.  you know, just like we mormons are taught EVERY WEEK, practically.

i know how hard that is to try and accomplish (especially in this world), and sometimes it's disheartening to know that there are some things that are out of my control.  these little questions about breastfeeding and crying babies and how to socialize babies are easy ones to answer - the bigger, more scary ones require a lot more effort, prayer, and righteous-living on my part.  i have to set a good example and live in a way that will show my children what a disciple of Christ is.

because if i do...
everything else will fall into place.

lots of people are getting married and having babies in 2012, it seems like.  YAY for all of you wonderful people, have the time of your life, and be so incredibly grateful that you don't have to sweat the problems and worries that virtual babies seem to generate!



  1. Can you post a picture of your virtual baby? :)

    1. haha, yeah i guess i could! i have this strange, computer-rendering of her every few months that accompanies all of the questions i answer. maybe i'll reveal to everyone what she looks like at the end of the week... she'll be two years old by then!! :O

  2. Oh man. I loved my virtual baby homework. It was always so fun. Apparently they got from my personality assessment that I am clumsy and uncoordinated, so my baby had trouble doing basic things... like learning how to drink from a sippy cup/walk without falling over. Luckily, she was very smart to make up for it.

    Good luck!

    1. haha, that's funny! my baby is super shy and doesn't like unfamiliar situations or meeting new people... definitely MY kid.