Teacher Shares Panicked Texts from Teens Flipping Out During 'Fake Baby' Project & They're Hysterical

Fake babies at Chippewa Secondary Schools
Chippewa Secondary Schools/Facebook

Babysitting a newborn for an entire weekend isn't an easy feat. As anyone who's ever cared for an infant knows, unpredictable crying jags happen often, diaper explosions are pretty much par for the course, and waking up to feed them in the middle of the night is to be expected, too. But when you're a teenager whose No. 1 priority in life so far has only been taking care of you, watching a baby for the whole weekend can be a rude awakening. And apparently, so is taking care of a fake babyAhem -- allow me to explain ... 

  • Students at Chippewa Secondary School in Ontario, Canada, recently were tasked with taking home fake babies to care for.

    Now, these weren't just any 'ole fake babies; these were preprogrammed to exhibit a variety of baby-like behaviors such as crying at odd hours, needing to be rocked to sleep, etc. When teacher Andrea Lefebvre sent her students home with the dolls, they likely thought the project was gonna be a piece of cake. But as Lefebvre later shared, their frantic text messages to her soon proved otherwise.

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  • The questions came fast and furious, and ranged from the most basic to, well, the most basic. 

    "Can I put the child in my bag?" one student innocently asked. To which Lefebvre politely informed them that that wouldn't be a good idea.

    "So I have to carry it in the col[d]" the person replied, prompting Lefebvre to remind the student about a little thing called a baby blanket.

  • Others seemed unsure of how much attention this baby of theirs should really be getting, after all.

    "Do I wait for it to make noise to touch the baby, or should I be constantly holding it?" another student asked. Shortly later, the student followed up with a quick, "Sorry, nvm" -- presumably after realizing the baby probably should be touched/held/picked up/acknowledged in some way.

  • Other students vented to Lefebvre that this fake baby thing was really cramping their style.

    "I really need a quiet time because he won't stop [whimpering]," one student lamented via text. 

    "We can't add quiet time after being programmed," Lefebvre responded, reminding the student about the possibility of asking someone for help, as a parent might in real life. 

    However, the same student started to wonder if maybe this whole weekend babysitting gig thing could end a little early.

    "Do I still have to take care of him on Sunday or can he be turned off on Saturday" read the question.

    (LOL -- if only you could "turn off" a real baby for a day or two. We'd probably never hear a parent complain about not getting "me time" ever again.)

  • The assignment, Lefebvre later explained to Upworthy, was part of a class called Raising Healthy Children taken by 11th-grade students.

    In other words: Learning how to take care of children and master basic home economic skills is kind of the point. 

    "The students bring home one of the Real Care babies for the weekend to apply their learning for the caring for a newborn unit," Lefebvre explained.

  • Understandably, some of the students' blasé attitude could be chalked up to the fact that these were animatronic dolls and not real babies.

    Still, they're meant to be treated like real babies for the sake of the assignment -- and the degree to which many of the students nearly lost their s--t over that small fact was pretty hilarious.

    Some copped to a few "accidents."

    "So Lucy and I might of fallen down the stairs," wrote one student. "oopsies."

    "Oops," the teacher replied. "Did she die?"

    "Not that I'm aware of," the student informed her. "Just praying she makes a noise soon."

    Less than a half hour later came an update: "So good and bad news [Lucy] definitely isn't dead," the student shared.


  • Another student sent not one but two hilariously polite texts begging the teacher to please shut off the baby.

    Unfortunately, that's not how the real world works -- and when it came to this project, that wasn't going to fly, either.

    Needless to say, people on Facebook found the whole thing hilarious. Since Chippewa Secondary Schools first shared the post November 18, it's racked up thousands of likes, shares, and comments from users near and far.

  • Not all of the commenters were ragging on the teens' hapless parenting skills, either.

    "I never experienced parenting classes when I was in school," wrote one person. "I’m almost positive I would’ve been like at least two or three of these students if I had though. [Being a] full-time parent to a newborn is by far the most exhausting, frustrating, and emotional (yet rewarding) experience I’ve been through so far."

    Others joked that they could sure use an extra hand with their real babies, if any teens out there are in the market ... 

    "I had twins. Please someone volunteer to take home 2," one mom quipped. "And program them opposite of each other."

    Others shared their own experiences with taking home one of these fake babies.

    "I had one," one woman shared. "First day was HELL. My teacher gave me a bracelet not programmed to the baby and no matter what I did I couldn't fix it."

    Another woman said her experience caring for a fake baby actually foreshadowed her future as a mom of a large family.

    "Waaaaay back our home ec class was the first in the state to get these dolls," one woman shared. "I was THRILLED. I got the preemie and had the best week of my life. At the end of the week the paper came out to interview us. All the other kids whined through the interview and talked about how they had essentially been scared straight and never wanted sex or babies. I said I loved it and I would grow up to have 6 kids!!! (I am now the mother of 9.)"

  • Although many cry-laughed their way through the text messages, others couldn't help but note how beneficial a class like this has to be.

    "This was great to read!" noted one woman. "Perhaps ALL teens should have to try this out! What a great eye opener."

    It certainly is. And for many, it may come in handy sooner rather than later. After all, in 2017, more than 194,000 babies were born to teen mothers between 15 and 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Although birth rates have continued to fall in the last 10 years, the reality is many teens will become parents before they even make it out of high school -- and no, they won't be able to "turn their babies off" when they start to cry or hand them back to their teachers on Monday.

    Here's to more programs like this one -- which prepare kids for the real world -- making their way into schools around the world.