Everything I Remember From Sixth-Grade Home Economics.

Monday, May 08, 2017

I went to middle school in Ohio and in sixth grade I couldn't wait to take home economics. They taught us things like how to cook pancakes, the "correct" way to wash dishes, and how to sew.

Considering the fact that I can only cook pancakes from a box mix, Daniel always gets mad at me for the way I do the dishes and I have absolutely no idea how to sew, I started reflecting back on some of the other skills that I learned from that class that at some point or another I've probably let go to waste.

The one thing that I remember from that class above all else was a project that we did where we were given one of those mechanical baby dolls to take home for a weekend.

Do you know the ones I'm talking about? They look scarily similar to real life babies and when they send you home with them they give you outfits, a car seat, a diaper bag and everything else you might need to care for your little crying, eating, sleeping pretend child. I've never seen anyone else do one of those projects outside of my middle school and I'm not positive that they even do them anymore.

It's supposed to act as a form of birth control, reminding your little middle-schooler self that you absolutely cannot take care of a baby. At the time I couldn't have been more excited to bring mine home, and my parents were more then happy to sign the permission slip for me, so my naive self went to class on a Friday and packed up my baby as happy as could be.

My mom decided to take full advantage of the project. She decided we would use that weekend to do everything. She prepared a full list of errands for us to run and we spent all day out with this baby that looked real enough that I was getting pointed at and whispered about pretty much everywhere we went. Considering even today I get weird looks when people see my pregnant belly and try to guess if I could possibly be over 15, I can only imagine how I must have looked at 12 carrying a full diaper bag and baby.

At the time I thought that my mechanical baby was broken considering the fact that she cried in every store and restaurant we went to. By the time we got home, 12 year old me was discouraged and tired and ready to hand the baby over to my parents or even my 8 year old sister, but I had no takers. We went to bed that night and the baby woke me up over and over. I got to the point where I was so exhausted that I slept on the floor next to the mechanical baby with it's bottle and blankets and diapers and sensor so I would be prepared for anything and everything that it might throw at me.

I remember being close to tears when I didn't guess on the first try what they baby needed, and all I wanted to do was take it back to school.

Needless to say the baby project did it's job. I didn't have a baby in my teenage years and as I sit here just days away from meeting my baby in real life I'm hoping that my 25 year old self will pick up things on a quicker learning curve than middle school me.

I'm only slightly nervous that I'll have flashbacks of not knowing how to care for my pretend child, while I'm begging my baby to tell me what she needs. However I'd like to believe that I'll have picked up a few more natural mother instincts by now. And if not, I can only hope that my mom will be much more willing to help me out now than she was for my project :)

Did you ever take home economics? What do you remember from those days? 

1 comment

  1. We never had to do that, I had a class that we had to take care of an egg for a weekend. It was weirdly terrifying. Haha.


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