One of the highlights of eighth grade for Thing One was the "Egg Baby Project" they did in science class. For those unfamiliar with the project, in an effort to give the kids just the tiniest idea of how much work babies are, they are each given a hollow egg shell "baby" to keep "alive" (intact) for a week. I don't know how other schools/teachers run this project, but these are some of the things their project entailed:
- Carrying the "baby" everywhere with them, arranging for a responsible "babysitter" when needed, such as during P.E. class (they were NOT allowed to leave the "babies" in their lockers at any time).
- Roll dice in class to determine their life situation. Thing One ended up as a single mom, working part-time, partially subsidized by her parents (monthly salary and amount from us determined by roll of the dice).
- Choosing from a list of permitted stores' websites, they had to "purchase" (add to cart, then print out the contents of the cart) a list of "minimum essentials" for the baby, in order to get a sense of how expensive babies are. Due to Thing One's situation (see previous bullet point), we insisted that she choose Walmart as her store because a single mom would be far more likely to be baby shopping there than at Babies-R-Us. When she asked for my opinion on which brands to "buy", I always guided her to the least expensive. She also tried to be practical by "purchasing" a Pack-n-Play instead of a crib, etc. In addition to the minimum requirements, she chose to purchase an electric pump and a cute cover for the changing pad. She got a bit of a shock when she saw that her total was over $1,100!
- Take certain specific photos of their "baby".
Thing One was quite grateful for my knitting during that week because I knit her a "baby carrier" for her "baby" - a pouch on a cord that hung around her neck. As her friends were dropping their "babies" or seeing their "babies" get stepped on, her "daughter", Andromeda Pandora (Andi Pandi for short), was safe, snug, and warm. Three of her friends even offered to pay me to knit carriers for them!
Thing One really enjoyed the project, and we had fun egging her on with it. (Sorry, I had to.) Our friend Wilfred from Singapore was staying with us during part of the project and was quite intrigued with it because kids in Singapore don't do anything like it. She even chose to have her "Take a picture of the baby with someone else" photo be with "Uncle Wilfred"!
Here are her photos: