Friday, July 4, 2008

My TV Wake-up call

Oh, it's been a long, long while. The garden has been calling me, tugging me, and I finally finished a little skirt ensemble for Aoife (how I wish I could post a picture of her in her tiered skirt, appliqued t-shirt, and matching bandana) and I have also been just enjoying my family. Such a treat.
Among my many lovely experiences in the past week was one moment that I felt really connected me to our society at large. I had the exciting pleasure of indulging in a little TELEVISION the other night, while babysitting for my dear friend Gina's sleeping daughter while she and her husband went out on a date. I must say, coming from a TV free home, it is always a little titillating for me to imagine that if I turn on the TV elsewhere, instead of flickering static there will be actual shows, and choices, too! It's a fun adventure. I was working on Aoife's skirt and looking forward to having a little entertainment while I ruffled and pinned and basted.
Oh, did I find it. With sickening, thunderstruck curiosity, I watched, spellbound, as I saw how low our society had indeed stooped, while I have been whiling away the months gardening and sewing and reading and listening to the baseball on the radio. I turned it on, and it was the first channel I came to, and I couldn't even explore the other channels. It was like a terrifying horror movie-- one that really creeps you out, but you have to see it anyway, just to find out what happens:

The Baby Borrowers.

Just in case you are, like me, unaware of this show, I'll fill you in. The creators choose five (?) teenage couples who think they love kids and will make great parents. They set them up in posh homes, send them to a few baby-care classes. Meanwhile, they simultaneously find some unbelievably INSANE parents who actually have a baby and are willing to SACRIFICE their child to these rookie couples for THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS. (I apologize for the overuse of capitals, but I can't think of another way of putting it. This is madness). The parents provide the teens with a little notebook with baby's likes and dislikes, etc, and then they leave. They leave. The babies are alone with the teens. There is a chaperone in the house (defined as a professional nanny, but from the shots provided, they looked like early-20's) to intervene if the baby is in immediate danger, and the parents watch on a closed camera from a satellite house.

The idea behind the show? Simple enough. Give these teens, who fancy themselves to be in stable relationships and to think having a baby will be really dreamy, a good reality check. Show them how unbelievably difficult parenting is, how much of themselves they have to be ready to sacrifice in order to care for a baby, and encourage them to wait to start their own families.
Good enough. I mean, really, one of the girls on the show (17, so bratty, and refused to care for her "baby" after the mother intervened to tell her that even if the baby cried, she had to keep attempting to feed him, this after the girl said, "fine, don't eat", and took him out of the high chair) actually said she thought it was better for the kids if the parents were young, that both she and her boyfriend were born to teen moms and felt their relationships were closer as a result. So yeah, the idea of teaching them a lesson might be legitimate, because I can tell you these teenagers were pretty strung out after about 6 hours of trying to care for their charges.

But HELLO? Who are the IDIOTS who actually give up their babies for the show? These poor babies cried non-stop. NON- STOP. I wonder why? Can you imagine sitting there, watching your child who is 9 months old crying and crying and crying and these incompetent teens doing ALL the wrong things to try to soothe him? Because 9 month old babies don't just lie there and wail anymore, that's for newborns. If you are 9 months and crying uncontrollably, you are unbelievably miserable. It just absolutely shocked and disheartened me to see that people would do that.

This doesn't even have anything to do with the fact that in my world, any one of these babies (who ranged from 6 to 11 months old) would still be exclusively breastfed, carried around and held all day, and sleeping right next to me. But at the very least, a child of this age should have his mom with him to lovingly give the bottle and to pat his back in the crib when he cries! Oh my gosh! Who would do this to their child?

I know the answer. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
And I'd like to think it would all go into the college fund, but I doubt it will.

Well. I could go on. But instead, I'll sum up: nobody's borrowing my babies. They're mine, all mine, and I'm keeping the ones I've got.


Rebecca said...

I tried the first noxious episode and I HATED it. My stomach turned the deeper into the episode I went. Couldn't finish it. I have read that the parents were not financially compensated (yeah, right) and were on-site, which makes it somehow even worse. Giving up your baby? Unthinkable. But watching it unfold as someone else treats your child with such disrespect? Not in this lifetime. OR the next. Glad I'm not alone in this sentiment.

Jen said...

HOLY CRAP.... now I remember why I also live in a TV-free household. I have never heard of this show before but I am completely horrified. Those parents must be completely, certifiably nuts. Just thinking about leaving those crying babies in the care of incompetent strangers makes me want to jump out of my skin.

Meg said...

I don't even know what to say. I saw a commercial for that show a long time ago. I think they may have been asking for parents to sign up. Obviously, these parents who would give up their children are no better than the idiot teens. Neither of them are ready for kids if they would let them go through that. Parents are supposed to protect. I think I would throw up if I had to sit there and watch some brat say, "Fine, don't eat" to my kid. I'd run right in there and stop everything. Of course, I would never do it in the first place....

Rachel said...

Thank you. I was just talking about this. I don't even have children and I think its completely crazy. Who would do that to their poor children? I was watching part of it last night and one of the kids almost pulled a dresser or a bookshelf over on himself.

Charlotte's Mama said...

So glad you all agree, here. It really is madness. The more I think about it the more I just can't believe it's real. And to imagine that the moms and dads DONT get paid? That makes it even more unimaginable, somehow. Even though doing it for money is sick anyhow.

Aimee said...

This is why we DON'T have a TV. And I like that my kids are growing up without that stuff either! Can you imagine if kids grew up thinking that was NORMAL? I'm ill just thinking about it.

mattina di lunedi said...

yeah, i watched this for about 3 minutes then became totally nauseated, a very physical reaction. i just could not watch those babies suffer for one more minute. the parents who 'lent' the babies - who are these people?? i can only think that they must have no perception of the real needs of infants, no knowledge of child development, and no respect for thier babies, much less love. obviously never lost one, that's for sure. sickening.

kate said...

This depresses me even more than the $150 cable bill i opened yesterday. People will really do anything to get on TV, won't they?

I was unaware of the show because i usually don't watch TV -- the fact that the cable is currently hooked up is a source of much contention in my household. We had many TV-free years but i have evidently lost this battle.