A Georgia teen learned that in hilarious fashion when she had to care for a baby simulator — an electronic robot baby — for an Early Childhood Education parenting class, leading to a role reversal that her mother couldn't help but savor.
Lawren Galloway, 38, shared on Facebook the moment her exasperated daughter Olivia, 14, begged her for help as she tried to care the a robot infant, named William, earlier this month.
Her sentiment? Sorry, you're on your own.
"My favorite moment so far is when she came into my room last night around 3 am,'' Galloway wrote. "She was crying real tears while feeding him his bottle. She was begging me to help her because she just wanted to get some sleep. Yeah, no."
In addition to the robot baby, there's also a real baby in the house: Violet, three weeks, is the youngest of Galloway's four children with her husband Justin, 37. Olivia is the oldest.
"The baby and the robot were crying in unison that night,'' Galloway told TODAY Parents. "Then (Olivia) kept coming in the room and she had moments where she was crying out of exhaustion."
Lawren couldn't help but be amused while Olivia, a freshman at Richmond High School, struggled to care for the baby as part of a class assignment.
"On Sunday I made a big Southern-style dinner, and as soon as I set the table, the robot baby started crying,'' Galloway said. "I'm telling you, it's like it knew that Olivia was sitting down to have her dinner. She had to microwave her dinner three or four times because she had to feed the baby or burp the baby or rock the baby."
Olivia had to take baths instead of showers.
"It was horrible,'' Olivia told TODAY. "Sometimes I would just be crying in the middle of the night because it would not stop (crying). It also would not burp!
"It takes like 40 minutes of just hitting it in the back to get it to burp. Then it finally burps, and then 10 minutes later it wants to do the whole thing over again. I'm so tired."
Sadly, Olivia was given a failing grade because she didn't rock the baby every time its sensors called for it. Points were also deducted for an improper hold.
"It turns out I broke its neck seven times,'' she said. "I have no clue how. I thought I did so well. I took care of that baby."
Olivia begged her teacher for another chance and was given a new electronic baby this past weekend, which she named John.
"She took it a bit more seriously this time,'' Lawren said. "She got used to how often it wants to eat, and she was ready with the diapers."
Olivia redeemed herself — and her grade-point average.
"He's definitely my favorite of the two babies because I got a 94 this time,'' she said.
Lawren is glad the school is making students take the class, which she believes boys and girls should experience.
"You would think that with all of her siblings that (Olivia) would have some kind of clue, but she was completely clueless,'' Lawren said. "Just because a child grows up with siblings, it doesn't mean they're ready for parenthood at all."
As for the real infant, Olivia is allowed to hold Violet for 10-minute periods.
"I might have trusted her more before this,'' Lawren said, laughing. "But I am proud of her. She did come through the second time around."
Olivia may be scarred for life by her interactive baby.
"I don't ever want to have kids because of that thing,'' she said.