Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)
TITLE: The Teenager and Her Baby Doll
By Barbara Lynn Culler
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The petite 15 year old high school sophomore loved her grandfather and was visiting him in the Corony Care Unit of the hospital. Cradled in her left arm, was a life-sized plastic infant girl. When she had come into the hospital with her mother and grandmother, Amy received many scornful frowns as someone too big to play with dolls. She ignored them, as this was a school assignment for her Child Care class. The doll was programmed to cry at will, and its technology could determine if the “parent” ignored or abused it. A decent grade in the class depended on Amy properly attending to her newborn “baby.”
Amy stood at the side of Grandpa’s bed while her Grandmother sat in a chair on the other side. The teenager peered over to her grandma, when unexpectedly her doll baby began to cry. Amy fumbled in a hurried attempt to put the device pin into the baby’s mouth but it just would not fit. The baby cried louder and with more urgency. In tears, Amy and her doll pushed their way out of the curtained cubicle of her grandfather’s room.
She hastened to the exit, conscious of the hospital staffs dirty looks at her and gestures with their finger to their mouths. A cranky old woman poked her head outside the curtain and exclaimed “Shut that thing up! Don’t you know we are in a hospital? There are very sick people here and you are disturbing them with all that noise!"
The High Schooler and her noisy doll sped out to the lobby where her mother was waiting. Together they were able to quiet the baby doll, and Amy finally calmed down.
After a mere 15 minutes, the baby doll started crying again. So did Amy.
Flustered, Amy could not get the device in the doll’s mouth, and both she and the doll cried in a pathetic duet. People in the waiting room began to complain about the doll’s noise, so Amy picked up her baby and escaped outside.
The next day, Amy surrendered the doll to her teacher and petitioned for a postponement of the assignment due to her grief and stress.
Grandpa died four days later.
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