Ilford sixth former put off parenthood by virtual baby
PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 January 2016
Until you have your own, it can be hard to fully appreciate what it is like to juggle bringing up children with work and recreation.
But one sixth former from Ilford was given a taste of parenthood when she looked after a virtual baby for the weekend.
Afia Kufuor, 17, cared for robot Kaylem for three days for a school project and the new addition not only impacted on her weekend plans, but made her so run-down that she caught a cold.
Afia said: “He was so real, if you interrupted him when he was content he would switch – he dictated my life.
“The hardest part was definitely the interrupted sleep. On Friday he woke up at 3am and then every hour until morning – I have caught a cold and I think it was because of that.”
Afia, who goes to Davenant Foundation School, Loughton, had to put her schedule on hold to take care of Kaylem and realised what a responsibility having children is.
“I had to make a lot of sacrifices – I couldn’t go to the gym, play netball or go to church,” she added.
“I couldn’t even eat alone and had to balance him on my lap at the same time.”
And her teammates at Leyton Netball Club were astounded when Afia explained her reason for missing a match.
Afia added: “I got used to the sound of his cry and soon learnt what he needed, whether it was feeding, rocking, burping or changing.
“They become your life and you look after them more than you look after yourself.”
The sixth former volunteered for the school project “for the experience” and said other friends had received mixed scores for their parenting skills – one achieved 90 per cent while the other got an abuse rating.
“I do still want children but not anytime soon, there is way too much to do and they take a lot of looking after,” she added.
“It was nice to see what they are like but it is a lot of responsibility and shows that babies are not just cute or toys.”
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