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BABY BORROWERS: Grow up, Alicea!

By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 10:01 pm in Baby Borrowers.

NUP_110013_0041Alicea makes me want to reach through the TV screen and shake her silly. Episode 2 of “Baby Borrowers” was a major redemption for Kelly but a continued backsliding for Alicea. Morgan wasn’t exactly a peach either, not because she showed poor mothering skills but because of her poor daughter skills.

I’m skipping ahead. Let’s stick with Alicea for a moment, because boy does she need an attitude adjustment. Alicea was still smarting from the talk-down she got from Karson’s real mom in the last episode (remember — she told a fussy Karson that he could starve when he wouldn’t eat right away). Alicea had written off the child because she couldn’t stand Karson’s mom, essentially leaving her boyfriend, Cory to take care of EVERYTHING. Wanting nothing to do with the baby, she went off to work and promptly moaned about getting blisters at the lumber yard. Clearly, this girl can’t take criticism. Back at home, she refused to help with the baby, so Cory spent a hard, sleepless night going solo. He certainly hit the nail on the head when he said, “I have two babies now, one big one, one little one.”

I really got a laugh when Alicea’s mom showed up. The two teens were talking about how they wouldn’t get jobs like this in real life and they wouldn’t have a baby this fussy. Grandma did an excellent job setting them straight. Here’s hoping these two do better with a toddler.

Kelsey fared pretty poorly, too. Her inability to bond with Etta literally left her sick to her stomach, to the point that she insisted Sean stay home and watch the baby. As any nanny-less parent knows, this is not how the real world works. Moms can’t call in sick. On the show one parent has to work to earn money for rent and food, the other parent takes care of the baby. Kelsey ponied up for neither, leading Etta’s real mom, Natalie, to drop in. My heart did go out to Kelsey as Natalie wrapped her arms around a tearful Kelsey. It was a big reminder that Kelsey is still just a kid. By day two, at least Kelsey stepped in to be the bread winner.

But the big turnaround goes to Kelly. Ms. I-Look-Fat-In-The-Pregnancy-Belly went from meltdown to parent-superdom. She and Austin worked together fabulously with baby Zachery. Heck, she even had time to cook dinner. It doesn’t erase last week’s display of immaturity, but at least there’s a glimmer of hope for these two.

Jury’s still out on Morgan and Daton. After a tough day of work, he needed to go skateboarding. And so Morgan popped baby Miley in the stroller so she could tag along. The longer she stood on the sidelines, the more certain I was that she’d have a blow up. Turns out she saved the fireworks for her mom. You could tell by the look on Morgan’s face that she was none too happy to have her mother crash her play house. At one point, she really lost it with her mom and stormed off. Very interesting how Miley’s dad Wiley zeroed in on the importance of Morgan mending her relationship with her mom. Almost anyone who has ever raised a child knows that in times of parenting need, the first call is usually to our moms. We may not agree with all of her parenting tricks, and usually we’re certain we can do it better, but with a sick and screaming baby, we lose that stubborn edge and take any advice that offers hope for some peace.

And it’s the mom connection that has me even more impressed with Sasha and Jordan. Jordan gamely pulled maggots out of a rabbit’s butt as he worked at the vet hospital. Sasha practically cried as she fell into her visiting mom’s arms. And baby Shay’s parents said it best: they were so glad to have this pair watching over their son. I’m laying my money on these two to survive this experiment — though I still hope they won’t rush into real parenthood.

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