‘Tis the season of flour babies, where seniors schlep around five pound bags of flour dressed in little hats and onesies. Though hauling flour around like a child is seemingly amusing, high schools seniors at Leonia get a taste of actual parenthood when the life of their babies is threatened.
As many Leonia students know, taking on the responsibility of a flour baby is coupled with fighting to make sure said baby is safe. Knowing there are many seniors who will have to take on this task in the future, I decided to converse with those who have already endured the pains of the flour baby process.
My first question was “Did anyone attempt to or succeed in stealing your flour baby?”
Overwhelmingly, every senior I asked had their baby stolen at some point. One person even witnessed a student stabbing someone’s baby with a pencil in the middle of the hallway.
Most often, a parent would go to the bathroom or not pay attention to their child, giving baby snatchers a prime opportunity. Various seniors commented on the forgetfulness of their children, pinning kidnapping as an inevitability.
Keeping this in mind I wondered, if baby snatching is unavoidable, then who do you look out for at the very least?
This question roused many students as they were eager and willing to give honest answers about the most notorious kidnappers.
Heavily dependent on staff members, top teachers to keep on eye on include Ms. Millar, Ms. MacIver, and Mr. Cimo.
However baby stealers are not limited to staff as many seniors indulged about student experiences. Lean on your friends for support after a breakup, but maybe don’t trust them to leave your flour sack alone for a school project. Your friends are not immune to baby stealing and depending on what kind of person they are, most certainly will partake in this type of kidnapping.
When a student, teacher, or friend attempt to steal flour babies, how do seniors react? Trying to gain full perspective on the process I asked “How did you achieve (or not) resisting the baby snatchers? What was your weapon/tactic of choice?”
Some of the weaker students claimed that they had no strategy; they simply caved into the kidnappings and accepted defeat. However more ambitious students shared a couple ways that they maintained their babies throughout the exercise.
Since babies are commonly stolen when left alone, various seniors asked trusted peers to keep an eye on their children when they could not. In addition, one student recommends looking tirelessly throughout the room it was stolen in, to find either the snatcher or the baby itself.
To conclude this part of the interview, I questioned “What was the most difficult part of keeping your baby safe?”
All of the seniors interviewed came to a general consensus for this question: paying attention to/remembering the baby. With hectic and dynamic classrooms , keeping an eye on a child at all times is sometimes quite difficult. Diligently focusing in class can make a sack of flour seem obsolete.
Ultimately, the seniors communicated a sense of inevitability when it came to their babies getting stolen. However, there are ways to resist the kidnapping if you know who to watch out for and if you come up with solutions for the common tactics.
After I asked the seniors about the actual process, I followed up with some reflection questions to fully gain knowledge of the situation at hand.
Although comical, I questioned whether or not this experience gave perspective for keeping an actual child safe?
Unfortunately, every single senior I asked responded with a simple “no.” Numerous students claimed that the experience was “a waste of time” and more “annoying” than anything. One senior, Kaustubh Shankar, even ripped up his flour bag and made pancakes with it right after the assignment was done.
Though it seems the seniors embraced a careless attitude when tackling this project, they mentioned some challenges throughout the process.
In addition to the weight of the flour, what kind of mechanism used for transportation contributed to its annoying and uncomfortable nature. Because it was inconvenient to drag around, many students had a hard time remembering carrying it to their next classes.
For the future parents, my last question was what advice they would give to others that will have endure this task later on?
After adding in a humorous comment to “pray that you don’t get twins” Michael Zorya mentioned that all participants should invest in a convenient and comfortable carrying mechanism. This would take stress off carrying the baby around, making the process less annoying.
The others I spoke to gave brief, but important advice to always pay attention to your child, never leave it unattended, and try to ask someone to watch it if you have to leave the classroom.
All in all, the flour baby process can be identified as somewhat arduous, but mostly inconvenient. Though this activity is explicitly for seniors, all students in the school will have to endure the flour baby process at some point in their high school career. So for all current and future seniors, if you keep an eye on your child at all times and are equipped with a sufficient satchel, you can count on being prepared to take care of a five pound sack of flour for a couple of weeks. And if you drop this one, the only damage includes a dusting of white powder on the hallway floor.