Me, my egg, and I

Me, my egg, and I

Leila Aboussir

Muckley and his "wife" Madileine Grodnick show off as proud parents to Emma Jo.

Nate Muckley, staff writer

Tuesday morning before school, I traversed into the dungeon to collect my pretend child for the infamous egg project.

“Brown or white?” the teacher formerly known as Ms. Walsh asked me.

“Umm, what?” I replied.

“For your egg, do you want a brown one or a white one?” Ms. No-longer-Walsh clarified.

I had my egg carrier all ready: It was a small box with paper wrapped around it, and thanks to some last minute Crayola work, each side was a different bright color with different information on it: the baby’s name, my partner’s and my name, etc. Inside I had an old sock and paper towels for padding.

“I’ll take a brown egg,” I told Ms. Not Walsh, as I am someone who enjoys celebrating diversity.

I tucked Emma Jo Muckley (I didn’t name her) into the old sock of the carrying case, and simultaneously started my journey into pretend parenthood.

I was to care for her on Tuesday and Wednesday, while my pretend wife would take care of her on Thursday and Friday. We decided that this two-days-in-a-row style of joint custody would best suit both us, and our precious daughter. This meant I would have 48 hours to care for my hard-boiled bundle of joy.

Tuesday was rather eventful. The entire day, I had to add another fragile package into my arms; without my backpack, I had two 3-ring-binders, my physics notebook, my laptop, my assignment notebook, and a child. To say that I was walking on eggshells would be an understatement.

And a terrible pun.

Everyone who saw it asked, “Is that an egg?” After answering this question for the six-millionth time, I wanted to scream, “NO, IT’S NOT AN EGG! WHAT ARE YOU, CRAZY?!” Then throw it on the ground and forget the entire project.

But I used my better judgement, held my tongue, and avoided infanticide.

I created the incredible strategy of using the string connected to my carrier as a necklace. So there Emma was, swinging from my neck. While it was useful for me, it definitely resulted in some awkward “what-the-heck-are-you-doing?” stares.

I made it through the day and took Emma home. My mom signed my sheet, verifying that I did not abuse my egg, and I went to sleep, with Emma sitting on top of my backpack.

Wednesday was better and worse, in different respects. It was better, because several girls had their maternal instincts kick in, and I definitely enjoyed the spill-over attention from my chick magnet (pun intended). But also on Wednesday, lots of people decided that it would be fun to crush my egg, my child, my life. Although these only amounted to jokes, I remained vigilant against any possible attacks.

But the best part was my “fake egg baby death” joke: I held the egg in my hand, while throwing my carrying case with the other, pretending to be shocked when it tumbled to the ground.

Wednesday night, I got my last signature from my mom. It filled the last space of my sheet, proving that I was not an abusive parent. That night, I put Emma on my nightstand to sleep next to me.

Thursday, before first period, the time came to hand off Emma Jo to my partner. She had been annoying, and fussy, and demanding, but I loved her. I had developed a bond with my egg: I loved the little dimple I drew on her face, and the box I made with the crayon-drawn sides framed her perfectly. I had become attached to this hard-boiled ovum.

I could feel the tears coming––but I swallowed my sadness, and kept my sunny side up as I took the basket off my neck, and handed my pretend child to my pretend wife. It was her problem now.