I sit here today in stunned silence (thank goodness I'm typing this column instead of dictating). Did some of the teens on Baby Borrowers last night actually show some sort of growth? Has the entire experience actually taught them something? I know that may be too much to hope for, but there were signs of it yesterday. Really, there were.
First off, Daton dumped Morgan. That was absolutely the right move on his part. Yes, he may have done it in a classless way at a bad time, but it was, overall, the right thing for him to do. He felt dead inside being with her, he didn't like who he was with her, that's not the right way to go about living your life.
Daton did do one bad thing, and that was leaving the show in the middle of everything, forcing Morgan to do it all by herself. But, to her credit, Morgan stepped up and actually performed admirably. Now, it should be noted that she had one of the well-behaved teens and that unlike toddlers and infants, teens do not need constant supervision. They need to be monitored and talked to, but Morgan could go to work for the day and leave her teen at home without too much worrying.
The same was certainly not true of Cory and Alicea's teen, Sam. Sam was trouble. From the moment Sam entered the house he acted like the worst sort of teen. It's possible that the producers encouraged that sort of behavior ahead of time, but it's just as likely (maybe more) that Sam genuinely believed that acting like a moron – throwing clothes on the floor, claiming he was going to go hotwire a car and drive around, climbing out onto the roof – made him look cool. You know, in fact, I'm going to say that Sam probably is that kid, that he needed no encouragement from the producers. Cory and Alicea, though, did their level best to straighten the kid out. They didn't succeed, but they tried.
Cory and Alicea even had the good sense to bring up to Sam's mom the fact that Sam was in dire need of some sort of change in the way he was disciplined or parented. Mom didn't want to hear it, claiming that the problem was that Cory and Alicea simply didn't exude enough authority, but mom was being delusional. It can be hard for a parent to face the fact that despite their best efforts they've gone out and raised a little monster, but that is in fact what mom did in this case.
Mom did seem a little shocked when Sam gave her some attitude when she showed up to pick him up, but I think she was just doing that for the cameras. Good kids don't go bad for three days straight just because mom and dad aren't there. Sure, they may cause a few problems here and there, but it wouldn't be constant.
I really do believe that it's probably one of those “best laid plans” things. There's no way mom set out to raise a kid who acts like Sam acted. Maybe mom doesn't even realize who her kids is. Maybe after hearing what Alicea and Cory had to say about Sam and watching the show last night mom will experience a wake-up call. We can only hope that she does. The truly sad part about it all though is that watching himself on TV last night, Sam probably thinks that what he did was fantastic and funny and just outstandingly cool. It makes me want to yell at the boy, but I just don't believe it would do any good.
In the end, I just have to take a quantum of solace from the fact that Cory and Alicea handled the situation as well as anyone could have and far better than Sam's mother did.
See, maybe our Baby Borrowers are learning something.