Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seven Reasons I Need a Clone

July 5, 1996 marked the birth of the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell. She was a sheep, cloned by scientists at Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, and named “Dolly.” The cloned donor cell was taken from a mammary gland, and, as one of the scientists explained, “Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s.”

Which just goes to show, I suppose, that you can lead a man to science, but you can’t evolve his thinking.

I remember having serious concerns about the project, wondering if the cloning of humans could be far behind. I tend to agree with bioethicist Leon Kass, who opined back in the 1960s that “the programmed reproduction of man will, in fact, dehumanize him.”

Still, there are times I wish I had a double to fill in or give a little help during my busiest moments. Ethics aside, I can’t deny the allure of being able to be two places at once, or getting twice as much work done in my limited time, or perhaps training a clone to do the chores I detest the most. For example:

1. Parent-Teacher Conferences: While we only have five kids at home now, those twice-yearly conferences add up. In the past, we’ve tried the “divide and conquer” technique, scheduling conferences at the same time and sending Mr. Wright to one, while I attended another. The problem is, I’m too much of detail-oriented gal to accept “fine” as an answer when I ask how Mr. Wright’s conference went. Details, man! I need details!

2. Sports Season: Has it ever occurred to athletic directors and administrators that having a house full of ambitious children is particularly straining on parents? Having soccer, football and junior high volleyball seasons occur concurrently has certainly made our calendar full, and try as we might, we can’t attend every single game or match.

3. Work-at-Home Mom; Stay-at-Home Kid: I know I’m asking a lot for Snugglebug to happily entertain herself with educational materials while I work on a deadline, but if she’d just stop trying to climb the six-foot fence to get into the pool, I’d get a lot more done. This is where I ask for my clone to have a Mary Poppins gene or two inserted.

4. The 6:15 A.M. Alarm: I’m a night owl by nature, and that alarm does little but tick me off and make me want to throw things—namely, the alarm clock. If I could program my clone to do the morning kids-to-school bustle, I could sleep in, making me a grateful, cheerful mama instead of a cranky, sleepwalking beast.

5. An Extra Lap: When you have kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, you double as a jungle gym. Those sensory-seeking kids need constant touch, and they always seem to be climbing, sprawling, or rubbing on you. Such is my life with Curlytop and Snugglebug, and all too often, fights over who gets to sit on Mama break out. Imagine two mamas, with two laps!

6. Aviation Advocate: Somewhere along the way, I developed an unrealistic fear of flying. A few times a year, Mr. Wright gives me a sedative and pours me into a too-small seat on some enormous aircraft to fly to some wonderful place to attend some important event on his blessed arm. Once my clone arrives, I’ll be sending her. I’ll even spring for first-class seats, if it means I don’t have to get on an airplane.

7. Church Versus Deadline: Due to an illness I’m sure my clone would have been immune to, I had to ask for an extended deadline this week. Now, instead of attending church with my family, I’m eking out this column—and Mr. Wright didn’t spare me his look and oration of disapproval.

I’m convinced… bring in the clones!

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