College Professor Offers to Take Care of Doctoral Student’s Kid After She Couldn’t Find a Babysitter

The availability and access to childcare can make or break a situation. From having a night out to tending to an emergency, having someone to look after a kid is indispensable. When Traniece Brown-Warrens, a doctoral candidate at Baylor University, couldn't find someone to take care of her foster baby while she went to class, she found an unlikely babysitter in her classmates, and even her professor.

Brown-Warrens works as principal at Markham Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, but once a month, she attends weekend classes at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. “When you have a dream, you figure out how to make it work,” Brown-Warrens told Today.

Since becoming a foster mom to a 7-month-old child she has nicknamed “Baby Bear” in mid-February, she has been able to keep up with her work schedule by placing the baby in childcare during the work week. However, she wasn't able to find someone to take care of the infant for the weekend of March 18. Running out of options, she sent an email to her professors, proposing to either attend classes virtually, or taker her baby with her to class. “They said, ‘Feel free to bring him,'” Brown-Warrens recalled.

The foster mom then flew out to Texas with Baby Bear, who not only melted the hearts of everyone in the room, but behaved very well during the lectures. “He was very inquisitive and didn’t cry,” Brown-Warrens said. “He wanted to be in my arms while I took notes and engaged. I multitasked, like most parents do.” Later, at a class titled “School Business Management and Finance,” other students offered to take turns holding the baby. Then, the lecturer himself asked to be part of the fun. “Don't forget about me. May I hold him?” professor Bobby Ott told Brown-Warrens, and carried the baby for about 30 minutes.

“The intent look on Baby Bear’s face lets you know you enjoyed Dr. Ott’s lesson on taxes and account codes. Thank you for holding him so I could take notes & work with my partner,” she then wrote in a tweet featuring the pictures of the baby in the lecturer's arms.

Ott then shared that he related to the situation.”My mother was single for the majority of my childhood rearing,” he said. “Traniece is a dynamic and authentic person, and when you see someone with that level of commitment you want to help facilitate that”. He then joked that the baby was the youngest doctoral student he has ever had in his class.

As for Brown-Warrens, she hopes her studies lead her to becoming a superintendent Black youths can look up to one day. “Superintendents can have braids and tattoos and wear (Air) Jordans,” she said. “I'm dedicating my time knowing that this is just for a moment and [it's] one that will change the life for my kid, my family, and my students, especially little Black girls who will know they can achieve anything and I am the representation for them.”

When doctoral student Traniece Brown-Warrens couldn't find a babysitter for her foster baby, she was told by her professors to bring the infant to class.

There, professor Bobby Ott, as well as Brown-Warren's classmates, happily took turns carrying the baby so she could take notes and participate.

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Traniece Brown-Warrens.

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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