We’re standing by for a couple of friends who have a baby due January 9th. But as of now, we are on elevated baby alert due to some enthusiastic kicking, massive amount of recent weight gain and some possible Braxton-Hicks contractions. Because this is their first baby and because Grandma-to-Be may not arrive from Virginia if things start happening early, we are the back-up troops.

I’m not quite sure what our value will be. Just like Prissy in Gone With the Wind, “I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies.” I mean I really know nothing. I have experience with new puppies, so if they need a little crate with soft cuddly toys and a wrapped up alarm clock, I can manage that. All my babysitting experience was confined to older (read potty trained) kids, because 1) it was less messy and 2) I quickly learned that you can actually charge more for older kids, especially the bratty ones that no one else will sit. See, an entrepreneur from an early age.


But back to the baby. I think we are mainly standing by to retrieve things that are forgotten in the rush to the hospital, to sit in the waiting room with a laptop full of DVDs and downloaded movies in case the father-to-be needs a break, or, in the case of my husband, arrive with a full case of cigars which said father-to-be and he can sneak out behind the hospital and smoke.


Butterfly McQueen is my guide here: "Miz Scarlett, I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies!

Butterfly McQueen is my guide here: "Miz Scarlett. I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies!"

Anyway, we’re very excited about the whole thing, although my observation so far is that “birthin’ babies” is a lot about hurry up and wait, false alarm and just hang tight. 


I think when things get rolling, we’ll amuse ourselves with coming up with great baby names since the parents are doing this really Old Skool and have no idea of the sex.

My current personal favorite name would be “Johnny Cash” if it’s a boy and “June Carter” if it’s a girl. The mother to be is less than enthusiastic. Or we could go completely California Hippie and give it a Planet/Plant/Color name. How about “Indigo Fern Uranus”. That’ll make her the popular kid in second grade.

Then there’s that old formula for finding your porn star name. What is it, your first pet’s name coupled with the name of the first street you lived on?

Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that at the point where Mom-to-Be starts calling Dad-to-Be a “Filthy Bastard” that’s when the baby is about to be born. I’ll get the hot water boiling then.

Gee, this baby stuff is a cinch.

NOTE: The darling little gipper above is NOT a computer-generated model of the baby we are waiting for. He’s the progeny of a pair of our Scottish friends and is known as “Wee Andrew” or just “The Wee Man”. But he’s so cute, I couldn’t resist using him for a “generic baby”.

For others who may be facing this same situation, let me offer this handy Baby Care Chart. It should tell you everything you need to know.