Planning Ahead

by Joanne Miller


It is New Year's Day and a young couple is gazing at their brand new baby in the hospital nursery.  They talk of the coming year and what expectations they have.  Meanwhile his mother and her friend are at home talking about their memories and the new grandmaís expectations for the coming year.  They donít exactly line up with the new parentsí dreams.


Matt Ė new father
Pam  - new mother
Edna Ė new grandmother
Anna Ė Ednaís friend


Matt: A brand new year and a brand new baby!  This is going to be a great year, Pam; I just know it.  Look at her!  I think she just smiled!

Pam: Oh, honey, babies donít smile when theyíre just a few hours old.  But isnít she cute?

Matt: She sure is; sheís the cutest baby in the nursery.  Look at that one in the corner!  Heís pretty ugly!

Pam: Shhhh!  Well, we did it!  We had the very first New Yearís baby for the new year... one minute after midnight.  Sorry you missed out on the deduction for last year.

Matt: Thatís ok.  Iím sure weíll be getting a lot of notoriety over this.  The Jensen Beach (put in your cityís name) Gazette already called.  They want to come for pictures of the baby and us tomorrow.  Is that all right?

Pam: Sure.  Theyíll want to know what weíre going to name her.  What are we going to name her?

Matt: You know what my mother wants. (Pam makes a face.)

(Lights down on Pam & Matt and up on grandma and friend.)

Anna: Congratulations, Edna.  You finally have a grandchild.

Edna: Yes, and not just any grandchild, but a granddaughter who is the first baby of the year in Jensen Beach (put in your cityís name).

Anna: What are they going to name her?

Edna: They havenít said but I know itís just because they want to surprise me.  Iím sure theyíll name her Edna after me.

Anna: Really?  What about Pamís mother?

Edna: Theyíll probably use her name for the middle name.  After all who would want to name their baby Prudence when they could name her Edna?

(Lights down on grandma & friend and up on Pam & Matt.)

Pam: Weíll have to decide on a name tomorrow but itís not going to be Edna or Prudence.

Matt: Fine with me but youíll have to tell our mothers.

Pam: Chicken!  Just think what this year is going to be like Matt.  Iím going to put bows in her hair every day.

Matt: Good thing she has a lot of hair.

Pam: And I am not going to be like one of those mothers who throws a stained sleeper on her child every day.  Our baby is always going to be dressed in a pretty dress with matching socks and NO stains.

Matt: Of course.  I never could understand why a mother couldnít keep her child looking decent.

(Lights down on Pam & Matt and up on grandma & friend.)

Anna: Remember when our children were born?

Edna: Oh, I sure do.  I had so many illusions about raising a child.  Then reality set in.  I remember one day I had just changed Matt for the 4th time that day Ė diaper and clothes!  I picked him up to set him in his infant seat and he was already soaked.

Anna: I know what you mean.  I remember one day Ellenís stomach was a little off and I had to change her 7 times and change my own clothes 3 times.  Itís easy to laugh at it now but it wasnít funny at the time.

(Lights down on grandma & friend and up on Pam & Matt.)

Matt: Have you decided what you want to do about going back to work?

Pam: Well, I certainly donít want to leave her with strangers and my mother is working every day so she canít watch the baby.

Matt: My mother doesnít work.

Pam: Yes, I know.  Actually I really think your mother has been waiting for us to ask her about taking care of the baby when I go back to work.

Matt: But you havenít said anything to her yet, have you?

Pam: No I havenít; have you?

Matt: No.  I thought Iíd leave that to you.

(Lights down on Matt & Pam and up on grandma & friend.)

Anna: What is Pam going to do about her job?

Edna: Oh, sheís on maternity leave but Iím sure thatís just so she gets paid while sheís out for now.  Iím certain sheíll want to stay home with the baby.

Anna: Really?  I thought they might ask you to take care of the baby while she works.

Edna: No, they wouldnít do that.  Iíve made it very clear that I want to baby-sit once in a while but not all the time.  After all, Iíve already raised my children.

Anna: Well, itís a good thing that you let them know how you feel.  Some kids really take advantage of their parentsí availability.

Edna: Not Mike and Pam.  They already know how I feel about it.

Anna: Thatís good.

(Lights down on grandma & friend and up on Pam & Mike.)

Pam: Before I go back to work though, I am going to really enjoy taking care of the baby.  Iím going to take her for walks in the stroller, read to her, and show her off to all the neighbors.

Mike: Thatís great, Pam.  Youíve got 6 weeks so you may as well really take advantage of every minute.

Pam: Oh, I will.  And while youíre at work Iíll get to spend time completely alone with her.  Then when you get home Iíll go do some shopping or something once in a while so you can be alone with her.

Mike: That sounds great!

(Lights down on Mike & Pam and up on grandma & friend.)

Anna: When does Pam come home from the hospital?

Edna: Tomorrow morning.  They donít keep these mothers for very long any more.

Anna: I guess not!

Edna: While Mike brings her home Iím going to clean their apartment and start a meal for them.  When he goes back to work Iím going to spend the day there helping Pam for a few weeks.  Iím sure sheíll need the help - and the company.

Anna: Thatís true.  Sheís used to being with people every day.

Edna: Thatís right.

(Lights stay up on grandma & friend and go up on Pam & Mike.)

Pam & Edna (simultaneously): This is going to be a wonderful year!

Anna & Mike (simultaneously): I hope all goes as planned.

Lights out.

Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
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