News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


‘No-Good Baby’ sets well with boy

On the second reading of "What the No-Good Baby Is Good For," a grandfather begins to pick up on its appeal to a 4-year-old boy.

Atlanta born Elise Broach, a Yale graduate who lives in Connecticut with her family of five that includes two no-good babies, relates well in print to children who have a younger sibling.

"The no-good baby has been at John's house for weeks and weeks, and months and months, and more than half of a year. She sleeps and cries at all the wrong times. She's messy and loud and ruins everything."

"That no-good baby is good for nothing," John tells his mother. "It is time for her to go."

'I guess you're right," says John's mother.

"Really?" says John.

"So they start packing her bags.

"But could it be that the no-good baby is really good for something after all?"

The question sets John to thinking. No-good baby pulls the cat's tail and makes the kitty like John better. No-good baby is slow and loses races with John. No-good baby makes more noise in the library than John.

Broach said she wrote the book after watching how a new arrival thoroughly inconvenienced each of her two older children .

No-good baby drooled. No-good baby slept too much, no-good baby pulled hair, No-good baby put toys in her mouth.

Could our 2-year-old granddaughter Ruby Gray be Trey's no-good baby sister?

Trey's eyes lighted up, then he thoughtfully exhaled and did a quick up and down nod during the fourth reading.

"You're a no-good baby, Ruby," Trey said, as his sister hung over the arm of the chair and tried to turn pages before it was time.

No-good baby only leaves for the day. Trey liked that. She goes to Grandma's house, which Trey liked, too, because that meant John got to play with his mother all day without no-good baby interrupting things.

The book gets boring, though, after the 10th reading.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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