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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Bird by Bird

If you are seeing this post it means that in the midst of labor I managed to grab my cell phone or laptop and change the status from “Draft” to “Schedule”.  And yes, I’m the kind of high-strung individual who writes an I-am-having-labor blog post in preparation for the big event.  Call me kooky.  I promise to update once I’ve something to report, but in the meantime I leave you with two amusing items.

Item #1:

The recent New York Times article Naming Babies in a New York State of Mind.  I assure you that no matter how cute it sounds, I am not naming my child Bed-Stuy Bird or Brooklyn Bird anytime soon.

Item #2:

Enjoyed Bossypants by Tina Fey very much recently.  Particularly the following, which I feel is appropriate considering the day:

The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Tina Fey, Bossypants, 2011

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Ooooh, so exciting!!!

  2. lisainberlin says:

    Yoo hoo! I’m rootin for ya! We’re all rootin for ya!

  3. Go, Betsy! I hope you wisecrack your way through the whole thing.

  4. Congrats and good luck!!! 😀

  5. Thinking about you, Matt, and the baby today, Betsy.

  6. Jennifer in GA says:

    Good luck Betsy!!!

  7. LoL, great links especially the Tina Fey one! I have a couple cousins having girls in a few months, so I’ll have to pass this on.

    Good luck and congratulations!!!

  8. Good luck, congrats, and I hope it goes well! I love the Tina Fey prayer.

  9. You are the consummate blogger! The future is bright and, remember, parenting is the ultimate art form. Happiness to you and your family.

  10. Best to all involved. Here’s to the sleepless nights to come. But then, most of don’t think you bother with mortal idiosyncrasies like sleep, so you should be more than up for it.

    I’m so with you and Tina Fey on the tattoo and the drummer thing.

  11. Happy Labor Day! Best wishes!

  12. heather says:

    Yay! Best of luck to you and baby Bird!

  13. May the force be with you.

  14. Ooooh, baby!

  15. Well, Chelsea Bird would work. It’s actually a pretty name, IMO.

  16. Oh how wonderful! Wishing you pain free, empowering labor and lots of joy.

  17. Genevieve says:

    Best of luck, Betsy! The board books await you and Baby Bird on the other side!

  18. Hurrah for Mother Bird! Just remember: Lamaze classes aside, there is no shame in taking the painkillers. Afterwards, remember to pay a visit to the Olde Time Nappery for some sleep each day. Good luck!

  19. Congratulations, Betsy! I tell you, it’s too bad your baby won’t be born on Flag Day, but a lot nicer for you! 🙂

    May all go smoothly and quickly and safely! And I’m hoping for lots of baby pictures in the future!

  20. Wishing you all the best! I hope everything goes smoothly and that Baby Bird makes a lovely entrance to the world!

  21. YAY, Betsy! Congratulations and Good Luck! Can’t wait to see pics of your little Bird. :–)

  22. Barbara from BKLYN says:

    Thanks Betsy. Lovely reminder that being a Mom is forever. Hope your labor is easy.
    Believe it or not I was thinking and wondering about you and your Baby Bird while on the train to Manhattan this morning. Wishing you well…

  23. Here’s to a speedy and safe delivery! Can’t wait to see the peepers on Baby Bird. 🙂 Congratulations!

  24. Love and luck to you all, Bets!

  25. Kate Feiffer says:

    Welcome to the beautiful new baby Bird. How exciting! Happy labor, if there is such a thing.

  26. Yes, love and best wishes and a speedy and safe delivery–that I hope is over already!

  27. Love and good luck!

  28. Marianna Baer says:

    Hi Betsy!! Good luck, and I can’t wait to meet the Baby Bird! (Also, I’m laughing at the fact you posted in the midst of labor.)
    Go, go, go!!

  29. It would be an honor to share a birthday with Baby Bird. Sending love!

  30. Ah, labor. Be brave and get through it is the only “birth plan” anyone needs. Thinking of you all!

  31. Congrats on the test subject-er I mean, child! I hope all is well.

  32. Baby Bird is all cooked and ready to come out of the oven. Been thinking about you all day and sending good thoughts your way, and for Matt, too! So exciting!

  33. How exciting! I think it is hilarious that you had a post all ready to go. So organized!

    I hope your little girl comes quickly. If she’s born today (June 8th), I will share a birthday with her! It is a wonderful day to be born!

    Happy labor day!

  34. Chris in NY says:

    Hope all is going well. Loved the prayer for daughters.

  35. I’ve been lurking for quite a while, but must delurk to wish you the best. Thank you for a great blog, and enjoy your new little girl!

  36. Genevieve says:

    Also, Bird by Bird is the best post title ever.

  37. I don’t know whether to be impressed or consider you crazy – either way I’m thinking about you and looking forward to hear of the arrival of the next [appropriately named] Bird!

  38. Sarah Mc says:

    Excited for you! Sending you best wishes!

  39. Catherine Thimmesh says:

    I hope by this post the laboring has been completed and the cuddling has commenced. Congratulations!

  40. As all above .. best wishes to Mommy Bird and Baby Bird and the whole family bird.

  41. Best wishes! Hope all is well and you’re hanging in there and people are still pampering you now and that baby is well-behaved!

  42. Lauri Hornik says:

    Congratulations, Betsy! Just saw the photo on Twitter. Gorgeous baby, and beaming parents. I’m so glad you posted it.

  43. Karen Gray Ruelle says:

    Happy Baby Bird Day! Thinking of you!

  44. Cecilia says:

    Congratulations! All the best.

  45. Kathy J says:

    Love the Tina Fey piece — I copied it for my teenage daughter.