It’s a shame that newborns can’t talk. They probably have interesting observations on all the people constantly in their faces.

‘That one needs to shave before he nuzzles my cheek one more time.’

‘Oh great, here comes that one with coffee breath!’

‘I would like to toss a couple of you up in the air on a full stomach and you can see how you like it!’

The latest two babies in our family are probably asking what all the hollering is about.

It’s about everyone vying for a turn at holding a baby.

And you thought competition on the soccer field was fierce.

Three kids scramble to line up on the sofa, all wearing sweet smiles, all holding their arms in cradling position.

‘I’m the oldest,’ one says, offering credentials.

‘I haven’t held the baby since Tuesday,’ says another, making a plea for pity.

The third one doesn’t say a thing. She simply slides a pillow under her arm to demonstrate that she is safety conscious. Just like that, she gets the baby.

‘I’m next! I’m next!’ shout the other two.

I finally get a turn to hold the baby and a kid tugs on my dress and says it’s not my turn.

‘I’m the Grandma,’ I say calmly. ‘It’s always my turn.’

She takes off crying that Grandma doesn’t share.

If this high demand for holding a baby continues, the baby will have to give up naps.

Sorry, baby, it’s just the way it is.

Another kid runs to the baby’s momma and says, ‘Next time, you should have twins!’

I am holding the baby at the dinner table, dinner is finished, and five kids and four adults are on the other side of the table, all of them trying their best to make the baby smile.

They are bugging out their eyes, wiggling their eyebrows and uttering strange sounds.

Frankly, none of them look very bright. One is shaking his head back and forth so hard that his cheeks are shaking. And he’s the business exec in the family.

An array of fingers tickle her chin, her belly, the bottoms of her feet, all the while coaxing,

‘Come on, sweetie, give us a little smile.’

And then she does it.

She spits up.

Groans of disappointment.

We clean the baby up and they start in again, cameras poised, cooing, laughing, standing on their heads, hoping for a smile.

Grandpa finally gets a turn to hold the baby.

He’s had her 90 seconds when the baby’s two-year-old sister approaches, waves her hands in the air, wildly wiggling all 10 fingers, saying, ‘I neeeeeeeeed to hold the baby!’

But we all neeeeeeeeed to hold the baby.

And therein lies the problem – so many needy arms, so few babies.

‘I believe it’s my turn to hold the baby,’ a voice says.

‘Get in line,’ someone says laughing.

‘You just had a turn,’ someone else chimes in.

‘Why should you have another turn?’

‘Because I’m the baby’s MOTHER!’

She wins.