by Nuala O’Connor

ProntoBaby® Animation Checklist

□         Open your Cradlebox® with care.

□         Lift your ProntoBaby® out of the Cradlebox®.

□         ProntoBaby® will be in a plastic bag.

□         Remove your ProntoBaby® from the plastic bag and dispose of carefully. A child can easily suffocate if a bag is pulled over its head.

□         Place ProntoBaby® on a safe, flat surface, face up. Take a moment to admire Baby’s snub nose, realistic eyelashes, and resemblance to you!

ProTip: At this juncture, you may wish to name your ProntoBaby®. See the list in your Cradlebox® for gendered, gender-neutral, and culturally appropriate suggestions☺    

□         Now, put the heel of your hand on ProntoBaby®’s belly. Place the heel of your other hand over the first hand. Compress sharply, one time, on Baby’s belly.

□         ProntoBaby® will exhale loudly once and then settle into a steady breathing rhythm*.

□         ProntoBaby® will begin to coo and blink.

□      If you have named your ProntoBaby®, repeat their name now, three times in quick succession. Your ProntoBaby® will respond to their name.

□         Lift ProntoBaby® to your chest and cuddle them for a moment.

□         Settle ProntoBaby® into their Cradlebox® and smile benignly.

Congratulations—you are a ProntoParent® ♥ You may now post your news to ProntoGram® and confess that you are thinking about a ProntoSibling® already! Discounts available to existing ProntoParents®!

Please note:

If a ProntoParent® discovers, upon examination pursuant to Paragraph 10 of the contract, that any ProntoBaby® delivered to the ProntoParent® is spoiled, damaged or otherwise defective, the ProntoParent® shall have the right to require ProntoBabyInc® to replace such defective ProntoBaby®, provided that at least five (5) percent (by price) of the total shipment of the ProntoBaby® is spoiled, damaged or otherwise defective. If the ProntoParent® so elects to have such ProntoBaby® replaced, the shipment of any replacement products will be effected within seventy-two (72) hours. ProntoBabyInc® shall, if requested by the ProntoParent®, cause such replacement ProntoBaby® to be delivered to the ProntoParent®, at ProntoBabyInc®’s expense, by the most rapid means of commercially feasible ground or air transportation available.

*If your ProntoBaby® does not breathe after compression, call 1800-PRONTOFAIL at once. ProntoBabyInc® takes no responsibility for any ProntoBaby® that breathes for a time but then fails to breathe consistently. That’s on you.


Nuala O’Connor lives in Co. Galway, Ireland. Her fifth novel, NORA, is about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce; it appeared in January 2021 in the USA and will be out in Ireland in April 2021. Her new chapbook of historical flash fiction, Birdie, was recently published by Arlen House. Nuala is editor at flash e-zine Splonk Twitter: @NualaNiC.