I had a wonderful conversation with my 6-year-old niece the other night on the telephone. It was a pleasant surprise as she normally isn’t one to “take calls,” either being “too busy” or, in my mind, too indifferent to what we have to say.

She had just returned home from seeing the movie “Cars” and I had just seen “The Da Vinci Code.” While I didn’t go into much detail about my movie, other than relating the fact that it was an good mystery with lots of action, Allison gave me a pretty complete rundown of the “Cars” movie, including characters and some of the actions. She gave it a “two-thumbs-up” rating.

After we discussed our respective movies, we moved on to discuss the most exciting news at her house, the announcement that she will get a new brother or sister in November. Convinced that the baby will be a girl, Allison has quite a list of possible names. When I suggested that perhaps they could name the baby Melissa, she simply laughed and said, “But YOU are already Melissa.”

She did tell me that if, by some freak accident, the baby should be a boy, that it would have to go live at her Aunt Jessica’s house because “that’s the boy house.” My sister-in-law’s sister has a daughter and three small boys.

Somehow, however, I think Allison would cope just fine with a little brother.

I do worry a bit for the young child as I am sure Allison will take great responsibility in its upbringing. I don’t doubt that she will keep him or her very busy! As I have written in previous columns, Allison is quite the leader and will relish the arrival of this new follower.

This new addition to our family is due to arrive in November and we are all very excited. Arvin and Annette have once again asked me if I would like to be in the delivery room and I have eagerly accepted the invitation. I was there when Allison was born and it was the most spiritual moment of my life.

With the news of another Vander Plas baby, I have begun searching for the perfect fabric to make a quilt. You all know that’s how I react to news like this! I have the perfect grouping of pinks should it be a girl, but don’t know what fabrics I will use if the baby does not follow Allison’s instructions and turns out to be a boy. I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with something.

Thankfully, Arvin and Annette have decided to find out the gender of the baby early, so I will have ample time to prepare.