A’VE a wee confession tae mak, dear reader. Thon photie o ma orange-jaikited, curly-heidit self disnae fair represent the person that’s scrievin this week’s column. Tae get the richt pictur, get oot yer keelyvine crayons an draw a muckle bump oan the abdomen an then a wee speech bubble frae the mooth seyin, ‘Och. Jingso.’ Or mibbes, ‘Ma [insert onie body pairt] is sair’.

A am wi bairn! Or, sin the bairnie A’m cairyin will be a Glaswegian, A’m wi wean! A’m scrievin this early, so bi the time this airticle cams oot, aw bein weil, A’ll hae a new Glaswegian in ma airms an A’ll be singin Coulter’s Candy to a wee angelic face that sleeps an eats like a champion. (Howpin that pittin this aw in a naitional paper maks it in some wey legally bindin – are ye lístenin, Wee Dancer in there? It says here in the paper ye’re tae be nae bother tae yer mither. [Wee Dancer continues tae blooter intae the sides o hits womby jyle]).

A’ve seen monie pals wi bairns afore, ivver sin ma Parent Pioneer pals wha hid thir first whan we were at the college (an baith still managed braw degrees – ken, it’s no richt). But, as awbody is awfie keen tae emphasíse – A’ve learnt mair guan through it masel. An A’m here tae learn ye whit A’ve learnt.

1) Second-haun baby shops the likes o Merry-Go-Round in Glesga’s Sooside is the bees knees – ten babby-growes fir a pund? Aye, thank ye please.

2) Meconium colour charts. Dinnae google thon.

3) Fowk oan the internet love tae hate the Baby Box.

Noo thon third pynt isnae fowk in real life, mind. Efter the first year o daein the Baby Box, the Scottish Government did a survey o mithers an faithers o the 50,000 weans that hid received a Baby Box. Satisfaction rate? 100%. But whan Humza Yousaf MSP postit a joyfu video o him an his dauchter openin up the Baby Box, the comments ablow went wild wi fowk’s scunners.

HOO? Hooooo cooome? The. Baby. Box. Is. That. Nice. The cost “tae the taxpayer” – the forivver cry o fowk that didnae like some bit o the Welfare State – is less nor £200 a box.

Whan fowk claim they’re efter mair nurses, or polis, or some ither sic hing that wuidnae cam frae the same pat onieweys, whit wid ye get fir thon rickle o cash? An let me tell ye, a cheque fir £176 (ma ain calculation o cost frae the nummers oan the Scottish Government wabsteid) wuidnae gie ye the hairtfu feelin that yer nation jist, weil, cares.

A’ve bin applyin fir Maternity Allowance, an a local charity his bin helpfu in navigatin the complicatit system o means-testit funds fir a mither wha is freelaunce wi nae Maternity Pey.

A’m gratefu tae hae access tae it, A’m gratefu that it exists, but it wisnae a nice experience. An it’s no ower yet – aw forms, an chairts, an tax return stress.

Wi the Baby Box, oor howdie-wife at the health centre gied us a wee form whaur A pit ma address an due date, A sent it aff, A got a text sayin whan it’d arrive at oor bit, an then it arrived. Nae palaver. An the things in it wuid gar ye greet. Teeny-weeny socks, buiks, a poem, a sponge, A WEE JAIKIT WI LUGS LIKE A WEE BEAR. Aaaaaaah. It is mair nor a box o “guids fir yaise wi an infant” – it is a statement o actioned intent that governments cannae, or dinnae, aften mak. As it says oan the wabsteid – “we want to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up in”. It’s awfie stoorie in here.

But. Aye, there’s a but – an no jist the butt wha’s aye shooglin oot ma ribs frae the inside. Whit if we didnae jist walcome bairnies wi the foresicht tae exit thir chosen uterus oan this side o oor borders? Whit if awbody that cams tae mak thir place in this nation got a walcome pack o love?

Thir’s charities howpin tae dae jist thon. Ane here in Glesga is Refuweegee, that maks community-built walcome packs fir refugees. Ane o the hings they dae is collect “letters fae the locals” – kind messages, cairds an letters frae fowk wha bide in Scotland the noo – that they describe as the hairt an sowl o the pack. Thir packs are fir fowk wha need an deserve financial an practical uphaudin frae the state. Thon cannae be denied. But Refuweegee packs an the Baby Box acknowledge that fowk need emotional, spíritual, hamely support an aw.

Pairt o whit maks the Baby Box a success is that A cuid be in Aiberdeen, or Easterhoose, or Ainster wi ma guid-sleepin-guid-eatin babby (fingers-crossed-emoji) an A cuid see anither bairn wi the same wee fluffy-luggit jaikit an hae a wee moment o connection – nivver mind whither the parents is on Universal Credit, or getting muckle bonuses. It’s no eneuch alane, an financial an practical support suidnae be in doot, but it daes somethin nae Giro can ivver dae. It says, in the words o Jackie Kay’s poem in the box: welcome wee one.