DONOVAN McNabb's wife recently gave birth to twins. That blessed event will bring him happiness for years to come. It will also cause him many sleepless nights.

I know this because I am a father. As such, I have come to the painful realization that having kids means never having to say, "I'm not sleepy."

Having kids and doing it right means that you're there with your wife when the little ones wake up for their 3 a.m. feeding. If McNabb occasionally pretends that he's asleep during that magical hour, he'll be just like 99.9 percent of men who just can't bring themselves to get up consistently to get that bottle.

But McNabb can do this without the fake snoring. He just has to get the right help. That means hiring people to get him through those first few months.

Who are these people, you ask? Well, as a husband and father who's been through the baby thing a time or two, I can think of only one name for them: The Granny Brigade.

The Nanny

Face it, Donovan. If your luck is anything like mine, the twins won't wake up at the same time. They'll alternate, and in between watching you come into their rooms bleary-eyed, they will laugh at you.

To avoid the "Let's wake Daddy" game, get a nanny. And not one of those wimpy nannies who leaves at 5 o'clock. Uh-uh. You'll need a night-shift nanny.

Why does this lady have to be old? Well, she can't be some 19-year-old French hottie who's exploring American culture while working her way through modeling school, because if your wife is anything like mine, she's not having it. You need somebody from the Granny Brigade. Somebody with droopy stockings, a hat with flowers on it and a no-nonsense demeanor.

The Massage Therapist

Donovan, you and I both watched our kids come into this world, and I think we can agree on one thing: While giving birth is a beautiful thing, we couldn't do it. In fact, if it was left to men to have babies, the cockroaches would've inherited the earth long ago.

After watching your wife go through childbirth, you would be wise to deliver back rubs for at least the first few months. You might have to give up some foot rubs, too.

Let's keep it real, though. You can't possibly deliver every back rub you owe. That's why you have to hire a massage therapist.

Now, if you're anything like me, you won't be bringing in some muscle-bound Norwegian dude named Sven who smells of Icy Hot and Egyptian musk. What you need is the second member of the Granny Brigade - an older woman who knows what it's like to have babies.

She'll know exactly where to rub to make that baby pain go away. Thumb to the sole of the foot. Palm to the spine. Vulcan nerve pinch to the shoulder.

The Enforcer

We all know that you need at least one granny whose job is to keep everyone in line. The one who will grab a switch from the sycamore tree, go into the kitchen and whip up a sweet potato pie, or go upstairs and stop those kids from crying. This is the granny all-star who makes it all go. Her name is Grandmom, and she's been through it all before - with you.

Well, that's all the advice I have to give, Donovan. If you use it tonight around 3, you won't have to do the fake snore. *

Solomon Jones' column appears every Saturday. He can be reached at