Newly elected state Rep. Millie Flandro, D-Pocatello, will be taking a briefcase, a baby and a babysitter to the Statehouse when the Legislature convenes Jan. 7 in Boise.
Her first child, Megan, was born two weeks after the Nov. 6 general election."I think it's going to be a little hectic at first, until we get into a routine," Flandro said. "The baby's not on a schedule yet . . . and it will be hectic to try to figure out what is expected of me in the Legislature."
But Megan was a welcome arrival for the Highland High School teacher and her husband, a Pocatello optometrist. Flandro said they had been trying to have a child for seven years without success. "So we charted our lives on different courses, and lo and behold, we got the surprise."
Flandro said she discovered she was pregnant shortly after filing to run for the District 27 House seat vacated by fellow Democrat Mary Lloyd, who ran successfully for a vacated Idaho Senate seat.
But Flandro will not be the only lawmaker with a baby in Boise for the 1991 session. First-term Democratic Rep. Barbara Chamberlain of Post Falls also will have a newborn girl in tow.
Flandro's mother has volunteered to accompany her to Boise to babysit during the three-month run.
The Legislature's organizational session earlier this month gave both a chance to see how the arrangement would work. Not only did things go well, but Flandro said Megan helped her ease into her new role as a lawmaker.
"Maybe it's a little bit of a perk," she said. "As a new legislator, you're kind of anxious. The baby was kind of an icebreaker. . . . I had more people come up and comment on what a cute baby she was and that she will make it a session not quite as stuffy."
While there are no special arrangements for babies in the Capitol, Flandro said she and Chamberlain discovered a women's restroom with a table where they can change the girls.
They also chose to sit in aisle seats in the House chamber, near an exit, in case of emergencies.