You Poor Baby (Part 2)

vintage baby

part 1

Furious at finding her washing machine packed to the rim with freshly laundered diapers mixed with freshly- laundered gobs of poop, Mother roused Carol from where she snored on the sofa, oblivious to her miserable, bawling baby. “Carol, come here. Let me show you how to use this washer! You can’t just throw filthy diapers in it without rinsing this stuff out.” Mother got a tub, made Carol scoop the poopy diapers out and clean the washer, then sent Carol out to rinse the dirty diapers under the faucet before bringing them back to the washer. “Be sure you dump that dirty water from the tub behind the chicken house, not in the back yard. You may as well get the rest of this mess soaking.” She pointed to the pile of poopy diapers that had not yet had a ride in her abused washer. Carol looked furiously at Phyllis and me as she stormed off to do this demeaning task, clearly much better delegated to underlings like us.

We did have to tend her poor, miserable baby while she slaved over the diaper rinsing, but that was better than rinsing out poopy diapers ranging from rock-hard lumps to runny diarrhea, depending on the vintage. The stench was horrendous, as evidenced by Carol’s retching. I have no doubt Carol was sick when she came back in. She took to her bed(our sofa) to recover. Clearly accustomed to help with her baby, she was reluctant to leave her repose to wash bottles and prepare formula, preferring to call out for one of of kids to “bring me a bottle!” when he cried. The first time, Mother let the hungry little guy have a bottle, despite the fact it was an expensive, hypoallergenic formula prescribed for her own tiny baby. She quickly pointed the case of milk she’d bought for Carol’s baby, the kind Carol requested. “Oh this will be fine,” Carol said. “He likes it!”

“Carol, you need to fix your own bottles! I bought you what you asked for. This stuff is forty cents a can!” Mother explained.

Carol was clearly offended. She dawdled a bit after he finished his bottle, put him down, and shut herself in the bathroom for a good crying session. Eventually, she came out and made a collect call to her mother, insisting she come, NOW! Mama couldn’t come, NOW! More crying on the phone. We were stuck together till the weekend. Carol had no problems leaving his bottles lying about to sour after baby was satisfied. Should he cry out when a sour bottle sat handy, she had no qualms about trying to get him to take it.

The next three days lasted an eternity. At my parent’s insistence, Carol did end up giving her baby good care while they waited for Mama, but she turned him over to Mama as soon as she arrived. His bottom had healed, he’d plumped up, and even played a bit with good care. Poor little guy didn’t get much of a pass. He was soon back home to be joined by a brother and sister in rapid succession.

Alas, Carol’s marriage fell apart, but before long she found another man and launched into her addiction to having babies she had no interest or ability to care for, eventually delivering eleven sad children. At a family reunion once, I heard someone ask how long she was going to keep having babies. She replied, “As long as God wants me to.” It was heartbreaking to see her children suffer from her neglect and ignorance.

14 thoughts on “You Poor Baby (Part 2)

  1. 11 children…wow. They certainly couldn’t have had much of a happy childhood, for certain. It seems to be true – the people who shouldn’t have kids have far too many, and those who would give love to any child can’t have any of their own. It’s ironic, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why is it that those people who should never be parents are often those who have the most children.? The fly by night fathers who have children all over the place yet never see any of them or send their child a card or pay any maintenance.The women who fall into bed with any fly by night and have a child they don’t particularly want and certainly can’t care for.and expect someone else to pay for. It’s invariably the child who ends up paying in some way.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only know about two. The oldest boy is in his fifties now. He he is disabled due to a very slow form of muscular dystrophy but he married and had four children. He had a loving family. They were on a low socio-economic level, but he has family and friends. The third child, a girl had a leg injury when she was a kid. It was never treated and she had serious ambulatory issues as she grew along with some serious atrophy, all of which could have Ben avoided had she been treated at time of injury. She later had surgery at Shriners Hospital and was fitted with a brace which made ambulation easier. I recently heard she died, but I never saw her since she was a baby. I don’t know about the other kids.


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