Babies and More Babies

I Connie and Marilyn's Toddler Pictures

I was I was eight years old when my whole world changed.  Mother had a baby.  Never having been much interested in babies, this one seemed like a waste of time.  Life was far better before the baby.  Mother was nicer; not constantly carping about being tired.  She’d also gotten incredibly lazy, now expecting me to fold towels, dust, and clear my own dishes from the table.  I hadn’t minded the first time or two, especially when she thanked me so effusively, but when it became obvious she expected it to be a regular thing, I was disgusted.

Not only that, Mother went on and on about how much things cost now.  It made no sense that before the baby, there had always been plenty of money for cowboy boots, the ice cream man, and trips to Grandma’s.  Now we were poor.  She got her stupid baby and now I got nothing.

Eventually, Connie started playing and I loved her  Before too long, Mother got the pathetic mopes again.  She got lazier than ever, sat around with her feet up or took to her bed for hours at a time, sometimes even crying a little.  In desperation, Daddy even hired a lady to help out.  I loved Miss Annie, but she seemed a lot more interested in Connie than me.  Mother did nothing but lie around and play with Connie, till she she started sewing.  She bragged to her friend one day that she’d hand-made and embroidered eight baby dresses.  My jealousy alarm went off.

Kids

“Mother, make something for me.”  I had no use for dainty embroidered dresses, but surely she could come up with something!

“You’re too bigI can’t handmake anything for you.”

I made a point to be crushed, devastated by her selfishness, going out to pout as long as I could manage it.  Fortunately, I had a short attention span and soon got lost in play. The next day, Mother had Marilyn.  By this time, I knew babies quickly got cute, so I loved her from the start.

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You Poor Baby

vintage babyI had no idea Cousin Carol was four years older than my sister Phyllis till one day when Phyllis was about twelve, Cousin Carol announced she was getting married. It sounded like a joke. Less than two weeks ago she’d spent the night with Phyllis. Sixteen was ridiculously young to get married, but back as late as the nineteen Continue reading

Aunt Mama Ellen and the Twins

imageMy friend Ellen planned to adopt her sister’s newborn due about the same time as her own.  She was her sister’s coach and put the newborn baby girl to her own breast at its birth, taking it home with her the next day.  Her sister, the birth mother went back to college, missing only one day of class. Seven days later Aunt/Mama Ellen was sitting Continue reading

Loving My Babies

Kate and JohnOn the subject of preference among children, I loved both my children best. Enjoying a loving moment with one, I’d think, “I could never love another child this much!” Conversely, when I was with the other, I’d have the same thought. I confess, I didn’t always treat them the same. One was more wayward, pushing as far as they dared, knowing I couldn’t commit murder, as attractive as it might seem at the moment. Most of the time, the other child was empathetic, well-behaved, a total joy, unless they weren’t, which also certainly happened on memorable occasions. Sometimes the needs of one overshadowed the other, challenging us to the maximum of our feeble parenting skills.

Often either, one of them would cuddle up to me, asking, “Who do you love more, me or ……….? I usually delighted them by saying, “Well, you can never tell, but right now, I love you more.” They found my other answer equally delightful. “You’re so silly! You know I don’t like either of you!” Then they’d dissolve into a fits of giggles as I tickled them. They loved either answer, secure, knowing I loved them, no matter what.