Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Right, so now we have

another baby to coo and smile over?
I quite like babies - other people's babies that is - but they also terrify me. I have never had any babies of my own. Perhaps it shows in the idea that they terrify me?
Yes, I do regret never having married and never having children of my own but I also acknowledge that babies are an enormous responsibility.
I can, just, remember my brother being born. He is two years younger than I am. He was born in the same hospital in the same small country town (village).
My maternal grandmother was there for my birth - or so my parents told me. I was, I suppose, not particularly aware of the situation. It is certainly likely she was in attendance. My maternal grandmother was not the sort of woman who would have wanted to miss out on the occasion.
I do not know why she was not there for the birth of my brother. The Senior Cat, when asked, had no idea either. He agreed it was odd.
My paternal grandmother came instead. Whatever the reason for her absence it must have riled my maternal grandmother. She was never happy sharing her grandchildren with their paternal grandparents.
The Senior Cat and I were however quite content with the company of my paternal grandmother. Children were, of course, not supposed to be visitors to the maternity ward in those far-off days. My grandmother had that sorted very rapidly. She came from a farm. Birth was commonplace. Children knew all about it from a very early age.
I was placed in the pusher and she walked briskly up the hill to the hospital. The French doors were, conveniently, open in the summer heat and I was taken in through them to see my new brother. I can just remember being held by my godmother, a nurse at the hospital, and looking into the bassinet that held my brother. It is not a strong memory but I can remember the tight feeling under my arms as I was held up to see who was there.  He was mine? I didn't really believe it - not until he came home to live. 
I suppose my parents had prepared me in other ways as well. I know I had a book about the arrival of a new baby. I think it may have been a "Golden Book". Jealousy though was not an issue for me. I had Grandma. Grandma must have stayed for at least four weeks although my father thinks it may have been longer.  I had plenty of attention while getting used to the newcomer.
By the time my sisters arrived I was old enough to understand what was going on. I started school - early - a few months after my first sister arrived. I could read by then. I had more than enough to do.
The Whirlwind is, currently, not impressed by the idea of babies but she thinks that it would have been nice to have a sibling, preferably a brother.
"But," she told me when we were discussing it, "The best thing would be to have one boy and one girl both at the same time. Then they could be friends and do things together."
If only life was that simple.

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