What do I know about raising a baby at seventeen years old?
Two days home from the hospital and he cried constantly never shutting up for anything and the louder he cried, the louder I cried. I walked the floors day in and night out. He was on my shoulder, in my lap, on my bed, on the couch, just that tiny baby and me and the hours never winding down.
My husband George said, “Call grandma Bessie, there isn’t one thing that she does not know about raising a baby.” So I did, I called Grandma Bessie.
The voice of experience said, “Hello there,” and I answered with a whimper, “Mom, help me, he has cried all night and all day and he just won’t stop.” She said, “Honey, I’ll be right over.”
She came through the door with a bag in her hand from our local pharmacy and went straight to the kitchen, preparing something to go in his bottle. Later she came back in the living room and took Junior out of my arms and gave him a bottle with some kind of mixture in it. He sucked it down like it was the only bottle left in the world. After the bottle was empty, she laid him across her shoulder patting him gently on the back, then put him down and took him by his long night gown, turning him up-side-down by his feet (Do Not Try This at Home) , and then picked him up suddenly and threw him across her shoulder again. I honestly thought I was going to pass on out as she told me in an apologetic voice that this is a present cure for the colic.
Within five minutes he was snuggling her shoulder and he was out like a light, sleeping a baby sleep of peace which I had never seen him do. It was like a miracle.
I ask her, “Mom Bessie, what in the world was in that bottle”? She looked at me with that sheepish smile that I remember to this day and said, “why honey it was just a little shot of catnip tea”.
He was nine months old and he refused to eat anything, I could not coax him to open his mouth for the best of baby food. I was so scared because he was one of the skinniest little baby boys that I ever seen in my life.
I called my mom, “Mom, what do I do? He won’t eat.” She said, “Ok, honey, now listen, when a child of that age won’t eat baby food, this is what you need to do, you just fry two eggs easy over, make a skillet of gravy and mix the yoke and the gravy together and watch him chow down.”
Well that is exactly what I did and it looked appetizing. I put Junior in his high chair and sat down beside him in a kitchen chair. I was one proud momma. I looked at him and said, “Yummy” as I put the first bite in his mouth. He rolled it around on his tongue while his little face went into a stiffened ball and he swallowed it down his throat, suddenly he started upchucking right inside his plate and all over me and everywhere, His morning bottle ended up in my lap and all over the floor. Needless to say, my tears mixed with all the other liquids in my lap.
In 1966 at age four, his favorite thing was Batman and Robin; He would have me tie a pillow case around his neck so he could have the wings like Batman, then he would run around the house like a wild man.
One day he decided he would jump out the car window so he could fly just like Batman. A hospital visit showed us only cuts and bruises, thank God.
You haven’t lived until you see your son go flying out the trailer door on his tricycle, just because he wants to be just like Evil Knievel
The other day my experiment who is now 47 years old called and said, “Mom, I am craving home made biscuits and gravy plus some easy over eggs” I started giggling at the top of my lungs and he giggled with me. I said, “Sweetie, I will go put the skillet on”! As the phone clicked a good-by, I heard him say “I love you, mom”!
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