Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Well this post started well and then I went off on a tangent......

Waking up with a butterfly in your brain is a seriously lovely feeling. Thoughts flitter through your mind touching down for a brief second on a colour, a child,  a flower, a dream, a blessing and then moving on....just as a butterfly flutters around my garden. Nothing stressed, nothing rushed. Just brief flashes of what is, what could be, what dreams are made of.

That was how I woke this morning.

We humans have complicated things horribly, haven't we......

Butterflies don't burn out, worry about keeping warm, need bigger and better everything, hoard. They simply go about their business. They are creatures of the moment. Actually, nearly the entire population of living things on earth does that, with one exception - us.

Children still have that magical freedom when they are small, of course. Life is full of adventures, and fun, and love and learning. Our children. Some - thousands, millions - are not so fortunate. I know, and my heart aches for them.

So when and why do we lose that joy of just being? Of life? Is it TV? Is it school? Is it simply watching the adults around?

I was 22 when my son was born. A young Mum. I didn't read books on parenting. I am not sure there were many around back then apart from Dr Spock. What I did have, and it was invaluable, was a truly wonderful antenatal teacher. In those days, you went to antenatal classes for months. Once a week. We learned breathing, and exercises, and all about feeding and I tell you, I can still hear Mrs Sternweiler (who also taught my mother's antenatal classes!) saying "crack ze nut under your coccyx" which was how to tilt your spine to the right position to push that baby out. Every one of my friends graced her classes too, and we all remember her breathing exercises for each stage of labour, which is, of course redundant information now, but back then, it had become effortless.

I digress.

But please tell me how pregnant women are supposed to learn how to breathe through labour with a lesson or two? I have no idea. Ah yes, there is that new-fangled thing called an epidural now. Right. They were just arriving on the scene back in the dark ages (34 years ago)! One more thing - Mrs S taught us post natal classes too. "Get back ze figure!" Well, that never quite worked for me, but we will ignore that. One excellent piece of advice for life was "Every time you go to ze bathroom, you MUST stop ze two three times - and ze muscles, zey will stay strong." A little too much information maybe, but her voice echoes through the decades. She was not a shy retiring type at all. And she taught well. I can still hear her, bless her cotton socks.

But back to babies. I brought home a little boy and we learned together. I didn't know many other young Mums back then, but I did have my Mum and she was wonderful. Geoff was in Norway, and came home when Andrew was 6 weeks old, so by then, Andrew and I had sort of found out that nappies need to be pinned securely, and colic was hell on earth.

His nursery had a wicker crib and a fancy changing mat. My mother bought us a Sliver Cross pram, and my sister gave us an orange striped Maclaren baby buggy - one of the very first umbrella type of pushchairs. It did not recline. Here is an article about the first buggies, featuring an EXACT copy of my one. We were trend setters, of course.

His toys were like these. Remember them? I have had the most hilarious time looking all over Google images for toys from his childhood. Do you know that these are classed as VINTAGE toys? I must tell Andrew and Diana. They will be absolutely thrilled to have the word vintage associated with their beloved toys from yesteryear. I think a great many of them are somewhere in the attic. I am sure Missy will enjoy playing with them when David finally levers himself up there to search for the hidden treasure.

 Then I started thinking about toys from MY childhood, and all I could remember was the pair of sparkly glittery pink heeled Cinderella shoes Father Christmas brought me when I was about 4. My joy knew no bounds. My sister remembers stealing acquiring them. I love my sister. Now. Back then? Hmmmm.

And my floppy doll when I was a little older. And Barbie. And Skipper, but I wrote about them a while back. Books. Pencil crayons. Those 64 packs of Crayola crayons - oh how I longed for one of them. Tricycles.
I must get Mum to write down the things we played with - the games like bagatelle, card games like Snap, Old Maid, Happy Families. Swings and jungle gyms - we played outdoors a lot. Pools. I can remember the teen years, but the kiddie years are not so clear.

At Christmas, some strange "uncle" , Uncle Harry, always gave us one of those Lifesaver books of sweets. Do you know the ones? They looked like books, but there were loads of rolls of different lifesaver sweets inside. I remember those. I loved the cherry ones. And those Cinderella shoes.What does that say about me, I wonder. I also remember an Easter egg, shaped like Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall with iced flowers on the wall. Why am I obsessing about sweets?

I have just come back from aquarobics. I am feeling virtuous. And no sugar has been consumed today at all, so that must be why the sweet thing is growing by the minute. Deprivation. Not that I eat many sweets.

So how did I get from butterflies in the brain to babies to sweets, via Cinderella shoes and dolls?

I have no idea, and I can't remember what I meant to say at the start either. Time for coffee, and a nap before the 3 garden watering can party starts again.

I will try to retrieve the brain before the morning.

(All images from Google images)


Vee said...

I have just this to say about butterflies. If they lived as long as humans they'd accumulate a lot of stuff, too. Oh, yes, their homes would be filled with ancestral objects and too many end tables. I'm sure of it.

Loved my high-heeled shoes, too, though I can't remember the Disney character upon them. And my lifesaver books. Later, purchasing them as Christmas gifts fit my humble budget well. They were good gifts for my grandfather who loved lifesavers as they helped with quitting the smoking habit.

Sounds as if you had a great teacher for those pre-birth and post-birth classes. Perhaps a direct descendant of Attila the Hun. ☺

Linds said...

Thanks for the email Vee - I am about to try it out. And I couldn't find a photo of the shoes without the Disney picture. Mine didn't have a picture either! This one was the closest I could get to those wonderful shoes....

Anonymous said...

I too had a pair of pink sparkly slippers, I loved them.

One year however, my cousin, who was two days younger than me, and I got a Silver Cross pram and a Silver Cross pushchair for our birthdays.

Guess who got the pushchair! I think our parents thought because we were always together, we would share and share alike...NOT! We had loads of fights about those gifts!

someone else said...

What a fun trip down memory lane. My grandchildren play with the Fisher Price little people toys that belonged to my daughters when they were little. It's the favorite toy at my house.

Janine said...

We always got those Lifesaver "books" for Christmas, too .... from Santa, and it's a tradition that I've carried through all of these many, many years. :)

Needled Mom said...

So many fun memories here! The grandkids love playing with their parents "vintage" toys. The kids can't believe I saved so many.

Did you ever play with paper dolls? Those were so much fun. McCalls magazine each month had a page of cutouts for clothes, etc. We had to use our imagination when we played back then.

I think we raised our children using common sense and advice from family and friends. Each child was a different challenge. Nowadays they all need books to parent. Heaven forbid if they don't fit that mold.

Ann said...

I have quite a few books. The paediatric first aid book is invaluable. Also if you do NCT antenatal classes you are given loads of reading material. I like having all this information at my finger tips because I think child development is really interesting and because there is no way I can remember everything the teacher says. That puts me in the category of parents nowadays that need books unfortunately! I loved to read about and see photographs of foetal development so I knew what stage my baby was at through my pregnancy. To me it was simply was fascinating.

Edith said...

I recognize those toys. What a riot! I did not have those great pre- and post-natal classes. They probably would have helped me some.

Always enjoy your posts Linds. Thanks for sharing

Dawn said...

What a fun down memory lane. The Fisher Price little people were at our house too, but I have no idea what happened to them. The grands have FP little people, but they are bigger. All the girls love little things like that.

I have noted that many young moms are not interested in the comments of us old ladies - they would rather take advice of writers. I think books are fine, but children are pretty much the same from generation to generation and some things are timeless in their rearing. Enough of that!

Helen in Switzerland said...

Wow you were lucky Linds - Cinderella shoes! I would have been in heaven if I'd had a pair of those! They would certainly not have been sensible enough for my mother - probably why I never got any!
I don't remember a whole lot of toys apart from Lego as money was fairly tight - but I do remember desperately wanting a doll's house, which wasn't forthcoming either, so I spent months making a magnificent one out of cardboard and fabric scraps - which was probably much more fun!

Janine said...

I haven't thought about Lifesaver books in years! We always bought them for our Rhodesian cousins.
I went to exactly ONE ante natal class for both pregnancies. Shannon was born in Vanderbijlpark - the first class was all about "this is where you pee and this is where the baby comes out. They do NOT come out of the same hole"! I never went back.

missy said...


Linds said...

Hello, Missy - you are a very clever girl to leave Moregranny a comment. I quite understand that you want David to find all those toys so you can play with them. You will be a blogger before long!!
I love you loads and loads xxxxx

Crystal said...

I've been away for a few days so I had lots to catch up on your blog! The FP toy pictures remind me so much of our children. The grandkids still love the FP cash register best! And the books of lifesavers were always popular when we did class exchanges at Christmas time. You have so many memories - and can retrieve them too!! Happy weekending - enjoy your beautiful gardens!

Anonymous said...

How lucky the young mums are to have books. I would say to any young mum "read, read and read". With knowledge comes confidence. They can work out what suits and works for them. They can speak up with confidence. I have the utmost respect for the young mums of today. they cope with so much more. I couldn't have coped with a baby/todler and and a career. The young women of today have to be able to stand alone if the situation should arise in the future, whether it be in their youth, middle age or older age.

great granny

Linds said...

I could not agree more, Great Granny. They are so lucky to have access to so much information and help easily, which was not around when I was a young Mum! Confidence to stand alone if need be is essential. Thanks for your comment!