In the 1950’s and 60’s most families had at least two books in their homes: the Bible and Dr. Spock on Child Rearing. There are some things that Dr. Spock forgot to mention.
He forgot to mention how biased weddings are toward women. The bride’s mother and the bridesmaids are describe in minutia even to the cuticle problem on the pinkie of the maid of honor. Then everything about the bride is revealed, ad nauseum. The list is longer than Bill Belichek’s face when the Patriots lost to Philly.
Finally, at the end of the article, three columns over, actually in the obituaries, written in a font so small it takes the Hubble Telescope to read it, is one sentence that reads, “It is yet to be confirmed that the groom was in attendance.”
The next major trauma is the birth of the first baby. We had the wedding then the babies. How quaint, peculiar, antiquated, old-fashioned and bizarre we were! We rushed to the hospital running over two dogs, ran a dump truck off the road and almost side-swiped a train.
BW was prepped, groomed and attended to in a manner that Melania Trump would envy. Fathers were banished to a waiting room in the next county. I was ushered through a dark hall, down six dreary and dank flights of creaky, wooden stairs, past the laundry room and the coal bin and steam boiler into a room with one 60 watt light bulb dangling from mid-ceiling. I had to sit on a straight back, wooden bench salvaged from the Church of What’s Happening Now building when it was torn down. Reading material was a well-worn 1933 issue of Prairie Farmer Magazine, a sectarian religious pamphlet explaining why I was going to Hell and a snappy pamphlet explaining how to leave my estate to the hospital.
Dr. Spock said parents should make a big deal out of potty training. It finally happened. One day our daughter sauntered over to the potty, pushed her diaper down and did a really huge number two. We showed genuine appreciation and offered many encouraging words. I just wish it hadn’t been in the display model at Sears.
Next came the shots. I remember the scene many times at the doctor’s office for the mandatory inoculations. Pandemonium reigned. There was always a crowd of parents and 20 children present every time we went. Tears were rushing over cheekbones like the spring thaw in the Rocky Mountains. There was shrieking and wailing; blubbering; screaming; and that was just the mothers.
One woman had all she could take. She screamed, “I can’t go through with this. I can’t take any more; I have to get out of here,” and bolted for the door. A nurse sprinted after her, grabbed her arm, spun her around, slapped her and bellowed, “Get hold of yourself. Pull yourself together. Do you want these children to see you this way, doctor?”
Dr. Spock didn’t prepare me for all of this. Truth: I didn’t read Spock much.
[Larry Vandeventer. Go to my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and wjrambler1956.com – and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.]