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Friday, 27 March 2015

No Milk, No Cookies

By Deb who blogs at Simple Not Easy

In those not-so-long-ago times before the pill, married ladies had few reliable ways of preventing a new little bundle from heaven from arriving like clockwork every 12 to 18 months. One of those ways was to continue nursing the last baby as long as possible.

My grandparent's family already had a healthy contingent of four daughters and three sons, so my Grandma Josie apparently had decided that this was the method for her. So my Uncle Fred was still nursing at the age of five.

He liked it, but the older kids teased him and called him a titty baby so he took pains to get his mother off to himself for his nursing sessions. He preferred to have her go down to the barn and hide out in one of the horse stalls where no one was likely to interrupt them.

In addition to farming, my granddad was pastor of one of the larger Baptist churches in town and one afternoon, a pastor and his wife from the next district over made an unexpected visit in the middle of the afternoon.

Grandma was serving the guests iced tea and cookies when Uncle Fred slipped up beside her and whispered, “I wants some tiddly.”

Grandma elbowed him away and whispered, “Not now, Fred, later. After Mama's company has gone.”

But Fred was insistent so he crowded in again and whined, “But I wants it now.”

Grandma said, in a firm voice. “Fred, you go outside and play now. I'll see to you later.”

Fred, frustrated beyond his five-year-old's capacity to endure, picked up the hem of her skirt, bent over, stuck his head underneath and bit her on the leg! “I wants my tiddly NOW!” he bellowed!

Thus Fred came to be weaned and 11 months later baby Andy arrived, a new bundle of joy from heaven.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Love this story. Bet it followed him throughout life.
Is he still around?

How easy it is to forget those days before the pill.

I sure couldn't tell my story of 3 within 2-1/2 years nearly as cleverly!

Except that the oldest ran around carrying his bottle under his arm until the youngest was weaned.

It is such a treat to read everyone's tales of the "good ol' days"!

My babies, 5 in 6 years, were all born during the "Similac" years, when we were encouraged to substitute powdered formula for breast milk so we could supposedly have more free time! In my case, it worked in reverse. Birth control pills gave me migraine headaches and the babies came before I had time in between to think about how to put a cork on the Baby Genie. Well, I can honestly say I wouldn't have had it any other way. I have 5 wonderful and successful adult children thanks to Similac.

Hi Estelle,
Uncle Fred died in 1987 aged 81. He had three younger siblings. The last of which died in 1993. My parents would be 111 if they were still with us. Like many of us I suspect I have now lost not only parents, aunts and uncle but many, if not most of the cousins of my generation.

What was once a huge family has dwindled to a few outliers scattered over several countries. Families are like a wave rising up on the beach intact, which then breaks and blends into the sea again. It's the wheel of life isn't it?

I would have died of embarrassment.

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