Last time in Part I of my story as the middle child, you met my older brother, Gene. For all time, my hero, someone I looked up to, and yes, even idolized at points in time. Dreamed dreams of the romantic kind about his friends. After all, there was 14 years difference in our ages (writer smiles here).
|Me, mom and Brad (1954-55)|
And then along came Brad, my younger by eight years little brother. I remember the night he was born — the disruption in my life began right then and there.
Awakened by my folks in the middle of the night, carted off by my uncle to his house, my impression of this little boy could not have been worse!
Morning came with dad arriving at my aunt and uncle’s home beaming from ear to ear. A man with two daughters from a previous marriage and a little girl eight years old, dad felt like God had blessed him like Abraham in his old age. I truly couldn’t see that this was such a big deal.
In those days (for those of you much younger), newborns and their mamas stayed in the hospital almost a week before coming home. But come home they eventually did.
Brad didn’t sleep. He cried like a banshee in the night, all night. And this is not just a child-like opinion. He had medical issues not clear at the time — enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which couldn’t be removed until a few years had passed. This meant he couldn’t nurse well and breathing while lying down was difficult. My parents would sit up holding him, while he cried, just so he could breathe and calm down.
Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased to hear the words “shh, baby’s sleeping” each time Brad slipped into slumber. Mad would best describe my reaction. Add to that the sweet things by everyone who came by to visit — he’s such a boy, so cute, so sweet, adorable, precious — and I became totally disgusted with this crying, wrinkled little being.
Enter bad behavior! Not that I was the perfect child, but what I’m about to describe was totally out of character for me. I had heard enough and decided to do something about it.
Mom and dad had a beautiful suite of mahogany bedroom furniture. In the beautiful wood on top of the nightstand, I proceed to carve with the point of a ballpoint pen, “Shhhhhhhh, baby’s sleeping!!!!!!!”
Oh, the punishment rendered was painful but my satisfaction at having sent my message was delicious. Imagine my horror when my parents never had the top of the nightstand repaired. Yes, when we cleared out the house that last time after mom’s death in 2001, there was my message for all the world to see.
Don’t forget to tune back in soon for Part III of The Sandwich Kid!
Photo credit: Bargain John’s Antiques
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