Happy Birthday, AA!
My youngest daughter, AA, was born September 27, 1975. She had four people looking out for her every need. The older two were 7 and 5 so they were very invested in her well-being.
When I had the other two children, no one asked what I wanted and I was put to sleep. When AA was born, labor was so long that the doctor determined she was breech. She came toes first. I refused the C-section as long as she was okay. AA's birth was my first birth experience, awake and in pain with nothing at all for relief.
From conception every moment with her was different. When she moved inside me, her head was under my ribs and painful. As she kicked and stretched, I thought she was coming out my anus. Yes, it was that bad. Remember, this was my third and nothing was the same. When the doctor said she was breach, I understood.
First child--four hours labor. Second child--two hours labor. Third Child--AA took 28 long hours. Everything the child did was so different from my experience with the first two. None of it was bad, just different. Well, the pain with no meds was not good!
When I was pregnant with AA, some days, I threw up seven times after dinner. That does not include throwing up at the pool, walking down the sidewalk, just anywhere. The children were alarmed and concerned at first. Finally, they accepted that I was "throwing up again." With the first two, I threw up once each time.
When AA was born, unlike the other two children at birth, she was just not interested in opening her eyes. A little slit momentarily in one eye gave her all the information she needed. Son (7) asked me when her eyes were going to open. He knew kittens and puppies were not born with eyes open. I think AA was about two weeks old when she finally thought about taking a look around at where she was.
AA never stiffened like most babies when frightened. She was such a limp and floppy baby compared to the other two that I worried something was wrong. No, she was just chilling out all the time.
She rarely cried. She just sucked her thumb, something she was doing two minutes after she was born. The nurse told me and said she had been sucking before she was born. As I was holding her, watching her when she was about four days old, she hit herself in the forehead with her tiny fist. She moved her fist around and finally found her mouth.
She was adored by others who loved her name, both of which started with A, hence AA here. Her older brother (7) and older sister (5) were thrilled with her, adoring and caring.
When AA cried about a wet or dirty diaper as I was three blocks from home, I would say, "Oh, A, suck your thumb" as I put it in her mouth. One day, when she was less than three months old, I said. "Oh, A, suck your thumb." Before I could put her thumb in her mouth, she popped her thumb in her mouth.
When AA was almost three, I heard the dog yelp and she came in the front door as I was going to see what happened. AA had hair all around her mouth. I asked her what was wrong with the dog. Matter of factly, AA said, "I bit Puppy." Why? AA never had an answer and never did it again. I knew for a fact the dog had done nothing since he was not aggressive with any child.
One day, just before she was three, I heard her muffled screaming and squealing in distress. "Let me out!" "Help, get me out." " I want out!" "Heeeellllp!" I ran like a wild woman around the yard, unable to locate her, looking to the ground where I knew there to be an old well, looking for the old outhouse location. Finally, I realized the sound was not from a well or a hole. She was in the dog house and Rudy, the newer and larger dog was holding her in with his head and snout, just pushing her back. I had to drag her out past him, yet he still tried to keep her. She had ventured in and he liked the company and decided to keep her. She said he came in after she climbed in.
AA kept crawling into the dog house. That meant I had to bathe her, wash her hair, and dress her in clean clothes. I scolded her, but after the third time, I told her she would get a spanking. She never did it again. When AA was 21 or so, she said she crawled into the dog house after the first time because she didn't like the clothes in which I dressed her. She said she knew I would have to change her.
Her favorite animal was not cats, dogs, or bunnies. She loved cows even though she had only seen one from the car. When she was less than a year old, I joined a bowling league. I would hurry her through eating and dressing so we could be ready to go bowling after we dropped the older two at school. I had pointed out the cows, so I told her we were going to go see cows. She said, "Cow." over and over, pointing to the cows in the field next to the bowling alley. She had a cow pull toy later. If she were whining or crying, I would tell her I thought I saw a cow and for her to look out the window for a cow. That always calmed her down as she searched for a cow. She never lost her love of cows.
When AA was 18 months old, the older daughter's dance teacher said she would teach A for free just to see how a child that age would learn. There were no tap shoes that small, so I bought little patent leather shoes and had taps applied. The first time I put them on her, we were in the kitchen. As she slipped down from my lap, she fell down. I helped her up and she promptly fell down--two more times, all this before she even took a step. She had such a troubled expression on her face. Finally, I showed her the taps and told her they were what made her fall. She knew the taps were on the shoes but did not realize they made her fall. From the moment I showed her the taps after falling, she never fell again. This whole her falling and my picking her up again lasted about a minute, so I didn't let her fall and flounder about for a long time.
The tiniest ballet shoes had to be gathered up so that they didn't look like shoes, just pouches. Of course, I could let them out for a long time! If you don't know about the string in the top of ballet shoes, ask someone.
The dance teacher said she told the girls to take their places and stay there, not to move, until she came back in. When the teacher came back to the room three minutes later, she said A was the only one in her place. The others were wildly running about the room. "Good girl!" That was something I said to her all the time and one of her first words.
She was the most pleasant and even-tempered child ever until she started first grade. Then, she screamed, scratched and was a wildcat in the car on the way home from school in the car. I decided she was stressed and tired. She ate leftovers from the night before, a full meal, had a bath and hair washing, was in pajamas, rocked for an hour and in bed before 6 pm. She had to be wakened at 6:30 am to get ready for school. I rocked her to sleep each night so she could relax. She needed so much more sleep than the older two.
Unlike the older two, AA ate everything put before her, EVEN when she heard the older two say how awful some food was. Some days, I suspected she wanted to be the special one who did eat without complaining!
Everyone said AA was an easy baby because I finally figured out babies. NO. I grew up as the oldest of five and had done everything for my brother who was born when I was fourteen. So, babies were not new to me.
She was a unique joy. Happy Birthday!
Well, I have written enough of this precious child. There are many other stories I could tell. Another time! And, to the two older, yes, you were precious, too.
Did you have a thumb-sucker who rarely cried? Did your child loves cows instead of other, smaller animals? Or, maybe another animal? Did you have one child who was just so different in every way?