Twenty-Four and Two Babies

Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? Maybe something like that. But I’m thrilled about a second baby, never mind that it’s so soon. I wanted more than one, remember? And the first one is adorable–a handful, a little firecracker, and so smart. I try to toilet-train him before the new baby comes. He walked at nine months and talked at a year. Surely, he can be potty trained, so I won’t have two in diapers.

We move to a small rental house so we’ll have more room, but we don’t stay there very long. We find a house that costs about what an inexpensive car costs these days, and we move again. This house has more space and a huge backyard with a playhouse. Convenient to the hospital. Perfect for a growing family.

I am three months away from my twenty-fifth birthday when the second baby comes. Older baby is twenty months old. The potty training works–until #2 comes. So we have diapers for two, after all. These were cloth diapers, my friends.

The grandmothers have learned their lesson. This time, they hire a nurse to live in for a couple of weeks. This is the cultural norm in the Mississippi Delta. I’m a hill-country girl. I never heard of such. I dont like having somebody else underfoot in my house. My husband, who is now in his last year of medical school, hardly breaks his stride. When I start running a high fever, I drive myself to the doctor. The new baby is a week old. (New moms didn’t drive for three weeks back then.) It turns out that I am seriously ill, and once again, the grandmothers step in. My mother takes the older boy home with her, and my mother-in-law, God bless her, comes to stay with us until I’m better.

Once I’m well, I’m on my own with two babies much of the time, but I don’t mind. This is what I was meant for, remember? I am astonished by these two little boys we have made. I am tired and sleepless, but full of wonder.

Everything seems just about perfect. A house, an ambitious, smart husband, two beautiful children. But things aren’t always what they seem. I won’t tell you that story yet. That’s for the twenty-fifth post, the last of these memoirs, and a good launching point into what would become my future.

First–a look at the little boys:


Proud grandparents. Happy mother. Happy, healthy little boys.

It’s a good thing, isn’t it, that we can’t always see what’s coming.