It’s early March, 1948. Daddy made us get all dressed up to go see Mommy at the hospital and the new baby. I don’t want to see the new baby. I don’t want to HAVE a new baby. I want to still be the baby.
My name is Ellen and my brother Bill and I are all dressed up in this picture with Daddy. We are both angry that we had to take a bath and put on our Sunday School clothes on a Wednesday. But we are also angry and afraid because Daddy had never dressed us before. Mommy has always been there. But on Sunday she started feeling really weird. At lease she started acting really weird. Every few minutes she would grab her fat belly and bend double. At first she only cringed but soon she would cry out every time she did this.
Billy and I ran to her each tome to see what we could do to help. She would try desperately to smile and reassure us but we weren’t buying it! Mommy never cries or makes noises or bends double like that. She only takes care of us!
Soon Daddy came home and brought a strange old lady with him. HE rushed to Mommy and told her to get her things. She tried to go get a suitcase that she had stashed under the bed. But when she started to walk one of her pains hit her and she cried out. Then all of a sudden she let out a new kind of yelp. And there was all this watery stuff coming down her leg – like she had spilt a glass of milk. But I don’t think she had a glass of milk.
Daddy got the suitcase and guided her out the door and into the car. He didn’t even tell us who the ugly old lady was. When he and Mommy were gone she told us her name was Mary and she tried to be nice to us. But we didn’t want to have anything to do with her. She fixed us some cheese toast and milk and said it was our dinner. But we usually have fried chicken and jello or something else yummy for dinner. When she urged us to come to the table we did because we were afraid not to – but we just sat there and played with our toast. She reassured us that Mommy would be fine and there would soon be another brother or sister for us to play with. We just glared at each other.
As a matter of fact we have been glaring ever since. And when Daddy came home the next day with no tie and his white shirt un-tucked and partly our of his waistband we were surprised that he was glaring too. What are we supposed to do without Mommy to make everything alright? When this baby comes home will Mommy be there too? Will she still love us? will she still love Daddy? Why did that happen. Everything was fine with the four of us…we don’t need anybody else. Especially not a baby and especially not this Mary person.
Now today Mary is gone and Daddy said we must dress up and get ready to go see Mommy at the hospital. Fear jabs at my belly. Hospital? Don’t people go there when they are sick? Is Mommy sick? Is the baby sick? Is it a girl or a boy? So many questions.
Then Daddy asked Mr Jones next door to take our picture? Why? What is going on here? I don’t know if I want to see Mommy or not? I am afraid? Daddy looks afraid? Why would he be afraid? Babies aren’t scary. But maybe he doesn’t want anyone else in the house either.