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The Day Before Yesterday: 73 - Early Jealousy

...I had someone whose big blue eyes followed me around the room, trying always to catch my attention and as he grew into a toddler he began to resent the man who took his mummy's attention every now and again. He would come and sit between us on the settee. He gave Cliff a sharp bite on his knee one day, when he was kissing me and if this man shared Mum's bed, he would creep into her side in the morning, trying to pull her face around to face him, not the stranger...

Young Rodney resents his father, who is away from home serving in the Air Force.

Gladys Schofield continues her autobiography. To read earlier chapters please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

It was strawberry time and the fields were full of them. I stayed in a village close to where Cliff worked at the aerodrome. Alan came with me and Mum cared for the baby. We had all grown so fond of him, as he had struggled through this crisis in his young life.

We stayed with a pleasant lady who took in boarders and Cliff was able to come to us each evening, just as if he had been at work. I would take Alan for walks in the day time. He never got tired of wanting to see "Daddy's AA Planes,'' - very large bombers with four engines, as they lined up over the fence of this country lane.

Clem, my friends husband, each time he looked at the baby would say, "I haven't forgiven you yet, for getting me out of a warm bed, to fetch your nurse." but you
always had to smile, as his big blue eyes would fix on your face and he would gurgle as if to say "Isn't life fun.''

Could you see a doctor going out of his way, like this old doctor did? He had to walk part way as he dare not drive down the steep winding lane. I have nothing but praise for him and the way he never gave up and the unconventional methods he tried. He saved my baby's life and I will always be grateful.

Alan never even got a cold throughout all this but resented the attention his baby brother was getting, so I tried to give him special little treats and cuddles to make him feel special again, I found when Daddy was home on leave, tnere was not a problem, as Alan was definitely still a 'Daddy's boy' and always would be but I soon began to find, I had someone whose big blue eyes followed me around the room, trying always to catch my attention and as he grew into a toddler he began to resent the man who took his mummy's attention every now and again. He would come and sit between us on the settee. He gave Cliff a sharp bite on his knee one day, when he was kissing me and if this man shared Mum's bed, he would creep into her side in the morning, trying to pull her face around to face him, not the stranger.

Rodney walked at eleven months and was another quick talker and soon learned to say, "This is my Mummy, you go back to your camp.'' It is very frustrating for a child, especially one born in the war years who rarely saw his daddy, to accept him as part of the family. Especially as Alan made sure he got most of Dad's attention, so he didn't really get to know his dad properly until the war ended and Cliff came home for good when he was three.

Alan was quite a good size for his age but Rod always looked younger than his. His goldy brown hair curled as it grew and he was always in mischief, rather like a younger brother of mine.

I mentioned the well In the garden wall, that resembled a horse trough. I caught Rod about to drop a kitten in there one day. This kitten was one offspring our cat produced at a time. She would have this one ginger kitten each year in spring, never more and always the same colour. Maybe her boyfriend had to come a long distance and was too weary to produce more than one.

Each time we went shopping, Ethel and I would have the three children with us. Christine and Alan would trot at our sides while the baby was handed over from one pair of arms to the other. I was still fairly nimble in those days and a good job too because on arriving back home, Ethel found she had locked herself out. Thinking she would have to wait until Clem came home from work, I said, after viewing the situation and having noticed a tiny window slightly open, above a larger one, "I may be able to get through that window. Would you like me to try?" "Can you manage it Love?" she answered. I kicked my shoes off and attempted to climb onto the windowsill about four foot from the ground. Could I scramble over the larger window without breaking it, I wondered, as I pushed this small one to its extent.

With a push from my friend, I wriggled and twisted head first, to the inside and gently lowered myself to the windowsill inside. It was lucky my body was still supple from my gym days or I could never have attempted it and hoped I wouldn't again.

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