Not being a memory prodigy, there's not much I really remember in detail about the first five or so years of my life. But I have pictures. And I have the stories my Mother told me.

Mother did well with being pregnant. No real issues in spite of smoking and drinking during the pregnancy. Her doctor was a tiny lady from South America who took good care of my Mother while she carried me.

Tidbits: about six months along I apparently needed to stretch ... a lot. So I'd stick my foot up under her short ribs and lock my knee so she couldn't sit comfortably. Sometimes tickling the foot would make it move. Mostly not.
    Spaghetti: My Mother loved the spaghetti at a little Italian restaurant in Washington, DC (they lived outside of the capitol in Maryland, but Dad worked in DC and they ate there) They had to make sure the table was close to the restroom, because as much as she loved the meal, apparently I did not; or, at least, the hormone balance wanted to give it a miss.
    Saturdays my dad would buy one 32oz bottle of beer and they'd share it between them, or with friends over playing bridge. No fetal alcohol syndrome in my family.
    The week I was due, Mother's Doctor went on a two week vacation and said she'd be back in time for the birth. Two weeks later, she returned to the US from her home country and Mother promptly headed for the hospital to give birth.
    Her doctor was so short, she had to sit on the bed to check on the progress of the labor.
    Labor was so short from water breaking to delivery that they told my mother to move in next to the hospital if she had another baby or she wouldn't make it into the delivery room before the baby came.
First days home:
    I slept in a shoe box, I was so tiny. Not Premature, but a healthy baby in those days was five lbs and over. I was just on five and a bit so I was little.

Other things:
    we had a parakeet. It was allowed to fly loose in the house. He liked to dive bomb things: me, the cat. There is a wonderful picture of him sitting on my bald head. There is a wonderful story of revenge: My mother heard the bird squawking it's head off and came in to see what had happened. Completely by chance, I'd caught the bird, trapping wingtips and tail in my little hand and was swinging the bird back and forth laughing. Now, remember, this was the bird that loved to dive bomb my head. He wasn't hurt and I was making no move to harm him. I was about six months old. But I had caught him perfectly because not only could he not release himself, he couldn't bend far enough to peck my fingers either.
    Mother released him. Unfortunately, he wasn't so lucky with the cat ... That was sad.
    I slept in a bassinet in my parent's room that they occasionally put in the walk in closet with the door partially closed to give them some privacy. This stopped when I started waking up at the crack of dawn and rocking the bassinet so it hit the wall when I rocked.
    I was about seven months old when we moved across country to Seattle WA so Dad could attend Scrips Oceanographic institute. Unfortunately, he had not applied to the school and they did not accept him. That was frustrating for him. Six months later we moved to Bloomington IN, my Mother's home town where she immediately found employment at the local newspaper where she had worked before. We stayed with my grandparents for a while and then had a small trailer we lived in just up the street from them.
    We had a huge dog while we were in Bloomington; an Irish Wolfhound, reputedly one of the first 9 bred in this country. She had hip displasia and could not be bred, but was valuable for her beauty of configuration. Her name was Rod. The only thing I really remember about her is feeding her peas off my plate at dinner and trying to ride her like  pony one day. We both got in trouble for the first one. Can I help it if she liked peas and I did not?
    The "pony ride" ended with a sore head. She took me into the kitchen where my Mother was and then dumped me off her back right against the refrigerator door! I banged my head. It hurt. And when I cried, Mother was not particularly sympathetic. I had been told not to ride the dog. We had a sort of "no blood, no foul" rule in the house, so since I had a lump (small) but not split skin or any sign of having concussed myself, I was in trouble. Luckily, Mother figured that smacking my head was enough punishment for the breaking of the rule.
    I don't remember the train ride to New Orleans LA where my dad had achieved employment with General Geophysical as a shot crew chief. We had to leave Rod with her breeder in Bloomington because she outweighed
my Mother by about fifty pounds. There was unfortunately no way she could walk the dog during a break on the train platform with any certainty that Rod wouldn't take it into her head to lunge for something. (The mental image of my tiny Mother bobbing along in the wake of this huge, rough coated dog is just priceless.) We do have pictures of her, and I will eventually post scans of them. She was an incredible dog and the stories about her my Mother told were priceless as well.
    Decades later, a friend of mine had a breeding pair of these magnificent dogs and I literally burst into tears when I saw them loping across the back yard toward me. To this day I regret not figuring out how to take them with me because she went to England for a couple of years and the people she left them with did not make certain they were secured in the yard one day. Major regrets on that decision.
    Well, that's four and a half years in a sitting. Next up: New Orleans, tonsils and all of South Louisiana.


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