A New Arrival

I knew something unusual was going on - my Mother was still in bed at lunchtime!

My brother was born in December 1938.  I knew something unusual was going on as my mother was in bed at lunchtime, a totally unknown occurrence, and my aunt kept my father and me out of the house, so we built a snowman with bits of coal for eyes, nose and mouth in our backyard.

My brother popped out quickly before the doctor came.  I have a large head which caused problems when I was born but left a large exit for my brother.  My aunt was all of a dither but did what she could.  They tied off his cord, washed my brother and changed the sheets, then let me and my father in to see him.  He was pink, chubby and looked great.  My mother was all big smiles and thrilled to bits.

My father [kidding on] told me the doctor was coming to take my brother away.  I was aghast, so collected every bit of string in the kitchen, knotted them all together and wound them round and round the bed to form a barrier to stop the doctor taking my brother.  My mother saw my point of view and tried to keep a straight face but was embarrassed when the doctor had to cut all the string with his penknife.

Dr. Eddlestone was a very nice understanding old man.  He lived in the large mock Tudor house with all the pine trees, opposite Queens Road bus stop.  About a year later the doctor came again, sterilised his penknife blade in the fire, put a criss-cross cut in my brother’s arm and rubbed some yellow paste in the cut to immunise him against smallpox.  I understood all this but thought this treatment a bit excessive.  Strangely my brother stood this well and hardly cried, but a couple of days later when having a hot bath my brother’s wound turned red and swelled up like a small half tomato.

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