Monday, February 27, 2012

A PARENTAL JOLT; part 2 of 2; by Lousie Price Bell; 1935

As lunch time approached, I began to be filled with misgivings, though I am sure my outward appearance was calm when Lola came to the table and again found nothing at her place but a bowl of apple sauce! She looked at it seriously as she adjusted her napkin while her parents busily conversed, and then just as seriously removed her napkin, and slid down from her chair without a word other than the conventional--"Excuse me, Muvver."

"She certainly has a mind of her own!" I sighed when Lola was safely out of hearing, to which my husband replied by reminding me that until now we had never seen any sign of stubbornness or self-will. Which shows that parents are most apt to receive a parental jolt when they least expect it!

We knew Lola was hungry, of course, but we also knew that going without food much longer than she had gone would do her no harm--not half as much as forming a "finicky" taste which would be difficult to overcome and inconvenient and embarrassing later in life. So we were not going to worry about the lack of food, and my husband confidently assured me that Lola would soon realize that she would get nothing to eat until she had eaten the apple sauce...And I prayed that he was right!

At supper time, Lola did exactly as she had done at lunch--slid down from her chair with a low--"Excuse me, Muvver." She had evidently made up her mind to be dignified in her combat, anyway. And that didn't help to ease the minds of her parents very much.

When I kissed my puzzling daughter good-night, it seemed to me that her chubby rosy little face seemed already more thin and pale, and I must admit that my heart ached,--but thanks to my stable-minded husband, I did not weaken. Common sense returned with the morning sunshine, and though I wished there were no apple sauce in the world, Lola again faced a breakfast of that very food. But---after playing with her spoon for a minute, she plunged it into the center of the apple sauce and ate, not stopping until the dish was empty. At that point, restraining with difficulty a sigh of relief, I removed the empty bowl and brought Lola a dish of steaming cereal, a cup of milk, and a plate of buttered toast,--all of which she ate with great enjoyment. Nothing was said about the apple sauce just then.

That night as I was leaving the nursery, Lola called--"Muvver," and I turned to see what she wanted.

"I like apple sauce now," she smiled.

"I like it, too," I replied. "Perhaps we can have some more some day"...And that was all.

I did not serve apple sauce, however, for several days, and when I did, Lola ate it with the same enjoyment she had always shown for all the food given her. Our battle was won, and never since that day has she displayed the slightest objection to any food that has been placed before her. We have never mentioned the episode to Lola for we realize that in a subtle way, she understood the situation, and that any conversation concerning it might undo much that had been done,--as is true in so many phases of child management.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A PARENTAL JOLT; part 1 of 2; by Louise Price Bell; 1935

At the age of three and a half, Lola was exactly the right height and weight for her age, went to bed gracefully at the proper time, and ate without question all of the food placed before her.

No wonder, then, that we felt that our training--according to the best authorities--was bearing fruit! But parents who feel smug, as we did, should beware, for from our own experience we know that any any time they may receive their first parental jolt,--and if prepared for it, their disillusionments will be less severe. Here's the story of our first "jolt."

Lola ate her lunch the same as usual one day,--and was happy and smiling. When she finished her vegetables, I removed her plate and placed her "bunny-bowl" before her filled with apple sauce,--just as I had done dozens of times before. But. . .instead of starting to eat as was her custom, Lola said that "she didn't care for any dessert--thank you." Since this was her first rejection of any food, I was surprised but only said: "I will put it in the refrigerator until supper time, Lola. You probably ate too much lunch."

At supper, Lola ate her poached egg and toast, drank her milk, and then, after removing the empty plate and cup, I placed the bowl of apple sauce before her again, smiling as I said--"Now you may have your apple sauce, dear."

"I don't want my apple sauce!" Lola replied emphatically.

 I picked up her spoon, talked of something else, and started to feed her casually, when to my surprise, our little daughter stiffened, kicked her feet, and fairly screamed--"I don't want any apple sauce!"

I looked at her daddy,--and her daddy looked at me. Where was our well trained little girl,--she was anything but well trained now!

Without any conversation, I excused Lola from the table and then my husband and I discussed the situation. Lola was in perfect health; the apple sauce was freshly made, delicious, and attractively served. If Lola didn't eat this food there would be other foods which would be refused, we felt sure, and we agreed that we should do all in our power to keep our child from being a "finicky eater."

So at breakfast Lola was surprised to find only a bowl of apple sauce instead of her cereal.

"Where's my cereal?" she asked, looking up at me.

I smiled. "In the kitchen, dear. You may have it when you finish your apple sauce."

"I don't want my apple sauce!" Lola replied, showing signs of rebellion similar to those of the night before; while her daddy and I were seemingly engrossed in our breakfast. Lola looked first at one,--then at the other, and then, getting no response from either of us,--pushed the bowl of apple sauce away from her with such force that some of it spilled on the table. I removed her napkin, put her down from the table, and then said quietly,--"Go in the nursery and play, Lola,--I guess you are not very hungry this morning."

Monday, February 13, 2012

JOYS OF A HOUSEKEEPER'S HEART; by "Happy" from Minnesota; 1935

Dear Editor:

I'm so happy tonight that I just had to share my happiness with others, and I thought the best way would be through a letter to other women who are readers of The Farmer's Wife.

The reason is that we will move soon into a new house where we will have new linoleum for the kitchen, a new range and rocker and a beautiful lamp. And soon we are to have a radio--the only one we've ever owned.

I think any housekeeper would be happy who is to have all this at once. Even the commonplace task of scrubbing will take on glamour through the brightness of the linoleum. There will be such satisfaction in putting away shining dishes in the built-in cupboard, and the lamp will add so much enjoyment to our long evenings.

But best of all I have a loving husband and two beautiful babies to share it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

ENJOYING THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOR; by Mrs. F. K., Indiana; 1931

Dear Editor:

I was married to a farm work hand thirty-one years ago. We had a strong desire for our own farm that we might get the results of our labors. We bought a farm of 65 acres, very poor, because it had been rented to Tom, Dick, and Harry until it wouldn't rent any longer and stood deserted.

The buildings were a dilapidated log henhouse and a two room dwelling house, almost as dilapidated as the henhouse. No barn nor sign of building that could be used as a barn. Hubby made a straw shed which housed our two cows, calf, and feed till spring. Then he bought a team and farm implements and another heifer to freshen.

In debt? I'll say we were, as only a first payment was made on the farm, the rest being mortgaged for all it was worth. I put my shoulder to the wheel, we both worked hard, and economized to the last degree of decency. Our children came, five boys in succession, the sixth baby boy living only five hours. Then, after six years, God answered our prayers and gave us a daughter.

Many times Hubby was so discouraged he thought of quitting the farm and trying a day-labor job, but I loved the farm and the stock that I had helped to care for. Oh, yes, I bottled pigs and lambs and slopped calves and hogs. So I always tried to console Hubby even though I fought back tears of discouragement to do it.

We stayed by the farm through thick and thin, profited by our losses and tried to correct our mistakes. Today I am a grandmother, and Hubby and I are still on the farm we started on thirty-one years ago.

We worked hard to get a start but that is past, and now we are enjoying the fruits of our labor. Hubby knows if the crops fail, he can pay the taxes from the interest on his Government bonds.