1942 Just Me - John
So many things happened at this house. I found I was pregnant again and when I told Ted he said “Never mind. It's our love blooming”.
John was growing like a weed and picked up things so quickly. He knew I went into a large airing cupboard for clean sheets and climbed on a stool he had found and turned the key locking me in. I started to
panic imagining what could happen without me. But there was my ever steady Bryan and hearing me calling came and let me out. Phew! A nasty moment.
A few days later my naughty John stood at the top of the stairs with a grin on his little face going to step down. I grabbed at him but missed, and down he went four steps to the small landing where the stairs bent. About the same time a neighbour called to see me, (in those days front doors were left open to air the house), and to my horror John, sobbing and crying said “Mummy pushed me down the stairs”.
I collected him up and cuddled him but although he had fallen those four steps he wasn't even bruised. Just scared. I didn't know if she actually saw what happened but she was quite cool when I denied it but about six months later she and her husband asked if they could adopt John. I was quite shocked and gave a resounding “No!” Lose my dear little John. The idea!
From a new baby, John was a mischief. His little eyes would twinkle as I fed him. All my children were bottle fed. I was a failed cow. Just no milk. Then came the day I went to the greengrocer shop. The shop was on a corner with a cul de sac on one side. Pushing the pram into the cul de sac I walked around to the door. A loud boom and rush of air and I was flying through the air. Straight through the shop landing on a rack used for display. My one thought was John and in terror of what I would find stumbled out to my baby. The bomb blast had not touched him. The curve of the shop protected him. I left for home and a good cup of tea. Only then did I realise that I had been blown up by a bomb blast again. Well I was lucky. People were killed that day.
A few weeks later, shopping once more, as I passed an open shop door a large dog, nearly as big as an Alsatian jumped across the pram. It landed in the middle of the pram on top of John. The dog was snarling and growling and John was screaming and crying. I didn't stop to think, just grabbed the dog by the scruff of the neck and tail and threw it as far as I could. How did I ever get the strength. The dog was trying to get to its owner inside the shop. John could not be calmed down so I went home as quickly as I could. Wrapping him up in a warm blanket I laid him on the settee while I called the doctor. The fact that by now John was blue in the face and his eyes seemed blank frightened me. The doctor came quickly and after giving an injection said he was afraid of meningitis and there must be absolute quiet and no disturbing for nappy change or anything. He returned in the afternoon and John had recovered slightly but it was ten days before he was back to normal. Although we had a dog he would never play with it and to this day will not have a dog near him.
Again as a toddler, still sleeping in his cot which fitted nicely into the corner of the room, he blotted his copy book. Going in to wake him I found him standing up surrounded by flakes of paper. Wallpaper no less. He had busily stripped the two walls beside him for as far as he could reach. At first Dad was furious but then said “So we have children. These things happen”. He was a good man.