Monday, January 13, 2014

Learning about child raising, 1940s - From Mum's collections - ROGERS, SCOTT - 52 Ancestors

Diane, happy baby; photographer unknown, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 
One of a set of four similar poses. Private collection.

My mother took notes all her life on things she heard or read about, or on 'things to do', etc. Mostly during my life time, she seems to have used either some little black paper notebooks or steno pads. (As I've mentioned before, secret things like Christmas lists, were in shorthand.) I inherited a few of these. Most I think she disposed of after they weren't useful to her, but if there were blank pages she must have kept them for future use. In fact, I have used some of her old blank notebooks - that may confuse a descendant someday. 

This particular notebook was quite a find for me as you will see. It had been packed away for years, and I never got to discuss it with her. I've transcribed her writing and notes and include only a pertinent part of it here with some of my own references following.


From the very back of black notebook:


June 14/48

soaker wool 2 @ 49 .98
5 balls baby wool @ 33 1.65
pattern .35
kimona cloth
soaker wool .50
thread .08
dress material
pattern .56
nightie flannelette 5.05

Phone VON – dressing
Move trunk

From first page, same black notebook:



Began soakers 15 June
-finished 21 June 48
4 pr finished 19 Aug 48
Mother made 2 sweaters
Began 6 week lectures
by VON

Inside page (3):


7 a.m. Feeding
10 Bath
11 Feeding
3. pm. Feeding
6.30 Prepare for night
7. Feeding
11. Feeding
3 am. Feeding

8:30 – 12.00 – 5:30

Books Listed – various pages:

Growing Together Rhoda Bacmeister  [Growing Together, Rhoda Warner Bacmeister, 1947.]

The Happy Home Benedict & Franklin  [The Happy Home: A Guide to Family Living, Agnes Elizabeth Benedict, Adele Franklin, 1948.]

Nursery Years Dr. Susan Isaacs [Nursery Years, Dr. Susan Isaacs, 1929, see “Susan Isaacs, 1885-1948” by Juliet Mickelburgh in Pedagogical, 16th December, 2010, Early Years Foundation Stage Forum.]

Babies are Human Beings - Aldrich  [Babies Are Human Beings - An Interpretation of Growth,
C. Anderson Aldrich, (MD) and Mary M. Aldrich, 1943.]

Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child D. A. Thom  [Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child, Douglas Armour Thom, 1927.]

Home Care of the Infant & Child Dr Tisdale  [The Home Care of the Infant and Child, Frederick F. Tisdale, M.D., 1931.]

Wed. 12 3.45
Dr. Garner


Knitting things for me? Isn't that sweet! She always sewed - she was really good at it. I still have a yellow crib cover she made and embroidered for me. 

But knitting I don't remember her doing. I was doll crazy when I was young, and she did give me 'real' baby clothes, including knitted jackets and hats, to dress my babies in. And when my first was born she gave me more. (Once it was all real, most of them I thought far too fancy for a baby! Different times...)

VON - that's the Victorian Order of Nurses - still active and helping people in Canada.  At the time I was born they offered classes for expectant mothers. Mum's notes in the rest of the notebook are from the classes she attended. 

Scheduling babies - Mum said I was a 'good' baby - meaning that I must have read the books and knew what the day's schedule should be. (Neither my brother nor my own kids read those same books.)

The Books - Yes, I've looked up some of these. Some varied opinions there, and time periods, but far more 'modern' in some ways than you might think. All 'doctor knows best' though. If Mum had her own copies of these books, she didn't keep them long. I do have a few that relate - when I had my first, she gave me her old 'Doctor Spock'.

Dr. Garner - Doctor Mary Kay Garner (1913-2005). She was my Mum's doctor when I was born and our family doctor when I was small. Her obituary ( BC Medical Journal, Vol. 48, No. 7, September 2006, page 346, Obituaries.) mentions her as "one of the groundbreaking female GP/obstetricians in Vancouver". (This must be an appointment day and time.)

1 comment:

Loretta said...

That's so neat, Diane! And I love the picture of you. My paternal Grandma had lots of notebooks with prices, etc written in them, and I inherited them! They are quite fascinating.