By Eilene Lyon
The “From the Vault” series features an artifact or family photo from my collection to illustrate a tale from my distant past.
Did your parents keep a baby book for you? Are baby books still a “thing”? The inside cover of mine indicates it was a gift from my Aunt B in 1959—two years before I was born. I guess someone was hoping a girl would come along eventually! It’s possible she bought a boy book and a girl book at the same time, when my older brother was still “in the oven.”
Though the book contains only 12 sheets (24 pages), it is fattened considerably by items stuffed inside: cards of congratulation (mostly names I do not recognize), and especially envelopes filled with my hair, clipped at various ages. Curiously, I have two “first haircut” envelopes dated two months apart.
Mom jotted down the ages at which I acquired the typical baby skills, and when my teeth grew in. I seemed prone to catching diseases (from older brother, Steve, mostly) around my birthday: measles at age one, chicken pox at age two. Yes, I recently got my shingles vaccine—dang, those shots hurt! Better than getting shingles, though.
My favorite word at age one was still “Da da,” much to Mom’s chagrin. She seemed relieved to note a couple months later that I was using “Mama” more often.
“At age 19 mos says lots more words (Kipkie) kitty, Doggy, ‘Hello’, All froo, All gone, Thankyou, What is it, Ball, truck, drink, “Au revoir” oui oui, pretty, book”
I’d say that covers all the stuff that’s still most important to me!
Thanks to the baby book, I know that a “red letter day” in my life was February 21, 1963, when I took my first steps. My first plane ride (across the Atlantic to France) occurred at 6 months. In 1964, I made my first cross-continent (U.S.) trip by car.
At age 15 months I enjoyed dancing to records, going around in circles and getting dizzy. At 14 months I got into some black shoe polish and made a huge mess. A few months later, it was diesel oil in the garage. Mom says I loved to dress up, but sure did get “so dirty.”
Some things never change.