Sister Bee dropped off a box of things from her house, of which consisted six volumes of “The Mother’s Encyclopedia”. The first copyright was 1933, followed by a reprint in 1942 a year in which I am sure many new things were updated on childrearing — being how we were so progressive in the ’40s.
Each volume covered a broad range of topics. My favorite is Volume Four: Measles to Prostitution — how about that for an opener at the dinner table when Timmy gets home from school.
The photos are hilarious. I have taken the liberty to update the captions from the original…
“Go on outside Suzie with your brother and play on the rickety, tetanus infested fence
while Mommy makes me a pitcher of margaritas.”
“Dear, do you think it’s a problem we dressed Jeff in a dress
for the family Christmas card?”
The original title of this photo read:
“The disturbed child may need help.” I think that’s a keeper.
I shall close with a dramatic reading from Volume One titled “Natural Childbirth.” This is exactly as it appears:
“As the doctor lifted up my baby and placed her on my stomach, a wonderful feeling of accomplishment came over me. Under the sheet my hands moved forward to touch her, and it gave me such a thrill to realize that this little girl, with the umbilical cord still attached to her, was really part of me. I had just been through a normally comfortable delivery following the principles of natural childbirth. And it had worked! Just as I had been told it would. Every stage of my labor was clear in my mind, and not for an instant had I wanted to avoid the experience through the blackout of drugs or anesthesia. I felt well, not at all fatigued, and greatly refreshed.”