Frieda my mom is going to be sharing about some of her experiences with her first child: The Sara Stories. I grew up hearing these stories about my sister. I am so glad that Mom is writing these down for us to remember and share with our children. We will do a weekly segment for a few weeks. I know you will enjoy them.
As far as I can remember, I had never heard the term “hyperactive child” until we were the proud parents of one. At least, that was the official diagnosis when Sara was about eight years old. She was born five days after we arrived in Costa Rica as new missionaries in 1963. That wasn’t quite how we had planned things, but she came a week or so early, and there were unexpected delays on our trip down. We never dreamed how much this tiny person, weighing six pounds and four ounces would change our lives. When we left the hospital, I got in the car with Sara, and Hal slammed the door. The baby literally almost jumped out of my arms. (If anybody used car seats for babies back then, we hadn’t heard about it. We were happy that our new 1961 Carryall, equivalent to a Suburban these days, had seat belts, a fairly new safety feature which certainly was not required.)
Writing from the vantage point of a grandmother with four children and twelve grandchildren, I now find the young mother I’m writing about pretty amusing, so feel free to laugh at me or with me.
Arriving from the hospital at the house we had rented, I set out to change my new baby’s diaper on the special padded table Hal had hastened to build for that purpose. Maybe something startled her, for she gave a mighty kick and almost flew off the table. That was the last time I tried to use the special changing table.
When she was a few weeks old, I took her to church. She threw up, something not unusual for a little baby, except that she didn’t throw up on herself or on me or even on anyone on the bench close to us. The curdled milk landed in the aisle at the other end of the pew. When we took her to the doctor, he explained that this was called “projectile vomiting” and probably was caused by her being too excited in the unfamiliar environment with so many strange people.
We went to Managua to visit my parents for Christmas when Sara was three months old. The room we stayed in had a home-made crib with a lid, screened in all the way around to protect from mosquitoes. She was asleep when I put her in the crib, and I never thought she wouldn’t be perfectly safe there. She always slept on her stomach (I didn’t know that was supposed to be dangerous) and would pull her knees up under her and then kick and scoot forward. When I turned my back, she pushed so hard against the screen that she ripped it out. She shot out head first! Fortunately there was a suitcase on the floor at the end of the crib which she slid across before hitting the floor. She wasn’t even fazed, but she certainly scared me!