Let your daughter have first of all the book of Psalms for holiness of heart, and be instructed in the Proverbs of Solomon for her godly life. St. Jerome
Liddy was the sort of baby other mothers would kill for. We brought her home from the hospital & she promptly slept through the night; twelve hours straight; from 7pm to 7 am. I'd never had it so good with a new born.
Liddy never cried. When she was hungry she let out one whimper then waited patiently till I could get to her. She was happy to sleep in her own space, fed efficiently, disliked the sling but was happy to be lugged around on a hip. Every which way she was a very easy child.
We were expecting things to change somewhat round about the time she turned two. After all we'd done the *terrible twos* three times but Liddy turned two & continued to be her sweet, serene self. I was starting to worry that the child wasn't quite right.
I had three rough & tumble boys ~ & then I had Liddy. Naturally the boys adored her, spoilt her, treated her like the Queen Bee she so obviously thought she was. She used to march round the place laying down the law to everyone till her father was moved to suggest someone should swat her behind ~ only it wasn't going to be him!
Then one day it happened. Someone actually thwarted her. Liddy was flabbergasted. No was a word she rarely heard. She thought about it for a moment while we waited curiously then she got down on all fours & began feeling the floor. A little crowd of us gathered perplexed as to what Lid thought she was doing. Our floors are uncarpeted hardwood. After patting it tentatively Liddy very gently & carefully lay her head down, got comfortable & began to bellow. Having watched this performance in stunned silence it took us a moment to realise that this was Liddy's version of a tantrum. We began to snigger & within moments Dearest & I were gasping for breath while the tears streamed from our eyes! Oh my! Liddy glanced up from under perfectly dry lashes, saw us howling with laughter & marched off in disgust. As parents we were perfectly useless. There was obviously no point in wasting a perfectly good tantrum on us!
Now Lid doesn't give up easily & she learnt early the maxim you catch more flies with honey than vinegar so she stewed on her failure for some days but she finally found a solution & I caught her telling someone with perfect seriousness, "But I might cry!" Obviously there was no greater threat this child could offer the world. Exasperated I told her that in that case she would just have to cry!
Liddy found pre~school difficult. It was very competitive & she was bored . After all she'd been doing pre~school with her brothers for years. I pulled her out, a quieter, more anxious child whose confidence had been badly shaken by the whole school scene, & we continued as a twosome at home: coffee & cake with the girls, baking & gardening & lots of cuddling up together reading. I know we did all these things ~ a long string of days that have blurred together in memory ~but one day stands out from all the others.
All my life I have kept cats but since moving to the island we hadn't had one. Dearest just kept saying no. I hankered after a cat so when neighbours found a stray kitten on their waterfront that they didn't want my name got bandied around. I went to look but made no promises, Dearest had to agree, but I had Lid with me & that poor cat! Part Siamese, cream with ginger points & the bluest of blue eyes he was ragged, filthy & black with fleas. Liddy promptly fell in love. Liddy who never begged begged to keep him. At that point I was simply delighted to see the sparkle in her eyes, hear the assurance in her voice.
I let Liddy carry the poor thing home, cradling him oh so very carefully. She helped me bath him so he wasn't so flea ridden, & dry him with a soft towel & when her brothers came round the bend in the road she rushed to greet them with this most exciting of news. It was bedlam but that cat coped admirably. He always did. He was just forever grateful that he had found a home where he was loved.
Liddy loved that cat. As she had been with me the day we brought him home she was with me the day he died. We hadn't realised how sick he was. It was Liddy who wrapped him warmly & carried him to the vet but when we got the news of how sick he was she refused to come in with me. " I might cry..." Yes indeed. She wasn't the only one.