The Portugal Years – The Fifth Year: One Plus One Is More Than You Think

Bethy was almost two-and-a-half when Susie was born. She looked so big and grown up next to her baby sister. And, I had some expectations. One of my goals was to get her out of diapers before the baby arrived, and I really thought we had achieved it.

The problem crept up slowly, and eventually became a visible pattern. Every time that I sat down to nurse Susie, Bethy would prance in front of me and tell me she had to go to the bathroom, and she needed help. So, I put the hungry baby down and dutifully attended to my eldest daughter. Then I spent some time calming down my hungry infant.

Two weeks later, I realized that she was playing m,  and it was not a good thing for Susie or for me. So what’s a mother to do? Reluctantly, I reunited my daughter with her diapers so that Susie could eat in peace. It was only a couple of months later before Bethy shed the diapers for good.

 Bethy and the flower

Bethy continued to grow. She loved to look at things in the farm across the street. One day we were walking and she suddenly exclaimed, “Mommy, Mommy it’s salad. I questioned her because it sounded like she was saying there was salad, and when I looked sure enough, there was lettuce growing in one of the fields. On this particular day, she found some wild flowers in the field.

Susie on the bed

Susie grew and was a happy sprite as long as Mommy was nearby. She did refuse to eat baby food – it got to where she would gag on pureed food and threw it up if I insisted. The pediatrician examined her, and said she was perfectly healthy and was gaining weight properly and to just let her drink mother’s milk until she wanted to give it up.

Along about her 8th month, she was sitting on my lap in the kitchen and pointed to the bread and said “pão,” which is bread in Portuguese. A month later, she pointed to a ripe pear on the table and allowed as how she wouldn’t mind eating that.

By the time she was a year old, she decided to try some broccoli. But she continued to find comfort in mother’s milk for quite some time.

18 thoughts on “The Portugal Years – The Fifth Year: One Plus One Is More Than You Think

  1. What a sweet and endearing post. How uncomplicated life was then, huh, Susie? We actually didn’t think so, but in looking back, oh yes so true!!! These stories are just exactly what I need to read. Bless you for writing them. Love, Amy

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      1. There are days I long for that uncomplicated, Susie. Life has gotten TOO complicated. Example …. We went to buy a roll of tape and to our utter amazement, one entire aisle was nothing but tape. Say what? They now have tape for just about anything, and from what I have experienced, most of that tape is useless junk. Unreal.


  2. Well, I wasn’t much for babyfood myself, so I was told. And as you can tell, it has affected me mightily, as I am to this day severely emaciated.
    You can stop laughing now.

    And another excellent installment Susan. Someday I’d love to meet these ‘children’ whose childhood I’m so enjoying.


    1. Thank you for the comments, Kevin. I’m glad you enjoyed it. They are wonderful adults, Kevin. I’d love for you, Caleb and Charlotte to come visit.


  3. Sweet installment. It’s amazing how I feel like I’m right there, reading your writing! Precious photos.


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