Thursday, 2 April 2009


I was admitted to the Hanley Road Maternity hospital at 10pm on March 9th. Lynne was born at 11.20 the following morning, March 10th 1960, weighing in at 6lb 11oz.
As I hadn’t expected her to be born until March 20th, I could be excused for deciding to have a home perm on that fateful Wednesday evening. At twenty-eight, with my first pregnancy, I wanted to look glamorous during my ten day stay in hospital.
Ruby had kindly offered to give me a perm, and we were at the stage where the curlers were all firmly in place, ready to dry naturally on my head overnight. It was at this point in the proceedings that I decided to go to the toilet, for the umpteenth time (one of the side effects of having a baby sitting on your bladder for nine month). My waters broke, a sure sign from the baby that it was eager to make its appearance into the world, and there was I with wet hair rolled up in tight, little packages of tissue paper and perm curlers. Dozens of the damned things!
Ruby quickly loosened and removed them and we towel dried my hair (we didn’t own a hair drier), until I looked fairly presentable. The ambulance could then be called; using the telephone we had installed for this very purpose.
I won’t dwell on the boring and yucky bits, only to say that Arthur stayed with me throughout the birth. He has often remarked since that, in his opinion, it was an experience not to be repeated. Since he wasn’t allowed to be at the next birthing, he thankfully didn’t have to make the choice.
We called our daughter Lynne Lea: Lynne for no other reason than we liked the name, and Lea because we decided to start our own ’family name’ from the first two letters of my name and the first of Arthur’s.
Ten days later I was back at home. I kept gazing in wonderment at Lynne, realizing that her very life and safety depended on me and the way that I cared for her. It was an alarming thought to have this new life resting in my hands, and to know that all my maternal feelings and knowledge of what was good or bad for this tiny creature would have to be put into practice with only instinct to guide me.
As Lynne grew into a chubby little toddler, each day became a joy to us. Arthur adored her and spent all his spare time with her. He loved getting her ready for bed and tucking her up. Being read to was one of Lynne’s favourite things and something that we both enjoyed as much as she did. Her eyes would sparkle, and she would jog up and down with excitement as we pointed out the pictures in her favourite ‘Cat in The Hat’ book.
The two things that members of the family mostly remember about Lynne’s early days were her infectious belly laugh that had everyone joining in, and the way that she would wave her arm in the air and pontificate, in a non stop babble of nonsensical words. She could keep this up for ten minutes, stop, thump the tray of her highchair and start all over again. We felt certain that she’d turn out to be a politician. Her chuckling, robust laughter once had a great section of the Victoria Palace Theatre audience laughing at her, instead of the cast of the Black and White Minstrel Show, and she was only three years old!


weechuff said...

How well I remember that belly laugh. It was so infectious! To this day, Lynne still has the cheekiest of faces, and the lovely dimples in her cheeks:0)

granny grimble said...

She still laughs all the time and I think she's very beautiful, but then I would :0)

Croom said...

I think that every one who meets Lynne must think her beautiful inside as well as out. I too can remember with a smile the belly laughs and beautiful dimples. Where does she get them from?

granny grimble said...

Believe it or not, I have dimples though not as deep as Lynne's. You never see mine because of the layer of fat over them!

Babs (Beetle) said...

I so remember that laugh! I used to come and stay weekends with you when Lynne was a toddler and remember her saying goodnight in several different languages :O)

Jay said...

I feel left out! I don't remember that laugh and I've never seen her dimples!


Love the story though. And in the picture at the bottom, she looks gorgeous. :)

weechuff said...

You should post a picture of how she looks now when she is laughing, or put her blog link on here. There is a lovely photo of her on that! And I know she won't mind:0)

granny grimble said...

Here's is the link to my 'little girl all grown up' but still full of dimples and her mischievous smile
as requested

Swubird said...


That's a great looking set of young daughters. Congratulations.

When I first started to read this post I was shocked. You see, when you said that Lynne weighed 6lb 11 oz, I read it as 61pounds! I thought, Oh my gosh, this is going to be a very interesting post. But, then, of course, after I looked more carefully I felt a little dumb.

Ten days in the hospital. Isn't it amazing how much time used to be granted to delivery of a baby? Now days your in and out - just like the burger chain we have over here (In and Out Burger).

I like the way to combined names to come up with something original. We did a similar thing to one of our daughters. It allows the kids to be set a part just a little as they grow up.

A big, infectious laugh. How charming. Everybody loves a baby with a cute laugh.

Happy trails.

granny grimble said...

Oh Swubird 61 pounds! That bought tears to my eyes! My twin boys went over 7 pounds each (not identical) Carrying nearly fifteen pounds and all the rest was bad enough!! The little girl sitting down is my daughter. The other one is David my nephew. You are qite right, these days it's an in and out maternity job. Even when I had twins three years later, I was home on the fourth day! How many offspring do you have Swubird?

granny grimble said...

So Sorry babs,I somehow didn't post my reply to you.
Yes we taught her to say goodnight in French and Italian. The funniest thing was teaching her to say 'That's life' in French. Each time we said "C' est la vie" to her she would reply "la vie". She always thought that C' est was "say" and that we were telling her to say 'la vie' She was about three years old and doesn't remember it now:0)

granny grimble said...

I wish we'd kept a recording of her babble and her laughter. It really lit the room up.

Swubird said...


I raised four kids all total. One doesn't talk to me, one is indifferent, one lives three-thousand miles away and one thinks I'm the most wonderful dad in the world. You can better odds than that at Las Vegas!

Oh well..Happy trails.