YOU KIDS JUST WAIT Till I Get Over Being Pregnant... by Joan Bramsch, is the rollicking mis-adventures of a young woman and her husband - two "Only" children, who had five babies in five years and lived to tell the story!
"We wanted a large family, and that's exactly what we got!"
Her writing style is very personal and down to earth while, at the
same time, informative - the pair practiced Positive Parenting
skills as well as any couple of mere mortals could, though sometimes
it didn't seem quite enough. But through it all, God joined forces
with the hard-working pair, enlightening, encouraging and sometimes,
cajoling their efforts all along the way.
Joan Bramsch writes the truth, the poignant truth, the hilarious
truth about her effort to keep the upper hand while living inside
her very own nursery and preschool.
"For two years I wore the key to the bathroom door around my neck."
Need more proof?
Picture this: It's late afternoon. The kiddies are up and running after a lovely afternoon nap. They are rested. You, on the other hand, are not, after a long afternoon climbing Mt. Laundry, then
standing over a hot ironing board.
Finally you know that if you don't sit down you're going to
fall down, so you sit, put your feet up, and sigh in blessed relief,
even though the babe growing in that "special room beneath your
heart" is using your ribs for monkey bars. It is then when all the
up and running kiddies dash to the other end of the house and
You cannot get up. You can't even sit upright. So you
inhale as deeply as your ten-month watermelon will allow, whisper
"Dear Lord, forgive me," then bellow...
"You kids just wail till I get over being pregnant!"
Parents, Grandparents and all People who love children will love
Joan Bramsch's tender, entertaining tale of Parenthood.
Made in Heaven
Most people say good marriages begin in Heaven. Mine began in Minnesota when I was twelve years old and my husband-to-be Bill was only seventeen. One Spring my family moved from St. Louis, Missouri after buying a resort nestled on Mallard Bay in God's Country.
That first summer Bill came with his Aunt Sue, Uncle Jim and his two cousins, Jimmy and Sue, always and until this day known as The Baby. Goes to show you how nicknames can stick for life. So be careful what you call your kid. Scooter. Bootsy. Jelly-Belly. Caboose!
It was a sad time for Bill because his mother had recently passed away. There had been no warning. After only two days she died and Bill's quiet grief seemed impenetrable. He just wanted to be left alone.
But because I was only a youngster I had a hard time understanding his melancholy. I'd never lost anyone close and, although I felt his pain, I couldn't help thinking what he really needed was to play and have some fun. There is such a great gap in maturity between twelve and seventeen years. Needless to say, I decided to cheer him up whether he liked it or not.
That week we had a full camp, twenty-one kids in all. All sorts of mischief evolved. We played tricks on one another, swam, capsized boats and hid under them and, at night, played Release. I guess you could call Release an old-fashioned version of Tag. But it was different in that you hid and never came out until someone found you -- released you. You couldn't move if ten-thousand mosquitoes chewed holes in your hide. Or a big black bear tried to eat you. No way would you come out; that is, unless you could make it back to home base, undetected, and slam into the Home base tree, screaming, "Free, free, free!"
During those warm summer days we practically lived in our swim suits so we could dip in and out of the lake at a moment's notice. I wore my brunette curly hair in two long braids, thick as a man's thumb. In those days this tomboy didn't think much about smelling sweet and clean. I had no time for all that icky girl stuff. Not yet.
At any rate, with all that dipping into and out of the water my hair repeatedly got soaked, then before it could dry I'd dive in again. It never occurred to me to open my braids to properly dry my hair so I wouldn't smell like a dead fish. The drip-dry routine usually lasted, at most, three days when I'd make the mistake of walking too close past my mother, who'd get one whiff of my swamp scum hair and order me to hit the shower. Seemed such a waste of time and shampoo because I'd be back in the lake within moments.
Besides I had more important things to do. Like making Bill laugh. I did silly tricks. Told corny jokes, which were the only kind I knew. But I was the only one laughing. I made dumb faces. And weird sounds. I tried everything, but nothing shook him loose. I simply could get no response from that boy. And I couldn't stand it. No one refused to laugh at me when I decided to be funny. Finally I vowed to get some reaction, or die trying.
One afternoon Bill sat alone at the end of the long wooden dock, gazing at the sky, lost in his very sad thoughts. How in the world was I going to help him? I wondered. A devious idea suddenly popped into my head. Silently I whispered a little prayer that my plan would work as I jogged in place at the top of the hill, building up courage and steam. Then I sprinted down the grassy slope, pounded onto the dock and didn't stop until I'd collided with Bill -- who would someday be the father of my children -- and knocked him flying into the lake. He surfaced, gasping for air and from the shock of the cold water, while I and nineteen other kids pointed and jumped up and down and rolled on the ground, laughing hysterically.
But then I watched the cold water begin to boil 'round his rigid form while his dark brown eyes grew black with rage, and I stopped laughing in mid-chuckle. He reminded me of great King Neptune rising from the deep. All he needed was his trident. He already dripped seaweed. Well, lake weed then.
If looks could kill I surely should have been dead. Bill's narrowed glare cut through me like fine-honed steel. That look, I would later learn, had a name -- the Bramsch Look -- and you don't ever want to see it.
Some people rant and rave when they're at the breaking point. But not my Bill. He just glares. I truly feared for my life and backed away from the edge of the dock. But the feeling suddenly evaporated because my misguided Good Samaritan mission finally broke the ice and, as Bill started laughing I whispered another prayer, this time in thanksgiving. Soon all twenty-one of us had a water fight to end all water fights. As for Bill and me, it was the start of a beautiful friendship that has lasted more or less solidly for many decades.
He would be embarrassed to hear this said, but I'm going to tell you anyway. He swears when he first met me, he thought someday I'd make someone a good wife. Something about being determined and single-minded, I think. There I was, only twelve years old. Still a virtual child! And yet he continues to hold dear, a picture of me with my long smelly braids, wearing faded blue jeans rolled to the knees, run-over penny loafers without the pennies (I spent them on bubble gum), and a grubby yellow T-shirt with iron-on Mickey Mouse decals from Pep cereal plastered all over the front, together with fish scales and worm juice. Little did he know he would someday be the man who got me for his very own good wife.
"Honey, it's an experience living with you," he has said. "I can't leave you now."
When I give him a quizzical look, then ask if he's planning an escape anytime soon, he clarifies.
"No, honey, I can't leave you because I have to see how this whole thing turns out."
And there you have the secret of my long happy marriage. Keep 'em guessing!
Receiving a whole lot of Blessings has helped,too!
You Kids Just Wait Till I Get Over Being Pregnant
- by Joan Bramsch
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