Here is the doomed Rebecca by the Christmas tree.
Jaime at kindergarten graduation
My daughter, Jaime, is 31 years old today. She is the same age as I was when she was born. It was a high risk pregnancy but she was born, premature but healthy, at 4 lbs. 3 oz. She was the tiniest baby in the nursery and I felt completely inadequate to care for her. I had already gone home and was coming back to the hospital each day to feed her but she would not open her eyes except to crack one eyelid once in a while. One day when I went to put her into the bassinet she screamed in such a way that I thought a pin was pricking her even though she was wearing a disposable diaper. I looked at the nurse in panic and said, "What is WRONG with her?" The nurse said, "She doesn't want you to put her down." That is the first time she seemed to know I was there.
She came home and proceeded to sleep only two hours at a time. Her brother, Cory, who was nine, feared for her safety. It was two whole years before I got a good night's sleep. By that time she could catapault herself out of her crib and lie down on the floor in front of my bedroom door crying. She finally started sleeping all night after I got a major kidney infection and could NOT get out of bed.
Sleeping wasn't the only problem. She could change from a sweet, happy child to throwing the worst tantrums I ever saw. I never judge parents when their children have a fit in public. Spanking her had no effect when she was in that state. Finally, I read a magazine article that suggested isolating her since making her sit in time out on her own was completely hopeless. We installed a chain latch on her bedroom door so that she could see out but not get the door open. She would scream and thrash around and bite her own hand for a while and then she would say sweetly, "I froo now." One day, I was slow getting the door opened and she screamed, "I said I froo!!!!!" The grandparents were horrified at the chain latch, but it saved our sanity. Lucky she was cute.
I will tell one more story about Jaime and her doll, Emboly. I tried to correct her and say Emily, but Emboly it was. Jaime had cut the doll's hair and she was pretty ugly but Jaime loved her anyway. I could never figure out what happened to another doll Jaime got for Christmas. Her name was Rebecca, and she had red hair and came with her own little stroller. Rebecca disappeared right after Christmas. I looked everywhere but I never found her. Only a few years ago, I found out why. Jaime buried the new doll by the shed because she thought Emboly's feelings would be hurt. I guess if I went back to our old house, that doll would still be there. Weird!!!
These are only a few pictures from Jaime's early life. She has grown up to be a beautiful and capable woman. She is a great mom and a loving daughter with a wicked sense of humor and dozens of different hair styles. She can make bargain clothes look like a million bucks and she always has to have the last word no matter what. That is a problem since her son, Jonah, has the same idea. Neither one will back down. She cannot get over the bad habit of constantly losing her purse and her cell phone. She is convinced she can build or fix anything, and she does, ever since she helped her dad assemble a fertilizer spreader when she was five. She is one of a kind. I can't think of any daughter I would rather have. I love her very, very much. So, Happy Birthday, Jaime!