Today's lunchtime reading: Homemaking for Teen-Agers, book 1
It starts with the child care section, aimed at making you a better big brother or sister (although, let's face it, the book is 99% aimed at girls). It mentions babysitting occasionally. What I find fascinating about it is that the authors have decided to go for the shock method of teaching in the first section about safety for children, by giving semi-lurid accounts of accidents. For example (spoiler-protecting if you're easily squicked by injuries):
The power-driven wringer on an electric washing machine may fascinate the six-year-old girl who loves to wash her dolly's clothes, so one day she attempts to put her washing through the wringer. Her inexperience litte hand is caught and dragged through the wringer up to her shoulder!
A little boy, playing around the room while his mother ironed on an electric ironer set the roller in motion and let his fingers get caught under the hot presser. Though his mother was not many feet away, his arm was drawn into the ironer to the elbow before she could come to his rescue!
The class project is to search the local paper for accounts of accidents to children, and write it up into a chart that provides name, age, type of accident, date, and whether it was at home, in the street, or in a public place. Every week, there is supposed to be a discussion period about the accidents of the previous week, wherein everyone decides what could have been done to prevent the accident - precautions, supervision and/or training of the child.
This is also the age of strictly regimented feedings of a baby: 6AM, 10 AM, 2 PM, 6 PM, 10 PM, and 2 AM. God help you if you're off by more than 15 minutes!
Babies at this age do not need a great variety of playthings, but one noise-maker should be included in every collection. A big wooden spoon or a metal pan cover is very satisfactory for banging on the floor. An aluminum pan on which to do the banging gives great joy to many lively little folk.
I suspect a pair of earplugs for the mother would be quite welcome by this point.
Farther along into the next section of the book, which is about sewing, we come upon another word that has changed its meaning slightly in the past fifty years:
Sleazy materials do not hold up well after laundering and frequently pull out at the seams.
When you choose a color for an apron, think how it will look with the dress over which you will wear it.
I don't know about you
, but when I wear an apron I don't give a damn if it goes with my clothing or not, because I plan on taking it off before emerging from the house.* If anyone at home objects to my apron clashing with my clothing, they are free to LEAVE THE HOUSE.
* I really ought to get an apron, actually. I'm way too messy when I cook and have ruined more than one shirt with grease spots. The problem is remembering that I have one and remembering to put it on before I start cooking.