March 4 1953

Wed. 4th March

Dearest Mummy,

Last weekend was the weekend I had intended to write you a long letter- instead I got nothing done & ended up feeling exhausted! The reason being Lea & Darryl coming to stay! We had heard from Cec’s mother around Christmas that Wendell had gone to Europe & Lea & Darryl were staying with his people in Cornwall (between here & Montreal). Then at Christmas we had just a short note from Lea with a book for Lindy, so we knew very little until last month we got another note from Lea saying she might come up with Darryl on the weekend of the 28th. We rang up the previous Sunday & in the meanwhile Lea had heard from her mother of little Charlie’s troubles & Darryl had had ‘flu so she had told them at the hospital that she wouldn’t take the time off, but when we told her it would be o.k. she said that she would see about it & let us know.

In the meanwhile Margie had been offering to baby sit for us & give us a chance to go to a film or something as of course we haven’t been out at all for so long, so before it got too close to her “date” we arranged for her to come on Friday [which was the 27th Feb.] & we were going to see a British film “Breaking the Sound Barrier”. I was quite excited about it as I hadn’t seen a film since about October I think- and then! We had just finished dinner & in walked Lea & Darryl! I could literally have howled & wept! Apart from not letting us know she’d said the 28th in the first place & as well as being so disappointed I had an absolutely bare cupboard! I was going to do a big shopping on Sat. & had only about four eggs & no bacon even, let alone anything else. Cec went down to the corner store & got bacon & I phoned Margie to cancel the arrangements & of course we got organized gradually, but it was a shock to my system! We opened out the day bed (which we bought when we bought the desk etc. after you left & I re-covered) in “your” little room, which I had fortunately cleaned & tidied last week (it has been a junk room since we fixed up Dan’s) & they slept there. I felt very sorry for Lea – she is in a very bad state of nerves with continual headaches etc. & is working full-time at the Hospital. Wendell is in Italy, leaving her with debts to pay off & money to send to him, while she lives with his people. Since he left, his father has had a stroke & although not paralyzed has trouble with words etc. so has to retire with a v. small pension. Apparently the mother is a possessive type- Wendell can do no wrong, business – & is the same with Darryl, & Lea longs to go home to Sask. but she opposes it- wasting money which sh’ld go to Wendell! Altogether it is a very miserable state of affairs & poor Lea is all tensed up – she nags at Darryl all the time & as he doesn’t go to bed till 10 or after they were long days & Cec & I were fair wore out. I am very sorry for the little boy, but he is dreadful- is kept shut in one small room all the time apparently, so was into everything here & is so used to being nagged at took absolutely no notice of whatever his Mother said. He took every toy Lindy touched away from her & made no attempt to play with her. Now Lindy has adopted the possessive attitude herself & everything is “Dindy’s”! Dindy’s bow-wow – Dindy’s car – Dindy’s bed etc.! By the way, she is trained. She has been wearing little panties for over a week now & tells me when she wants to “wee-wee on the potty”! Her conversation is full of it- embarrassing at times! Cec puts her on the potty when he goes to bed & she is dry through the night too. I did just as Dr. Spock says on p. 137 (192)- he does not say you sh’d start at 7- 9 months, & I think this way was fine. Must stop xxx from Lindy & Charlie & lots of love from us all- Cyn.

Just a note about Lea, Cec’s second sister, and  her husband Wendell.  He was an ordained minister and so when he had a job, the family lived in the manse in the town wherever his charge was.  He had a very fine voice, and from what I can remember, he had a chance to get training in Italy which he had always wanted, so this explains why he has given up his job and is in Europe and why Lea and Darryl (who must have been just 3) had to move in with her in-laws. Lea, as a trained nurse, was able to get a position wherever they lived, but these circumstances were hardly ideal. 

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