July 16, 1961 – child-rearing differences (Anita)

July 16, 1961

Dear Naomi,

This is an extra letter thrown in because I want to ask a favor. By now you should have received one long duplicated letter through Sheila and another will reach you shortly, I hope. I have had her send these to all the family plus a few friends, but don’t like to impose on her to do more. Yet there are so many people who must be wondering about us and it will be a long time before I get around to writing individual letters to all of them. I know that you’re in touch with many who are your friends, but I’m thinking of one person in particular – Edna Creamer – who would like to have some news of us. Perhaps you could give her a ring sometime and if she wants news of us, offer to send her your copy of my long letters. She lives at 425 N. Sterling Road, Elkins Park, and has a Melrose phone number. Husband’s name is Fred. You met her at the party, I’m sure. She was wearing a bright green knit dress.

Jon and I were finally diagnosed as having bacillary dysentary and we’re pretty much over it although it certainly sapped our strength for quite a while. Ruthie continues to remain uninfected – probably because she suns most of the hotel cooking and makes me feed her from commissary stock, and, also, she’s always been on the constipated side. Never thought I’d be grateful for something like that.

I am more than fed up with these temporary quarters but there’s not a thing I can do about it, and I don’t even dare complain because I get only angry glares from Gene. We’ve now got two possibilities, but I doubt that either one will materialize before a month. It’s a good thing I really wanted to come to India and was supplied with plenty of enthusiasm for this assignment, for otherwise I’d have gotten on a plane for home long ago.

Ruth and Jon will start school on August 5 and this should make a big difference for them. They need playmates so much and while there are five other children in this place, they’re the kind who have always lived abroad and are used to sitting quietly in one place under the watchful gaze of a nurse. Mine are hardly that type, as you know, and they must tear around – regardless of the heat – and they would prefer to tear around in the presence of other equally active kids. The school I’m sending them to will have plenty of nice kids and they will spend their mornings constructively occupied.

As soon as we are settled, I’ll have the nurse around only when necessary – in other words, when I’m out. This culture was made for spoiling children and, as wonderful as Cecelia is, they don’t need her waiting on them hand and foot, for I’ll only come home with problems that can’t be solved too easily.

Anita

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