I guess it was in early 1952 that Jerry and I were told the surprising news that Mother was pregnant and we would have a baby brother or sister by the end of the summer, with no vacation trip this summer! 🙂 We later learned that Mom and Dad were surprised too and that this was an unexpected or unplanned pregnancy, which was a lot more common back then!
I don’t remember everything, but do know that Jerry and I were excited about having another sibling and about the planning for a baby that began soon and all of Mom & Dad’s friends and relative congratulating them, etc. Most of the baby gifts came right before she was born or afterwards. I honestly don’t remember if they could tell in advance if it would be a girl or boy back then. I’m kind of thinking no.
I assume that is when they began planning on the addition to the house, the new bedroom that became what Jerry and I moved into with our older, smaller bedroom becoming Bonnie’s or “the baby’s room.” But if I remember right, the new bedroom was not completed until after Bonnie was born, if even started before then. So initially Bonnie’s crib and/or baby bed was in Mom and Dad’s bedroom, the front bedroom of 723 Liberty Street. Most parents would have taken the new bedroom and put us boys in their old bedroom, but they gave it to Jerry & I. Pix of the new bedroom being built and completed are on the Places & Buildings Page.
Here’s a slideshow of those early pix of the baby girl Bonnie Lou:
Bonnie’s first name was in honor of Mom’s Aunt Bonnie, our Great Aunt Bonnie, one of Mom’s mother’s sisters, originally Bonnie Hunt, daughter of Charles Hunt after whom I was named. Bonnie Edna Hunt married George Morris and they had two children. Their daughter Lucille was one of Mom’s favorite cousins and friends. Lucille became famous and I will tell about her on the Extended Family or Relatives pages and/or in Family History pages.
Lou as her middle name, most of us assumed was for Mother whose middle name was Louise. Since they gave me Dad’s middle name I can visualize him insisting that they give Bonnie Mom’s middle name and her not wanting to for all kinds of reasons. She was always so self-conscious and put herself down way too much. So I’m just guessing that “Lou” was a compromise middle name, “almost” like Mom’s. Bonnie probably knows the full story and if I get it from her, I will update this paragraph.
I remember a few things about those first 3 years of Bonnie’s life in El Dorado before we moved to Tulsa . . . that I will try to recall, maybe adding one at a time as I remember. Doing this after I’m 80 is maybe not the best time for my memory, which is shrinking.
Jerry and I adored our baby sister until she began walking and getting into our stuff. One of the photos shows her walking at our book shelves in our new bedroom where we both kept our fragile models and other things we didn’t want a baby getting into! At some point, maybe in just a few months after birth, Mom trusted me to babysit Bonnie and that made me feel very grownup and important, though I was never fond of changing diapers. 🙂
As she got older, walking and able to do more, Jerry and I both liked to show her how to do things, to play with her toys and we taught her to Easter egg hunt, I think before we left El Dorado or maybe that was in Tulsa – not remembering – she would have been around 3 when we moved. We also thought we were teaching her about Christmas and Santa Claus too! 🙂
Yet we were older and had our own friends and “big kid” things to do without a little sister. In fact, it was around this time as I got into Junior High that I did not want Jerry around me as much because I was “a teenager who didn’t play with little kids.” Growing up is a challenge at all ages! 🙂 In this case we were both “big brothers” which was important to Jerry who was previously the “baby of the family.”
Right now I do not remember her favorite toys, stories, or things she liked to do those first 3 years.