After getting Mother pregnant for the fourth time, Paddy hung around for a while. Of course no one knew for how long a time that would last. He even managed to get a few substitute teaching jobs which helped tremendously. The Church under the auspices of the Pastor was still having milk delivered to us on a daily basis. We were still receiving commodities but no cash since Paddy was living with us and working. If course the shack was still a shack with the rain coming in through the leaks in the roof. Especially bad was when it would hit you in the face while you were sleeping and the pinging noise when it dripped into the pots we had put on the stairs.
All the while, Mother was growing larger and getting more uncomfortable. As the time drew near to her due date, she became more anxious. And unlike himself, Father was helping with the cleaning, going for groceries and even helping with the children. Of course Paddy was hoping for a boy! He thought surely they wouldn’t have another girl. Mother knew he would be very disappointed if she had a girl.
A week later Paddy drove Mother to the hospital in his old truck and he was driving like a maniac! The contractions had come on so suddenly there was barely enough time to get to the hospital. And while he was waiting in the hospital waiting room he said a silent prayer for a boy. Couldn’t hurt he thought.
So when the doctor came out and delivered the news that he had another girl, Paddy almost swooned. It couldn’t be! It just could not be possible for him to have a fourth girl! And yet that’s what the doctor was saying. He called his mother who consoled him and then she let him rant and rave and get it out of his system. He had told her and all his siblings that he was sure that they were going to have a boy this time. Of course they didn’t have the heart to tell him that it was always a fifty fifty chance. Nevertheless, he was bitterly disappointed.
It was a good thing he had his teaching job to take his mind off things; his friends at work were sympathetic but coming home was another matter. With Mother not feeling well yet and the baby crying a lot. The baby was named Kay after Mother, at least she would have one of them named after herself. Winifred was named after Paddy’s mother and Anna was named after Mom. So there was no argument with naming Kay after Mother.
Paddy proved himself helpful for a time even rocking and singing to the new baby and lo and behold even changing her diapers. Mother was still anxious though even if Himself was being very good, working and helping out at home. Almost too good to be true.
The stress of just having a baby and with three other children to take care of became too much for Mother. Soon she and Father were arguing on a daily basis. He started staying out late after work and having drinks with his friends, some of these friends were women. Most of whom were single and loved to party. Drinking beer and dancing was common at the bars they frequented.
This did not sit well with Mother and she did have a temper after all. So a few weeks after one of Father’s late night drinking and what not, Mother was waiting when he did come home and there was an argument which was worse than any they had ever had.
To be continued.