Monday, January 12, 2009

Child Life in all Lands

While I was home, I stumbled across this antique book from 1906 about 'true stories of boys and girls in every land: their sports and games and how they live'.

I haven't read the entire book yet, but I immediately flipped to the section on Germany, and got a good laugh out of the description and drawing.

It says:

"This mode of swaddling has its advantages. Baby's limbs are in no danger of being broken by an accidental fall; he cannot scratch his little face to pieces with his sharp, rosy nails, after the manner of American babies; and he may be placed on a table, a shelf, or the counter of a shop, like a plate of soup, or a loaf of bread, or a parcel of goods, or anything else which cannot move."
I'm sure those were the days, when you could put your child on a shelf.

Here's another great excerpt:
"A party of peasants once had to carry their child some distance before they came to the church in which it was to be christened. It was winter, and the snow lay thick on the ground. After the christening ceremony, the parents, the sponsors, and the friends took something to eat at a near-by inn, to prepare themselves for the return journey.

They then set out in great good humor, and reached home safely with the pillow, but there was no baby in it. Perhaps they had by mistake held the pillow upside down; perhaps the blue bows had become loose; at any rate the baby had slipped out, and was found lying on the snow, half-way between the church and the village. Fortunately, he was a sturdy young peasant-child, and escaped with a cold in his head, which the fond parents tried to cure on reaching home by popping him, pillow and all, into the oven, that was still warm from the baking of the christening-cake!"
This book is certainly going to be filled with other gems. I can't believe how times have changed in just over 100 years!


Jelena and Mark said...

Brilliant! Popping a baby in the oven - have to try that one :).
You must share more of these gems with us!

Aisling said...

that is a priceless find. I love odd little books like that.

Emily said...

I will have to delve into it and let you know some of the others. I can't figure out how that was only just over 100 years ago - what are people going to think of things we do and write in 100 years?!

I know what you mean. It makes me want to find more shops that sell old books. There are some great ones in the midst.