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Conversation with Mary Beth Walsh

Interviewee: 
Walsh, Mary Beth
Contributor: 
Walsh, Vivian
Interviewer: 
Emery, Angela
Date of Interview: 
2000-02-05
Identifier: 
LGWA0535
Subjects: 
Relationships with people and places
Abstract: 
Mary Beth Walsh talks about a bad flight and her children.
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Angela Emery interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Transcript:
MW (Mary Beth Walsh): Alright, OK, da, (baby noise). This story was really funny. My, uh, my si, my mother had called my sister who lives out in Nebraska. My mother lived in Florida at the time. And she was calling to say that she had, she was going to have some surgery on her face.
AE (Angela Emery): Uh-huh.
MW: Uh, and she just wanted to let my sister know, but my sister wasn't there and she ended up taking to the baby sitter. And the baby sitter told my sister when she got home. She said, your mother called and she's having something done, I, she said something I don't understand.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: I mean, she's having it, she's having surgery, she's going to the doctor and I just didn't understand what she said. So my, something, she just couldn't get it.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: So anyway, my sister called my mother.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And found out that she had, uh, she had, she was having a cyst removed from her forehead.
AE: Ew.
MW: And uh, the li', the girl that was babysitting didn't understand what forehead was.
AE: Oh.
MW: She, she only knew the word as forehead, and my mother always said it as forehead. Isn't that cute?
AE: That is cute.
MW: Anyway, but speaking of my sister. I went out to visit her, um, a while back ago, it was probably the worst airplane trip I have every had in my life.
AE: I can relate.
MW: [Laugh] She lives in a really small town, uh, and so, the night before I was to leave and went out to eat to the BFW Club. I mean they don't have Olive Garden or anything else. It's all like little Army clubs or whatever.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And so I had filet mignon, which I don't normally have, and um, it was a big dinner, and then afterwards we stopped by and got ice cream. And I had my usually two scoops, no big deal, [baby noise]. That is a safety pin sweetie. And I, um, normally have two scoops, no big deal, go to bed full, no big deal. Well, I woke-up the next morning and my stomach was kind of in knots, and um, I was leaving that day. Well, my sister had made a big breakfast and of course I went ahead and ate the breakfast, um, and didn't feel real good. But on the way out there, the airport was like two hours away.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And um, I started feeling kind of queasy. I was like, "Debbie you got to pull over."
AE: Uh-huh [laugh].
MW: [Laugh] So she pulls over to the side of the road. Before she could stop I had the car open and I was throwing up, outside the door [laugh]. And she finally came to a halt and I banged my head up against the arm rest, [laugh], and I'm looking down at the ground and I see blood. "Oh my God I'm bleeding."
AE: Wow.
MW: "I'm throwing up blood." And no, I had just banged my head up against the arm rest and she is looking at me laughing. Saying, "Well, if you had chewed your food you wouldn't be sick," [laugh]. Anyway, [laugh], so we had a decision to make, whether to go on back, which we were half way through, or either go on back to where she lives, or head on. And I figured we just go head and head to the airport and if she had a place where we could cleanup. So, I get to the airport and I, um, got on the plane and they left, um, and then after, it seems like after they left I had to get off the plane, because of engine trouble.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: So, uh, I got off the plane, nobody there that I knew, of course. So, I'm waiting around. Finally, I was able to get on the plane and I have a connecting flight in Chicago and I'm still not feeling too good.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: So we had missed the first connecting flight, missed the second connecting flight.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And we were on standby for the third connecting flight which was on the other side of the airport. So, I had to travel with all my stuff around to the other side of the airport, not feeling very good. And sit there and wait for standby and then we missed that flight. We didn't get that. So, the next flight out was back where we had come from on the other side of the airport.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: So, we had to go back all the way around to the other side of Chicago O'Hare Airport, and uh, get that flight. In the meantime, I had been trying to call my sister, I was trying to call my mother, I was trying to call my roommate, I was trying to call my boyfriend and nobody was home. So I'm not feeling well in the Chicago airport. And there's nobody to talk to. And, finally I think I got a hold of my mother and then I had to get off the phone because I had to throw up again.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: So, finally made it home. I was due in at about seven-thirty that night, and I got in at about midnight. In the meantime I thought my roommate was going to pick me up, and my boyfriend John at that time was, um, waiting at the airport for me, waiting five hours. And, he had toured the airport for so long, everybody in the gift shops knew, "Mary Beth not in yet? Mary Beth not here?" [Laugh]
AE: Oh God.
MW: So, the first words out of his mouth were like, "Shit." [Laugh] And I felt like it too. And uh, and I got home.
AE: Well, that's good news.
MW: [Laugh] I felt horrible for a couple days afterward, but I think I have determined that it is the meat from Nebraska that turns, that does something to me.
VW (Vivian Walsh): ( )
MW: That's right. The last time I came, I went to Nebraska I had a taco salad that was made with ground beef. And that night I threw up.
AE: Ew.
MW: Isn't that lovely. So, I think it is the beef out there.
AE: I wouldn't be surprised at all.
MW: I have two children. We just had Jack, and, they are both large children.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: Meaning they are not fat, they are just big babies. Vivian was ten pounds and she is two years old. And, Jack was 10, two and he is a month old. We went to the doctor, um, yesterday. He is now up to13 pounds, ten ounces. So, he is as a friend would say, "A moose."
AE: [Laugh]
MW: A big boy. And, it's real different having two children. Because, well, I'm nursing and so I have to spend time with Jack, and Vivian is jealous. She is used to just the one person, and uh, she tries to hit Jack. She will try, she will hit him in the head. She will try to do like, like all fall down and fall on top of him. Um, the other day at church she did whack him in the head with a book.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: Normally, I can deflect everything, but this time I wasn't able to. So, he had a nice little red mark on his head, um. I just know that one day, because he is a moose, he is going to be big and take care of her.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: So he is storing it up. But, um, Vivian is two and she is in her, I guess your terrible two's and really expressing herself. Like right now she is trying to pull apart my butt.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: She likes to separate my cheeks for some reason.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: Not quite sure what the fascination is. It's a little different when you have clothes on as opposed to been naked.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: But, that's her thing now. She likes to be naked and she'll say, "Vivian's naked."
AE: [Laugh]
MW: And, instead of carrying her from the bath, she likes to walk now with her towel around her. She's not potty trained, but eventually she will be and I think if she was around more kids that were potty trained, she would want to go too.
VW: ( )
MW: Yeah, she took a bubble booboo bath. She speaks pretty good for, for being two and everything, um, is like in third person.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: Like, she says her name is May May. And uh, "May May do this. May May do it, May May do it." She wants to do everything herself. Like strap herself into the care seat.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: Uh, I don't know, wash her own hands. [Blocks hitting the floor]
AE: Spill her own blocks.
MW: That's right, that's right, she's, ah, she's pretty vocal. She used to be kind of shy.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: But, I think she's got that ah, theatre blood in her that came from my family. My mom use to say she raised a bunch of hams.
VW: Booboo. ( )
MW: You want mom to kiss it? Everything is a booboo. She likes to kiss her booboo. If dad was around he would get to kiss it too. We were at a restaurant last night and they, she saw people having birthdays, and she wanted a birthday too. She will sing happy to you and, uh, she was just real excited about that and she was able to get a party hat from the waitress and that's just been the best toy.
VW: Where's the party hat?
MW: I don't know Vivian, where did it go?
VW: Where is the party hat?
MW: I'll have to look for it in just a moment sweetie. But she, uh, I think, well, she speaks pretty clearly. She's learned her alphabets. She's learning to sing the A, B, C's. The other day I caught her, "A, B, C, D, G." And she would skip a few letters. And she can count her numbers up to ten, but, she skips four and five for some reason. I don't know if they have been bad to her or not, but, she skips those two. Um, she loves to try on shoes. She's very much a girl. And you can go into WalMart or Payless and she will sit in front and try on any shoe, just having the best time. She will even pull out her old shoes and try to put them on. She will try to put on Jack's shoes.
AE: Ah.
MW: Um, she loves her, her dolls. Of course it is real funny, or you think she loves them, especially when she like drops them on the floor on their head, like, "Yeah right."
AE: ( )
MW: Yeah, that's right. She uh, she has a great time with her dad. They, um, they play very well together and have a good time in the bubble bath because he squirts her, gets her wet and she does it right back to him. And, Mommy's too anal and doesn't like that [laugh]. I don't like for there to be too much of a mess.
AE: She has a work bench.
MW: Yes, she, I picked that up at a consignment shop. She doesn't play with it too much, um, I think she kind of like the sink and I know she would love it if water came out of there, so she could wash her hands and wash cups or something. But uh, I give her a little bit of water and it's all over the place.
VW: Yuck. ( )
MW: And ah, she likes the hammer. We found it. It didn't come with a hammer, but we found one. And she's pounding everything. Her latest toy that she really likes is her umbaba, her umbrella.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: We picked one up at Eckerd's and we hide it from time. So yesterday, I picked it up for her and she has had more fun with her umbaba, and would love for it to rain, um, constantly so she can go outside with her umbaba. And ah, here she comes now down the hall. [Crashing noise] Uh. I don't think we were, I don't think you will ever be ready to have children. I mean, some people say wait until you have more money. And I don't think you'll ever really have more money. But I think you do, you do need to want to have children.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And they do affect your life. Now one, we keep hearing one is nothing and having two is like having ten
AE: [Laugh]
MW: And I guess the more you have the more you run out of hands. So it gets a littler harder. And you find that you let your second one cry more than you let the first one and you're not as nervous about what they do. But, um, and I think it's, I think it's scary. I think you have to, you have to remember that they don't break. Someone in their infinite wisdom when they made children, when they made parents, they made children very resilient.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: So when they fall on their head and not get hurt. I mean, we have hardwood floors and the tile. She has fallen so many times on the tile. Having these bruises on her head, look like we beat her and she'd bounce right back.
AE: Ah.
MW: Uh, and like I said, somebody in their infinite wisdom just knew what they were doing, 'cause they knew that, uh, parents would be scared, uh, and very unsure. I had her, uh, in a carrier and I was rocking her. I failed to scrap her in, so, the first little swing and out she fell.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And she also had that pacifier in her mouth. So she fell on the pacifier and her lip was swollen and bleeding a little bit.
AE: Ah.
MW: But um, she bounced right back. She was fine. I don't think, I don't think there was any permanent damage.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And it is the same when you have, when you have two, and it looks like one is really abusing the other.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And uh, so, so you have to be, you have to be careful. But it is uh, I don't think that one is too much of a disruption to your life, because you just take them everywhere with you.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: I think it becomes more of a disruption when you have two.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: That's when you really begin to lose your sleep. Like I don't have any sleep right now, because one will get up and I will take care of her, [baby screaming] put him down, then the other one gets up, and um, put her down and then the other one gets up.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: It's, um, you are always doing something and, uh, it is true that they are into everything.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: So, whatever you don't want them to get into.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: You need to move where they cannot reach it, [baby screaming] so you won't get frustrated.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And, I read that and that is very true.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: I just wish we had more places to put things that they cannot get to, uh.
AE: High shelving is more important than-.
MW: Yeah, and hide it, and locks on the cabinets.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: If you don't want them in the cabinets to play with Tupperware and play with pots and pans, put locks on them, uh, something so that they cannot get in there.
AE: Ah.
MW: Um, and that is true about patience.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: I don't have a whole lot, [laugh]. My husband does, but, uh, maybe it is because he is not home with her all day, but, um, I just run out and find myself yelling, or just getting real frustrated.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And um, and I probably shouldn't. People say that you should just really enjoy the age they are and what they're doing.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And I think that's true. But there are days that's just, great on my nerves and I would like to throw her out to the trash.
AE: Oh, yeah.
MW: Or put her in the recycle bin and see what I get back.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: Um.
AE: Oh, she's awfully cute.
MW: Well she, she is, and she's funny to watch. Watch her with the umbrella, you know, watch her say, "What's that?" and discovering things.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: It's fun to watch her laugh. It gives you great joy when they come up and give you a hug or a kiss and you didn't have to ask for it.
AE: Ah.
MW: Uh, it has been fun to watch her hair grow in.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: I mean, she's been, she was bald for, but not bald, but had very thin hair for up until like 18 months or so and it started growing and now she looks like she always get up and just can't do a thing with it.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: Uh, and they grow, they grow so fast, uh, we remember like last year at Christmas time she wasn't walking. All of a sudden she started walking.
VW: What's that? What's that?
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And it just took off from there.
AE: Just like that?
MW: Yeah, she, we started babysitting, and she wasn't even pulling herself up or cruising, or holding on to stuff and, or cruising. Then we started babysitting and the little boy was doing the cruising and she picked up on it. And then, after Christmas, she was walking without any help, and just really, just really took off. And, now she, you know, she will run. It is really cute to watch her run. She likes to take a walk with you.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: Down the street with the stroller.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: They like to push things.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And so people talk about they don't want to get little boys strollers, because it is too feminine I guess.
AE: Ah.
MW: But, they love to push it and carry things, uh.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And she loves her brother as much as I think she likes to suffocate him.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: Although I don't think that she realizes that she is doing that.
AE: Did you have cats before you had kids?
MW: Yeah, yeah, Homey's been with us and that's, she is torching the cat, uh.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: And he doesn't do anything to her. And, he has, he has swiped at her a few times, but mainly because he has been provoked.
AE: Provoked?
MW: Yes, and now lately he spends more time outside. And, he has found a place inside to hide from her.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: But, he will be out here waiting at the door to go out. And, she will take one of these shoes and drop it on him, or just chase him around, throw stuff at him, um, try pull his tail. And he's, he just keeps to the outside. I hardly see him throughout the day because he is scared of my daughter.
AE: [Laugh]
MW: Heaven help us if we had a little kitten, you know. Who knows that would happen to it.
AE: Ah.
MW: But Homey does know how to fend for himself, but he's just, he's been neglected by me. But, I just don't have, personally I just don't have the time to spend with him like I use to.
AE: Ah.
MW: So, he is use to my belly, laying on that. And he doesn't get that anymore.
AE: Ah. Ok.
MW: But, I don't think the stories you here about cats suffocating the kids, or beware of cats when you have kids. I just think it's keeping them away. Occasionally, we found him in her bed and we just pick him up and take him out.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And he got the hint after a few times.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: But then, it was funny when Jack came along. She started doing it again, or he started doing it again.
AE: Uh-huh.
MW: And, we just took him out and he was fine. Now he just hides.
AE: Alright. I think that will do it.
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