Wednesday 9 March 2011

Diary of a Victorian Baby No.1

I recently discovered a sub-genre of Victorian humour - the baby's diary. I say 'sub-genre' in that the Victorians rather liked humorous diary entries, and I can find a few by 'babies'.

Here's the first one I came across [I may publish some more detailed examples later]. It's not quite 'Stewie' from Family Guy but ...


1. JANUARY. — Just born. Here's a lark! Papa does not seem very pleased, though.

1. FEBRUARY. — Every night Pa walks about up and down the bed-room with me when I squeal. I always squeal. I must do something.

1. MARCH. — Nurse is a spiteful thing; she sticks pins into a fellow on purpose.

1. APRIL. — After all, one may even weary of the bottle.

1. MAY. — I wish I could cut a tooth, I'd bite nurse.

1. JUNE. — What a nuisance it is to have relations who keep on saying "Ketchetty,
ketchetty," and dig in your ribs with their forefingers! When I grow up I'll do
it to them, and see how they'll like it.

1. JULY. — There are three babies next door got the measles. I get
nothing. It's awfully dull.

1. AUGUST. — One of the babies from next door came in to see us to—day; and I
heard Ma say, "He hasn't got the measles now," "No" said the babe's Ma. There's
a greedy sneak for you. Left 'em at home!

1. SEPTEMBER. — Nurse drinks something out of a black bottle. I've caught her
at it. It isn't the same that is in my bottle, either. If I were a bit bigger,
I'd change 'em.

1. OCTOBER. — Blessed if this ain't a nice go, neither. Some one called
to—day to see Ma and Pa, and they said it was Uncle, and gave me to him to kiss.
He didn't kiss me, though, with what you might call a good will. Then they asked
him again, and then they gave me to him to nurse, and he pinched me.

1. NOVEMBER. — This is worse than ever. Why, here's another baby now, and
they say he belongs to our house; and they're not going to send him away. Don't
even know how to feed himself out of the bottle. Well, of all — never mind.

1. DECEMBER. — Got to sleep in the same crib with him now! Wait till he goes
to sleep, I'll give him such a oner!  . . . Here's a beast of a baby! He
go to sleep, and not a soul in the same crib can get a blessed wink.

Judy Almanac for 1880

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