Dream Girl & Chocolate Man (part 7)

[My maternal grandmother, Sibyl Mary Croly, was born in Cadillac, Michigan on February 29, 1888, to James Croly and Maria (Cowles) (Dennett) Croly.  In 1889, her father started a journal about her, entitled "The Record of Little Sibyl." This is an exact transcription of the contents.]

February 15, 1890 (24 months)

Just before she was 2 years old, Mary [Sibyl’s adult half-sister] painted a picture of a “Lady” as Sibyl called it in which the Baby took great comfort. She somewhat considered it as her own private property and one night when Sister was going to take the picture into another room, Sibyl said, “I want the Lady.” And as she climbed down out of her chair, she said, “I am going to have it, too,” as plainly as any one could say it and apparently with as much determination.

May 1890

I have remarked before that Sibyl was very sensitive to sounds. One day, a boy was riding a small donkey past our house and the donkey, as is the manner of such equines, uttered a very vigorous protest about something or other and the Baby, as we still called her, came running to me for safety. I told her that was not anything that would hurt the Baby, that it was only a donkey.

“Is that a donkey?” she asked, “He has a bad cough.”

I make this last entry this Christmas night of 1890, from memory. I have been very busy this summer and have been away from home most of the time, and have seen very little of my darling. How she has grown into my heart; how she has become so much a part of my life; how much her sweet personality pervades all my thought, I cannot tell here. Once in a great while, I try with a full heart and streaming eyes to speak of my love to the mother, so that she understands, but how we love each other and how we both love the baby is something akin to our love for Christ, too sacred to talk about.

Oct 1890

About this time Mamma and Mary were interested in the subject of Christian Science. It was the talk of the home and of a few friends who came to see the family and talk on the subject. Without saying anything to the baby on such an abstruse subject, yet she would electrify them by remarks she would sometimes made. One time her Aunt Nellie said something about her bones aching, when Sibyl said, “There are no bones in Christian Science, Aunt Nellie. It is an old belief.”

December 1890

I made the family a short visit in this month, and Sibyl had a long story to tell me about a “dream girl” and a “chocolate man.” She said, “The dream girl and the chocolate man quarreled and quarreled, a-a-and finally they quarreled a-a-and the dream girl pushed the chocolate man down, a-a-and finally the chocolate man walked like this,” placing her hands on her knees and stooping her shoulders, as she used to when, as she said, she was “going after papa.”

I wrote her a little letter, telling her there was no chocolate man, that it was only Santa Claus, who was on his way to bring Sibyl a nice present Christmas, but that he had so many good little girls to see about that time he would most likely send Sibyl’s present to her through the Post Office. When I write to the mother or Mary, Sibyl always enquires if Papa sends his “dear love to Sibyl,” and she always responds by sending kisses to Papa.

I am desirous that all the members of the family, the Mother, Mary, Charlie, Aunt Nellie, Aunt Bertha and Uncle Edward shall record what their impressions of the baby are. I have written Sister Bertha and my brother EJ to that effect.

The entire contents of “The Record of Little Sibyl” can be seen in these posts:

One Comment on “Dream Girl & Chocolate Man (part 7)”

  1. Tears in my own eyes reading this to Jade, with our own dear daughter Ivy napping. More, more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *