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50 ADVANCED 1935 FEATURES
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(Cunlimicd jruiii page 30)
told ine, "something of an advertisement for cliildren who have never had the emotional stimulus of petting and adoring aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas. Science has been mother and father to them, aunt, uncle and grandparents. The results are so perfect, so glowing and healthy that, as Jean said, "I can only say that were my wife and I to have another child, I could wish for nothing better than one exactly like any one of the Quintuplets. I have never seen more perfect specimens, mentally and physically, anywhere."
They are jolly babies, good-natured, friendly among themselves and with others. They never whine. They never fret. When they roll about on the floor, pulling each others' hair, kissing and laughing it is all happy play. They are never little "meanies." They have, each one of them, sunny dispositions.
Their habits are, of course, 100 per cent normal. They sleep sixteen hours a day. Jean told me that when they arrived in Callander and reached the famous hospital, the babies were having their naps. And they were out of doors in their leather perambulators, side by side. The perambulators were covered with snow, the thermometer registering 17 degrees below zero! And when the babies were brought in, at the appointed time and not a minute before or after, their eyes were like dark diamonds and their cheeks were damask peonies. They always take their naps out of doors and below zero weather holds no terrors for them.
They eat the food prescribed for the average husky eighteen months old child. Chops and cereals, fruit juices and spinach. They all love spinach ! Not one of them, in fact, is fussy about her food. They eat anything given them and love it ! They have never been "problem children" either as regards to their food or any of their other habits.
And they all eat the same things. There is no special diet for Cecile and another one for Emilie. Once in a great while, Dr. Dafoe told Jean, one of them may break out with a slight rash and when that happens, he changes the diet for a day or two until the rash clears up. But that is the only time any difference is made in their feeding.
THEY have the requisite number of teeth. In fact, they are slightly above normal both in their physical and mental development. Once every month two psychiatrists, one from New York, the other from Toronto come to Callander to observe them. And they report that the babies are far advanced in some ways for their ages and a bit behind in some others — but that their average is above normal.
And it must be borne in mind, as Dr. Dafoe pointed out to Jean, that the babies are not really eighteen months old — they are, really, only about fifteen months, having been "two and a half months premature at birth. And so, when they are checked as eighteen months old children, this should be taken into consideration.
They all speak a few words in English. They say "Da-Da" to Dr. Dafoe. They say "ta-ta" very politely when they are given anything. They can say "ball" and "doll" when they are playing with these toys. But the rest of their infant patter is in French. They are learning to speak French before they speak English. Their two nurses. Mile. Cecile and Mile. Yvonne are French and talk French to them entire
ly. But as Dr. Dafoe speaks English to them, they are well on the way to becoming accomplished linguists before they are two.
Nurse Yvonne, Jean told me, takes a little extra-special pride in the accomplishments of Allle. Yvonne Dionne while Nurse Cecile takes the same extra-special pride in A'llle. Cecile Dionne.
They have a storeroom under the hospital full of toys — every kind of toy ever devised by the ingenuity of Santa Claus — -toys contributed by friends and "admirers" from every corner of the globe.
And their favorite toys are clothes-pins ! The old fashioned clothes pins of the kind that nip on.
They adore their combs, too. They love to play with them and to comb each other's hair — they do it very gently, there is never any pulling and crying about it.
They will, in fact, pass up balls, dolls, games and all kinds of glittering playthings for their clothes pins and their combs. They all like small toys better than large ones. Thus the small wooden whistle, now so proudly owned by Jean. He put it in his pocket one day, while working with them, mistaking it for a clothes-pin which he was supposed to have in his pocket for one of the scenes in the picture.
They each have five tiny sets of garments, complete from the rosy skin out. And each garment, even the small panties, has the name of the owner embroidered thereon. Each set is exactly alike except that the small frocks are different colors . . . pastel blue for Emilie, Marie the pastel pink, Cecile the pastel green, Annette the pastel yellow and Yvonne the white.
While Jean and Miss Peterson were up there, five small fur coats were sent as gifts, white rabbit fur, with caps to match. And even these had their names embroidered in the linings and each lining was a different pastel color.
They call Dr. Dafoe "Da-Da" and they are, Jean told me, crazy about the good doctor — as well they might be! They know him, of course, better than they do anyone save their nurses. The balance of their household consists of a housekeeper and there are ever present, of course, the Canadian Provincial guards doing sentry duty around the high wall surrounding the hospital.
Dr. Dafoe visits the babies twice daily. And the first thing in the morning one of the nurses calls him and reports the morning weights and the developments, if any, of the night.
WHEN the good doctor enters the nursery they run to him, all five of them en masse and make a concerted drive for his attention. And their reactions are perfectly feminine. For if he picks Cecile up first, Annette claws and tugs at his trouser legs until her turn comes — and so it goes, five times.
"We were only allowed to work with them for a short time each day," Jean said, "and Dr. Dafoe was right there with us, his eyes on the babies, every minute. His word is law. The longest stretch of time we ever worked with them, at any one time, was fifty-five minutes one day. Another day we only worked eight or nine minutes. The babies became very hilarious and Dr. Dafoe stopped us, saying that they were over-stimulated.
"Every care and precaution was used by each one of us. I had to have my nose and throat sprayed each day as I entered the