Olive Jefferies to Edith Hudson
Thank you so much for your latest letter regarding Michael’s visit. We are all still looking forward to taking him under our wing. Brandon and Tyler can’t wait to meet Michael. They can’t believe Michael still has to wear short trousers, even though he’s fourteen and older than they are. I am amused that you’ve given Michael the false impression that he’ll have an easy time of it here. As you already know, the opposite will most definitely be the case! It will be a treat to see the look on Michael’s face when he realises that he’ll be dealt with no differently here than he is at his home.
With regard to sleeping arrangements for Michael. I’ve given this a lot of thought and propose the following:
- Michael will sleep in Brenda’s bedroom. There is simply not enough space in the boy’s room for another bed.
- In Brenda’s room there is a cot last used by
before he graduated to a proper bed. The cot should be large enough for Michael to squeeze into, although it is quite narrow, but that shouldn’t be a problem once Brenda has lifted up the sides. Having the sides locked into place will ensure Michael doesn’t fall out of bed during the night. Tyler
- You can probably understand that at first Brenda was rather unwilling to have Michael sleep in her room. However once it was explained that Michael would be safely tucked in and settled down in his cot well before her own bedtime she seemed to relax a little.
- As I mentioned in my previous letter, Brenda will also be on the alert for any inappropriate nocturnal activity from Michael. If she does catch Michael masturbating, Brenda will have no hesitation in informing me, although I’m quite sure that even though she’s younger than Michael, she’ll easily be able to deal with any mischievous misbehaviour.
- As to bedtime itself. I’m sure you will appreciate that I have an established bedtime schedule for the boys. I can of course be much more flexible with Brenda, but boys do need to have a proper fixed routine which I am loathe to alter. I would propose therefore to bring forward Michael’s pyjama-time so that it doesn’t interfere with Brandon and Tyler’s bedtime arrangements.
- Bathtime for both boys is , then it’s into pyjamas and ready for bed.
is tucked in at and if Tyler has behaved himself he is allowed to stay up until 8.30. Brenda quite often helps me to get the boys settled down in bed and as a reward is allowed to stay up later. Brandon
- Brenda has offered to help me with Michael’s bedtime, which is very considerate of her and typical of her thoughtfulness. Between us we have decided to get Michael into his pyjamas straight after tea, which we have at . While I take care of the clearing up after tea (with Brandon and Tyler’s help of course!), Brenda will go to get Michael’s pyjamas from her room, bring them downstairs and get him changed into them in the living-room (I’m sure you’ll understand that Brenda doesn’t want Michael going in and out of her bedroom during the day). Michael will be allowed an hour’s playtime in his pyjamas, then it’s upstairs and into bed for 6.45. If Michael needs a bath before bedtime, then that will come out of his playtime. Brenda says that she’ll still get Michael undressed at his usual time, but won’t put on his pyjamas until after his bath, which sounds sensible to me.
I do hope these arrangements meet with your approval.
I’ve spoken to Margot Spencer and she’s more than happy to given Michael some extra tuition in mathematics. She tells me that she already tutors one or two other boys and so has set up a small classroom in her house. She very kindly allowed me to have a peak inside and I saw two very smart boys in full school uniform sat at traditional wooden school desks diligently working away at the exercises they’d been set by their tutor. Miss Spencer also tells me that she insists boys wear proper grey short school trousers for their tuition and made a point of drawing my attention to both boys’ bare legs. I took the opportunity of telling her about Michael’s own bare-legged regime. I told her that he had been put back into short trousers and now had to wear them all year round, indoors or out, whatever the weather. It will be no surprise to know that she thoroughly approves!
Miss Spencer also tells me that she knows where Michael can get what she called ‘a proper schoolboy haircut’. So it looks like it will be ‘short-back-and-sides’ for Michael as usual!
Well time is getting on and it’s another day closer to Michael’s visit. Be assured that I will write to you in
to let you know how Michael has settled in with us; how he is getting along and, more importantly, whether he is behaving himself! Scotland