'A Spoonful of Sugar': 7 stories from a British nanny

Brenda Ashford says that she began to love children the first moment that she saw her new baby brother, David. That love for little ones lasted into her adult life, leading her to apply to the prestigious Norland College for nanny training. She then went to work caring for children, a career which continued throughout World War II. Ashford ultimately worked in child care for 62 years, making her the longest-serving nanny in Britain. Here are some of her stories in her new book 'A Spoonful of Sugar.'

1. Seeing a baby brother


Ashford remembers clearly the moment she set eyes on her baby brother, David, when she herself was nine. "There, nestled in his wicker Moses basket, lined in mauve cotton and organza with delicate mauve bows, was quite simply the most exquisite thing I had ever set eyes on," she wrote. "'Oh,' I breathed in wide-eyed wonder... The world turns on tiny things. It's not so much the outstanding events that have influenced my life. It may sound absurd but, though hearing we were at war with Germany, witnessing the devastation of the blitz, and the jubilant crowds on VE-day were all moments I shall never forget, the most life-altering at all was when I set eyes on baby David. I swear my heart skipped a minute's worth of beats. My other brothers' births simply hadn't made the same impact on me because I had been too young to remember them or to help out. But now I was old enough to see clearly what a miracle I was witnessing."

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