Monthly Archives: January 2009


me loving my boy

me loving my boy

I have been busy with life. DS has been growing and growing and becoming the most gorgeous boy. I am falling deeper and deeper in love.

I also have been examining my experience as a mother. I have been thinking so much and reading so much and trying so hard to ‘know it all’ or at least as much as is humanly possible. And I think I need to balance that out.

DS had his first illness some weeks ago, in the middle of the latest crisis in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He got croup and it was scary. (although here in Israel it is called Stridor as croup associates with Diptheria….) It was hard hearing his laboured breathing and heart breaking to see him in pain when he coughed. And frustrating that he was prescribed steroids as a matter of routine. And yet, I feel that DH and I managed very well considering. I was not opposed to steroids under all circumstances, but when I understood that the 2nd and 3rd nights are the toughest, I was concerned about giving a medication as strong as steroids if we did not need it –  and the presciption was given on day 3. To cut a long story short, DS didn’t get the steroids and he got better just fine. But the decision as parents, each with their own preferences, was hard. Very hard. I cannot speak for DH, but for myself I was not convinced that steroids would be this magic pill that would make DS better at no cost. I did not even know if they would make him better at a cost.   I did not know that his stridor was pronounced enough to warrant medication.Scouring theough BMJ and tyring to understand what the studies meant for my son in our circumstances…. tough. I think for me the most profound experience in this whole episode was that I knew the instance DH brought DS to me coughing. I knew what it was and I knew we needed to stay calm and calm DS to make it easier for him to breath. And it worked. And it was a relief to have a doctor confirm my suspicion (although I did not tell the doctor what I thought, I just described my sons symptoms and let him draw his own conclusions). That DH and I had the tools to meet DS’s needs and know when it was serious enough to warrant a trip to ER was greatly empowering for me.

The one mistake we did make was DH calling his father for medical advice and me calling our friend the chinese doctor for his medical advice. We both reached out to what was more failiar to us. But not within friends and family. We won’t do that again. We need to make our own decision without others in our lives being involved.

So, DS is doing just fine. He has started to feed himself far more foods and is still gaining weight at quite a pace. He has also started to feed himself my nipple which is so cute – he now associates food with putting it in his mouth 🙂 He also loves to torment our cat – his shrieks of delight a sure sign that he has found kitty curled up somewhere cosy. To kitties credit, he never bites or scratches – which is more than I ever hoped for.

I think I am learning to trust myself as a mother. To trust my responses and my instincts and to find out ‘why’ later. I cannot always have all the information at my fingertips. As long as it is not a life and death situation – I can always take the route of less intervention/pressure and change my approach should the situation require it.

And to finish. Today I expressed my hope that my DS will grow up to be a strong and independant person. My dreams that he will be the clearest and most honest expression of himself


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Filed under Baby care, Health, My Musings

Cry what out?

It has been a while since anyone in the extended family of grandparents and aunts/uncles has asked how DS sleeps at night. I have been giving elusive answers as the honest answer would only encourage judgement and advice.

Yesterday I slipped up. I mentioned that DS has gone off the bedtime routine and we have had a couple of nights of wide awake infant at 11pm or even later. Despite my firm resolution not to leave DS to cry it out (CIO) and my clear explanations as to why, MIL brought it up again. After mothering 3 boys, her experience taught her that babies have to be left to scream and scream and eventually fall asleep exhausted and desperate and ignored. Her doctor and no doubt mother and well meaning friends all encouraged this action and it seems to have worked for her. She cannot entertain the idea that a child might get through his life not being left to shriek alone in a dark room.

And here is the irony for me. Her 2nd son is almost 21 and has sever sleep disturbances. He sits in his room 24/7 on the computer or TV , unable to sleep. When he does sleep, he can only sleep during daylight hours. Professional consultation resulted in suggestions for a behavioral approach of setting boundaries and both parents cannot bring themselves to do that to their son. And yet they didn’t think twice about leaving him shrieking as an infant. It boggles my mind it does.

To be honest the situation is much much larger than I am painting here – but my point is that I do not get why you would think it is OK to set boundaires for an infant. When infants have *no way* of even understanding what a boundary is let alone undersand that their parents are doing it because they love them. It just does not make sense. Most infants do not even undersand that their parents are there if they can’t see/smell/feel them. So it escapes me how this idea of essentially abandoning your child can make sense. The baby experiences abandonment – even if you are in the next room. Why would you want to put your child through that kind of suffering? All your baby can do is cry and scream in protest. They cannot exactly start explaining to you just how scary this it, or get up and walk out. They depend on you to protect and love them. And you take that away….

I guess I am ranting a bit. But I am very happy to be loving my DS wholeheartedly now. In a couple of years I will have to say no and there absolutely will have to be boundaries. Not when he is an infant. Not when he couldn’t possibly be manipulating me.  You have to be a cunning sneaky person to manipulate. Babies are not. An older child maybe – not a baby.

This is not a new question, but worth thinking about *what* the baby is crying out when left to cry ‘it’ out. I think along the lines of trust. My baby is crying out his trust in me to be his parent. I would never chose to create a situation where my baby looses his trust in me.

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Filed under Baby care, My Musings, Parenting, Rant

27/12/2008 – 17/01/2009

I am mortified.

Just absolutely mortified.

The horror that is happening / has happened in Gaza haunts me all the time. I am quite sick with it. And beyond confused.

What I have been reading is too awful to even entertain as the daily reality of so many people. And my life has carried on, my daily walks, cooking, care of my darling child. I cannot wrap my head around this.

I have been thinking and thinking and thinking. And I have found myself quite bewildered. One the one hand I am devasted that so many women and children have been killed, maimed and traumatised. I do not understand how this can be explained. In my heart I cannot find an excuse that says it is what needed to happen. I cannot justify it. And then, I also wonder about how else this could all have played out *in the current situation*. I honestly do not know what other options Israel had to stop the rocket fire. Which is not a small detail. And so when my heart is aching for the unbeleivable suffering that is the daily reality of a people living not that far away from me, my head is trying to find another solution. How could this have been prevented.

And my answers take me back…. essentially back through the whole modern history of Israel and the struggle of the Palestinian People. Pretty much at each and every juncture where decisions were made, the conservative decsision was made, a decision that held no promise for peace.

And, as critical as I am of Israel, and as much as I demand of my husband to entertain leaving Israel – I have become Israeli in this conflict. An outcome I never would have imagined. The trauma and suffering of the people of Israel has ceased to be a detail for me. It is part of my story. And yet, I still feel able to critisize Israel and the IDF. I still erupt into spewing rage when I see injustice. I just no longer see it happening in a vacuum and I no longer fall into the trap of thinking if only Israel would stop it would all be better. If I follow that line of thought, it takes me down a road that could easily mean the end of Israel. Just as I am sure that if Israel continues down the current path – it will in the end not be sustainable and essentially threaten the very existance of Israel.

I have found myself falling into a specific group of people that critisize some of the actions of Israel.

It is a completely different protest when someone critisezes Israel, knowing the Jewish story and identifying with the Jewish story. When Gideon Levy critisizes Israel, he does so in context. When someone who lives outside of Israel and is not familiar with the broad and deep history cries ‘genocide’ – it freaks me out a little. I am not sure where that person is going with their desperate cry. Do they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, or does their cry come from a place of wishing Israel did not exist? It is not always possible to tell.

During this most horrific assault on the people of Gaza, I found myself wondering who was to blame. Could the blame be laid squarely at the feet of the IDF? When it is the ammunition of the IDF killing and maiming, and the technology of the IDF terrorising, can it be said that 100% of the blame lies with the IDF? I am not convinced. Obviously this would not be happening if the IDF were not there, but when the IDF is targeting Hamas and Hamas is deeply embedded in the civilian population, does Hamas not bear some responsibility for the death and destruction? What would I do as a mother if Hamas was launching rockets from near my home and I knew the IDF would retalliate? I think I would be spitting mad at both of them and terrified for my life and the life of my family and loved ones. I would feel so trapped, so angry, so desperate, so beyond hope. I would feel like the most unlucky person in the world. No one to defend me or mine.

In all this conflict I have to hope that somehow the international community will take it all a bit more seriously and take it upon themselves to put a stop to the violent bloodshed from both sides. I have to hope that both people can learn to see the humanity of the other and stop painting each other as the enemy. I am devasted that 92% of Israelis see what has happened as justified. This is not a topic of discussion for most people I know as I just cannot bear to hear the justification and moralising. The people in Gaza are human beings too, not some faceless enemy.

I hope that the Israelis see what has happened there and face what has been done. I am not too optimistic – but I am hopeful. I wish with all my heart that Jewish Israelis would stand up and say “not in my name”.

An honest critique is needed. And honest look at what happened. Not just the praise of a job well done. Although somehow critising Israel and the IDF became antisemitic and traitorous.

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Stop the insanity now

Please. Please link in to this article and read all of it.

— Hamas stops all firing of missiles, bombs or any other violent action originating from the West Bank or Gaza, and cooperates in actively jailing anyone from any faction that breaks this ceasefire.

— Israel stops all bombing, targeted assassinations or any other violent actions aimed at activists, militants or suspected terrorists in the West Bank or Gaza, and uses the full force of its army to prevent any further attacks on Palestinians.

— Israel opens the border with Gaza and allows free access to and from Israel, subject only to full search and seizure of any weapons. Israel allows free travel of food, gas, electricity, water and consumer goods and materials including from land, air and sea, subject only to full search and seizure of any weapons or materials typically used for weapons.

— Israel releases all Palestinians in detention and returns them to the West Bank or Gaza according to the choice of the detainees or prisoners. Hamas releases Gilad Shalit and anyone else being held by Palestinian forces.

— Both sides invite an international force to implement these agreements.

— Both sides agree to end teaching and/or advocacy of violence against the other side in and outside mosques, educational institutions and the media.

— This ceasefire would last for 20 years. NATO, the UN and the US all agree to enforce this agreement and impose severe sanctions in the event of any violations.

Please pass this on. It is the only way forward that makes any sense out of the hell that is Gaza today.

Please help stop the insanity today.

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