Monthly Archives: January 2010

Sleep, glorious sleep

This is a bimba

It’s starting to work. DS falls asleep within 15 minutes of lights out, snuggled up with us until we creep out.

And DH and I have our evenings to be together, quietly, to be adults, with no interruptions.

I am keeping him waking up at 7am, napping from 12:30 – 2:30 and in bed by 8. I would prefer it to be earlier, but he doesn’t fall asleep before 8 – I just lie there for longer if we go to bed earlier 😦

No more crying fits when the light goes out…. no more frustration at a toddler who won’t sleep. Although yesterday’s nap took closer to 45 minutes of me lying in bed waiting, and praying. I think I have found a tool that works for me in those moments when I just wish he would be asleep already.

Yesterday he was excited after a spontaneous meet up at the local park with two mums who I know through LLL. He loved it. Lots of kids, lots of toys, FUN. I had no idea there were that number of children not in kindy. (I’m talking about 5 children – but it’s more than we’ve had so far). He is so social, engaging other children in playing with a ball, smiling and very trusting of other adults there. He did get very possessive of his bimba when one of the twins tried it out – and started watching it very carefully to make sure no one took it.

I know he needs to be around other children. He adores them. And I have been quite hearbroken that I have not had more children in his immediate environment.

Slowly slowly. We’ll get there. And perhaps I won’t have to move out to an ecological village to meet mine and my DS’s needs.


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I managed to resist until now

On two things.

One. screen time. DS has now seen the screen for about 15 mins two or three times. And he loves it. I put on a DVD (in our computer) I received from my brother.

Also, I counted his words. I am ashamed to say it, but the chatter of word counting I have seen online in parenting forums in the USA finally got to me.

moom – moon

zun- sun

meem – cat

xla-xla – dog (sounds like a clopping horse)

mimi – doll, or car with eyes

vavo – avo

nine – tomato (in Hebrew it is agvaniyah)


nca-da – food (pronounced as is it is Zulu)

bizz – piece





boh – come, in Hebrew


mayim – water, in Hebrew


r – a hebrew ‘r’. means light, ‘or’ in Hebrew (this is for a candle, a light bulb or a match)

bye bye


karti – kaki

bee-bee – pee-pee

cham – hot, in Hebrew

num num – breasts (as in breastfeeding)





pupi(k) – bellybutton in Hebrew


nana – banana

na-na – chicken

puh-ta – open or close


bimba – his little bike (Hebrew word)

bibi-numnum – magazine (from the Motheirng magazines in my bathroom, full of babies in nappies and breastfeeding)


zeh/et zeh – this in Hebrew

zang – song

ram – a close approximation of his grandfather’s name – and every motorbike he sees, as  ‘ram’ rides a tustus (a moped)

ein – none, in Hebrew

na(d) ne(d) – see saw or swing in Hebrew

He loves to command us, as in “Mummy boh” “Daddy down” and “meem boh”. “down”, which often means, he wants his food on the tray of his highchair for him to feed himself.

And he has become a hitting, throwing, angry little boy. I am not sure if he is upset by me insisting he goes to sleep at regular hours now, or if it is just a co-incidence. But it has been becoming more and more prevalent for him to hit and throw. I am still gathering my thoughts on the issue, as I try to figure out the best approach for him and me.


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Second guessing myself

Seconds into motherhood - I just had no idea what it all meant yet

As I expected my first child, I knew I would breastfeed exclusively, I knew I would give birth outside of a hospital, I knew I would not use TV and that my child would be clothed in cotton and playing with open ended, preferably wooden toys.

I also was pretty sure I would not fall into the ‘trap’ of letting my child control my life to the extent that my sleep would be disturbed for years, or that my breasts were on demand for years (horrors!). Or that my social life came to an end. I had an unexplored belief that children had the potential to be nasty little terrors who manipulated their parents.

It rocked my world to discover that my baby was not trying to manipulate me. He really needed me. If he was crying he was in pain, hungry or tired. He really did not have an agenda to destroy my life, even though it felt like it at times. And being told that I was too weak to resist his manipulation only p*ssed me off.

He would only sleep next to me and only fall asleep on my breast. Weeks became months, (which has almost become two years) and this has become my daily reality. I would have shuddered in pure horror if someone would have told me my almost 2 year old would still be breastfeeding and in our bed. I would have sworn to make sure it would never happen, under any circumstances. I remember listening to a friend who gave birth months before me sharing her woes of having a baby in bed and feeding on demand, and how that really upset many people in her extended family. I kinda agreed with them in my heart. Being pregnant I had to know all about it already…. (not!).

And I have learnt so much in these two years.

My baby fed on demand. He sleeps in our bed and I do my best to meet his needs, while also allowing for him to understand I have needs as he grows in his understanding of human relationships.

In many ways this seriously rocked my world. I did a dramatic about turn in my thinking. And it has unsettled me in a certain way. I feel a little less confident and certain of myself. (I also feel very satisfied as a mother parenting in tune with both my childs’ needs, and mine) I have had to reassess my beliefs and expectations on so many things through the heart of a mother. I am a little cautious when it comes to embracing anything to the extent that it closes off other options. The mind set of having it all ‘sorted’ and relying on an external authority or a philosophy for guiding my choices did not play out well for me. There is still a small part of me still wonders about me changing my philosophy on infant care so dramatically. Of course it suits me better to parent as I am parenting now. But what does it say about all the assumptions I have made in my life? How do I trust myself to know what is best?

I long for that experience of having the peace of knowing that there are no existential questions to be asked. That on a fundamental level I am at peace with myself and my choices and the questions that I pose myself are of a more practical nature and less of an existential one. I am slowing down in my use of disussion boards. I no longer feel the need to check myself and make sure that I am not missing something in how I go about making my choices in my life.

I’m getting there.

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My path into a rhythm at home

The 2nd batch

I have been struggling with this, well, since I became a mother. Having grown up in an anthroposophical home and knowing how central rhythm is for growing children, and adults alike – I did not need much convincing that this would indeed be important.

And yet, almost 2 years later, I am still struggling.

DS’s sleep has been all over the place – and I wrote about my poorly managed sleep fiasco recently. I KNOW that if his sleeping and eating times were predictable, much of the angst and frustration could be resolved. On paper/screen it looks so damn easy. You just wake up and the day flows.

Mine does not. I aim for general eating and sleeping times and structure outings to accommodate that. However, in practice it just doesn’t always work. And I end up with a toddler who is overtired and me being strung out.

Apart from now consistently getting into bed by 7:30 in the evening and waking up at 6:30 in the morning, I have made sourdough each Tuesday for the last 3 weeks. I make 3 loves, enough for our family for a week. I like it that it took a week to start the sourdough starter, and I just keep it going for a week each time. Each time the bread has come out tastier and more bread like. This is my  anchor in my weekly rhythm. No matter what happens, we will have fresh bread on Tuesdays. Oh, and clean laundry on Sundays. Sunday has become washing day. I like having a day where I know that I will wash all the laundry – and not just wait for the dirty laundry to be full.

I remember reading in a LLL magazine about the difficulty of transitioning to being at home. One mum advised that it takes 2 years to make that transition. And I think that might be true for me. In a month I will have been home 2 years. And only now do I feel like I am starting to get a handle on the situation.

I know that once I get beyond preparing wholesome food, I need to get it right with regards to serving said wholesome food at a regular time, and not just when it is ready – usually an hour later than DS needs in order to nap/sleep on time.

I’m getting there. 🙂

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I miss the recognition

I had a really sh*t morning.

DS would not go to sleep. After closing the shutters (to make a dark and restful room) and reading a story (to relax him and prepare him for sleep) and nursing him in bed (further relaxation and sleep preparation) he was jumping on the bed and threw a complete wobbly when I switched the light off. Which ended with him slapping me in the face.

I did not handle that at all well.

I lost it.

I jumped off the bed and shouted something at him, slammed the door, and in the process broke the door handle. I had to break through the shutters to get back into the bedroom.

All of this of course was not conducive to sleep. I was still shaking with rage when I got back into bed with him, calling my husband for support. And to my absolute horror, shouted at my son again when he showed no signs of going to sleep.

I am mortified that I shouted at him twice, that he was locked in a room for about 20 seconds and that I have such a poor control over my responses to frustration.

And yet it is bigger than that. It always is.

No one likes to be slapped in the face, even if it is by a toddler, and you know they don’t know better.

Being slapped in the face on a day where I am questioning the wisdom of my staying home to be with my child for both our good, his and mine, was perhaps a bit more of a challenge than I was up to.

I hate it that I have lost respect in the eyes of people around me. Staying home and preparing healthful food and creating a warm and loving home environment seems to be regarded as menial work – for the brainless and those with no ambition. I used to think I was intelligent and that I had ambition. Perhaps I need to accept that that is not so.

I really miss the days where I got positive feedback for a job well done. Where a grandparent would introduce me by giving the name of the hospital I worked at and my accomplishments with learning a new language and building a life for myself in a foreign country. I no longer have that. I am ‘just a mum, who cooks, cleans and tidies up after a toddler’. Anybody can do that. Nothing special about it at all.

I try to make myself feel better about my choices, by reading up on food preparation and food in general. Making choices that makes sense to me for social and physical health. I work hard to clean our home with ecological cleaners, to model cleaning for my son, and to keep a safer environment for him. And to not be polluting the earth. I have begun to avidly read labels on pretty much everything I buy, as I decode the names and what they could mean for our health.

I devour chat threads on health and healing, on how nutrition is the basis for good health. I want what I am doing to count, to matter – and I want to be recognised for my outstanding choices and effort.

And yet, I know that there is an equally passionate mother, making totally different choices than I am. I touched on this in a previous post on vaccines. People make very different choices. I just haven’t yet made peace with my choice within the variety of choices available.

Last night my professor FIL felt the need to share his wisdom by commenting on our mistake of not letting DS find himself in the world alone by leaving him to fall asleep without his mother or father. Why? Apparently we are making a mistake to not leave DS alone in the evenings while we go out to dinner, movies, theatre, whatever. That we leave DS during the day to have our fun, while still being with him at night is, well, obviously pathological.

Apart from not being recognised as a competent and intelligent, I actually enjoy being at home. But the not being recognised part does my head in. I hate being thought of as inferior (aha…. I believe I have touched the core of the issue, and hence my outrageous outburst earlier today). I think my choice can say a lot about me and who I am. I just wish it didn’t say to some people, that I lack ambition, intelligence or competence.


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