Tag Archives: family

Worthy of serious attention

I have recently received the book How Children Learn by John Holt. I am delving into the idea of homeschooling my family, looking at the emotional , financial and educational implications for everyone, me included.

Anyway, I was struck by his mentioning how babies were not considered worthy of attention from the scientific community in the 1960’s. This brought back a clear memory from the weekend (DH told me about it, I was not there).

My husband and son were visiting my FIL after an outing to the beach and DS needed a bath to get all the sand off. Now DS still does not like his hair being washed/brushed and resists strongly. FIL, in his attempt to show DH how it is done put a soapy hand on DS’s head which of course resulted in a protest. FIL assured DH that it is fine for DS to protest, it doesn’t mean anything.

This is precisely where myself and DH meet resistance with FIL on pretty much every parenting topic that can come up. In FIL’s mind until you communicate in full sentences and can give a measured and educated opinion regarding whatever is being discussed, your opinion does not count. Even when you are an adult, and especially if you are a child.

I continue to be baffled by this approach.

I do not feel comfortable ignoring my sons communication just because he is not discussing the issue in a rational adultlike way. If he says “no touch head, no hair” and makes a point of it before each bath, I have decided that is a good enough reason to respect his request. Yes, his hair looks a little manky sometimes, but mostly nobody would guess he has had his hair washed a handful of times in his life. It is not making him sick, or smelly. For whatever reason (I suspect partly sensory, partly control of his body) he finds having his hair washed extremely uncomfortable.

Back to John Holt. As I read the sentence about babies not being worthy of serious attention until time makes them more interesting, I remembered FIL’s comments about DS when he was a baby. And that was just it. Babies are boring for him and only interesting when they speak rationally. Even then (DH being a prime example) you cannot trust them to think in the right way and draw the right conclusions.

Rant off.


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I’m back

Our family gathering in Berlin

After an intense period getting used to being pregnant, passing the anniversary of my mothers death, witnessing my fathers wedding, I have the head space to start writing again.

We have been very busy preparing our home to receive another child, making sure DS will have his own space. Building an outside play house, making toys, preparing to bring rabbits into our yard, preparing to change our spare room into a play room, making our master bedroom (all 9 square meters of it) into one giant bed for the family and generally just investing in our home space.

Passing the first anniversary of my mothers death was an enormously important date for me. I feel like a different person and have the motivation and determination to get back to building the life I want.

I can’t wait to bring this blog up to date with all that we have been busy making and doing, as well as DS’s potty learning and how smoothly it has been going so far.

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Back to normal – kind of

Story time with uncle

My brother and his grilfriend left last night. I have my home back to myself and now I have some time to think about being pregnant and preparing to bring our second child into the world.

I have set myself the task of looking into nutritional requirements for pregnant mothers, and started with zinc However, it is a much larger project that I initially thought. I do hope to get it done. It is facinating to see what one mineral is responsible for throughout pregnancy.

I am still quite amazed that I am  pregnant. My life is so intense right now, I still do not really know how to integrate this news. Yesterday I was 7 weeks pregnant, I can feel a small swell over my pubic bone and I look very pregnant thanks to bloating and gas (despite no complex carbs). But I can’t get my head around the reality yet. I am not doing ultrasound, and have not yet been to any doctor for ‘confirmation’. It’s kinda weird to just own it, me and my husband. No one else butting in just yet. I am glad we are doing it that way this time.

In other developments – it turns out that I REALLY am not ready for my father to get married. I am angry at him for rushing it, and I do not trust their reasons. She is Catholic, so no living together or even touching each other until they are married. Hence the rushed marriage. They really do want to be together. I just think that it is artificial to put that kind of pressure on an older couple. My father has hardly mourned my mother, and now he is getting married. Her girls do not want them married now, but there is no way for my father and her to be together without being married. ARGH! I have never been a fan of organised religion, and I wish that people could be more in tune with their needs emotionally without sticking the whole church/religion thing into the decicion.

He is getting married on the 7th of July. I will meet her one day before they get married. I will have to accept this. And get on with my own life and leave them to get on with theirs. I cannot help but feel this is driving us apart. However, I am not an adolescent, and my father must do as he sees fit.

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Another sleepless night

Me last night

My brother arrived last night – or at 5am this morning. I hardly slept all night in anticipation to see him, and kept weeing every couple of hours…. so gonna test again tomorrow.

Right now I am experiencing weird twinges in my lower pelvis every time I get up too quickly – or if I am physically working hard (like working in the garden).

This still does not feel so real….. hopefully tonight I will get a good nights’ sleep and do my test tomorrow morning 🙂

Image from http://www.nurseryprints.com/images/Sheep/NEWSHEEP.JPG

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And I am wide awake. My husband and son are fast asleep and I have snuck out to get my head around our news I guess that is why I can’t sleep. I am too excited.

Yesterday I got a very faint positive test for being pregnant.

The last two weeks have been quite intense, well actually the last month, and if it really comes down to it, the last year.

Two weeks ago I dreamed I gave birth to a little girl. When I was pregnant with DS I dreamed I gave birth to a little boy, so I paid attention to this dream. A week ago my maternal grandmother also died, making this last week bitter sweet. (more on that later)

A month ago I cut all grains and complex carbs out of my diet in an effort to stabilise my mood, in anticipation of being pregnant in the coming months. We were not planning on being pregnant this month. I have a whole slew of tests lined up to see what is going on in my body with regards to absorption and elimination of essential and toxic minerals, gut flora, amino acid profile etc. I have had high anxiety about being pregnant again with so little support, without my mum and just not sure how I will handle a toddler and a newborn. Anyway, I am essentially on a GAPS type of a diet.

So, if this pregnancy holds, I will be due 3 days after my mum’s birthday – which is really reassuring for me. I feel she will be with me – although I am sure it does not need to be related to her birthday. It is reassuring.

I will also hopefully be over the worst of the morning sickness (last time I had all day sickness) by the time I fly to Berlin for my fathers wedding.

I think being pregnant now is actually a good thing. It guides me on focusing on my life and helps me leave my fathers life alone. I have become so deeply involved in facilitating communication, as well as being my fathers confidant, that I know that I need to back out a bit. I need to trust that I will not loose my father. I need to trust this new woman – that she will love and share her her life with my father. I need to be OK in my life and focus on my family now.

I also think there has been enough death in my immediate life for a little while. I hope this pregnancy is a healthy and happy one. I do feel good so far. And I am so much more certain about how this pregnancy will be managed. I will not be getting ultrasounds, I will not be tested for a million and one things. I want to be left in peace, unless I feel something is wrong and warrants investigation. I think my most powerful lesson from my last pregnancy and birth, is the knowledge that my body knows. First and foremost.

I still remember the ultrasound technician scoffing at me when I came in for my 22 week scan and I had not done all the previous diagnostic scans. He asked me why, and I said that I saw no reason, and back home (South Africa) none of my friends are offered so many tests. He pretty much snickered and said he is the expert and there is no reason to avoid them, or something like that, and went on to torture me with a vaginal scan. At 22 weeks. Idiot. I will never, ever concede to such torture again. And most certainly not for a better view of my baby’s brain.

So, providing all goes well in the next 12 weeks, I will be planning a homebirth with a midwife. Now I just need to find her.

Oh, and I have one more test to do tomorrow morning.

ETA: If you know me in real life, please keep this news to yourself. I obviously would not like this news being shared just yet with people who know me.


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And life moves forward

I miss her

have slowly been getting used to the idea that my mother is no longer with me. I have been fretting about our second child (still to be conceived) and worrying about how I will handle a new born together with DS and alone, without my mother. Our plan had been for her to come out for a period of time after the birth. I had hoped that it would be up to 3 months, but we had not spoken on the duration of the time.

So, I need to do this without her.

Add to that, my father has met a woman. A woman who makes him so happy, I can just hear the happiness bubbling out of his throat.

This woman sounds very special, and certainly worthy (!) of my fathers love.

I had imagined him finding a different partner at some time. In my fantasy, it would be a woman for him to go travelling the world, to see theatre, movies and concerts. To share the good life he was supposed to be able to share with my mother in their older years.

This woman is herself a mother to young girls (12 and 14, I think). She is 8 years older than me and significantly younger than my father. Which I don’t really have a problem with, her being younger. It’s more that it means she is in a different stage of her life from my father and by being with her, he becomes part of another family raising children. I am very confused about him becoming a part of a totally different family. I feel like I will loose him. And I feel like I am loosing any semblance of my family life that was left after my mother died.

My brother assures me that dad is much happier and has come back to life, so to speak. He was just going through the motions and not finding much point to life. So, for that, this new woman certainly has an important role to play in my fathers happiness.

Her and I are in touch via email. And she is amazingly open and honest with me, and I really do feel like there is a wonderful potential not only in her relationship with my father, but also with me.

Just right now, knowing that she and her girls are away in the mountains with my father, as both ‘sides’ get to know each other hiking, braaing (BBQ) and lounging in the pool makes me accutely unhappy. I do not know if I am ready to let go of the image of our family together as it was when my mother was alive. I do not think I have even fully accepted that my mother is dead. And now I am being forced to.

My parents honoured each other for 34 years and kept their fidelity. While that is not being threatened just yet, it is so hard for me to think of the family unit that I grew up with falling apart. It is just my memory of it for now, but that is shaken knowing that in the future, my father will no doubt join his life with this woman’s. And a new family dynamic will start.

And together in all of this, is my deeper questioning of my relationship with my mother. My trying to fathom who she was as a person. And in some ways being intensly angry at her for dying and leaving us with such a gaping hole.

Our last hike together up behind my parents home

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Not your average looking sufganiyah, but it was super tasty with blueberry jam centre. Yum

I tried these sufganiyot, only with whole spelt flour rather than regular flour and I left it to rise over 6 hours, not half an hour.

We also made these latkes.

I loved watching DS’s face glow in the candle light as his grandfather lit the candles and we sang the bracha (blessing) and Chanukka songs. Oddly, DH thought DS looked uncomfortable. I really enjoyed the evening and DH felt awkward singing songs and lighting candles. It is not something he grew up with. And yet I am so happy his 2nd dad is there to pass on the tradition to DS. It is something I want DS growing up with as part of his his life experience and identity.

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