hannah's blog

I hear about a lot of dare-devil little boys. The type who scramble up trees with no thoughts of how to get down, or worse, try jumping off the roof with an umbrella for a parachute- things like that that are often portrayed in movies and subsequently tested out by real live counterparts. Read more about 31 Days of Parenting Littles: Dare...

"Look Mommy! Look! Look! Look Daddy! Look!"

Every parent knows this refrain well. "Look! A leaf! A caterpillar! A flower! Look! I'm running SO FAST! Look! I can climb the slide! Look! I can slide down the slide! Look Mommy! Look!"

Right now Josiah is especially excited about having us look at everything he does and sees. He runs around saying, "sah! sah!" which means "see! see!".

Josiah is our second child- second son as well. When he was born we felt quite comfortable that we knew what we were doing. And we did when it came to the little things. It didn't take long for us to discover though that just because he was our second son didn't mean he would be anything like our first! People say that every child is different, and I was in complete agreement with that when I was pregnant with Josiah. I didn't expect him to be the same as Zak. You can't really fully understand HOW different they can be until the second one arrives though!

You have not KNOWN fear until you see your child seriously hurt or sick. I've never been more afraid than the time Josiah took a very bad fall at 10 months old. He fell from a height of about 5 feet onto a tile floor and I was terrified. Immediately your mind jumps to the worst- he could die- his neck could be broken or there could be internal bleeding on the brain- he could DIE.

The Bible says to honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2). What exactly does that mean though, and how can we teach it to our children? The verb, to honor, means "to regard with great respect". So according to that, one of the things we need to teach our children is to respect us. To do that, we need to be worthy of respect and we also need to model respect, especially towards each other.

Babies and toddlers go through a period of discovering the world through taste. And I don't mean the world of food. The things you find yourself saying as a parent when they're in this stage border on the absurd:
"Please stop licking the washing machine."
"Cat food is for cats, not little boys." (Ditto for dog food)
"We don't lick shoes."
"Drink the juice, don't eat the (styrofoam) cup."
"If you're going to lick the window, please lick the inside, not the outside." What can I say? You relax as you have more kids!

I try to avoid clich├ęs for the most part, but sometimes you come across one that is just all too true. One of my favourite parenting sayings is, "the days are long but the years are short". It's just SO TRUE. Some days just drag by and feel unending (doubly so if you're in a stage where your baby/toddler/child isn't sleeping...those days it kind of seems like "the days (and nights) are long but the naps are short"!). When you look back over weeks, months, and years though, it all seems to have gone by so quickly. I can't believe we have a 5 year old now! In some ways it seems like forever since we were first time parents, bringing Zak home from the hospital, but in other ways it just seems gone so fast.

I'm having to adjust to life with 3 now for real. Raoul went back to work this week, so it's time to figure out our new "normal". So far it's not as bad as I was afraid it might be. And by bad I actually more mean "difficult".

It's those moments when I'm sitting on the couch with an nursing pillow and newborn on my lap, while Josiah grabs DVD's off the shelf or throws a book across the room and I feel helpless. It's the times I'm holding Anneke, picking up Josiah, and have Zak tugging at my arm for something.

I felt like trying some free verse, though what you might get out of 5 minutes when writing poetry has yet to be seen. Here goes nothing!

Life
A tiny spark
flicker heartbeat,
flutter kicks
soon become firm nudges
from feet, knees, and fists
birth
painful, beautiful, life changing birth
the curiousness
halting, wondering, careful guidance
beginning to feed
dressing them the first time
the first bath
so careful, so afraid of getting it wrong
crying
soothing
rocking
shushing
praying
the first smile
first laugh

As I type, Anneke is sleeping, wrapped on my chest. I am never away from her. It will probably be many months before I go out without her at all, even for just a few hours. In the 5 years we've been parents, we've never left our children overnight. One or both of us has been with them each night, and the only time I've been away is when I'm in the hospital giving birth to the next sibling. We have friends who have gone away for romantic weekends or even on holiday for a week or two, leaving the kids with relatives or close friends. I'm happy for them that they coiuld take the time and recharge, but I honestly couldn't even imagine doing that until our kids are much older. I don't think I'd be able to relax and enjoy it. Even just dates have been rare since becoming parents- at least completely child-free ones.