this is the end of a tummy time photo shoot... <3


I have read a lot of things about children and so I don't know really where I got the idea that they are egocentric beings who need to learn that the world they live in does not actually revolve around them; that all of the times they get upset are really rooted in this delusion that the world is supposed to be working for them.

Well now, three months into revolving my world around one of these egocentric beings, I disagree that he is egocentric.  He lives in the present and only in the present.  If in the present he is hungry, then in the present he needs to be fed.  When he is comfortable his present is filled with cooing and the start of his giggle, lots and lots of drooling and smiles from both of us.  Honestly, the time when his present is totally comfortable and all needs are met is usually pretty fleeting; though it does last long enough for me to wonder what the heck to do with him next- that is usually the sign that it is going to end soon if it isn't already over.  I think my baby's "present" varies from about thirty seconds to two minutes based on observations of the cycles when he cries where he can calm himself down a bit and then starts up again.  Also, he understands that I am coming to meet his needs in a short time frame if I hold up two fingers at him- a sign that means "two minutes" to me but usually only gets about 40 seconds of calm baby and doesn't work more than two or three times in a row.

My totally awesome therapist that I worked with for the three years after my dad died always held living in the present as an ideal way of life.  Touch the past, hope for the future, but live in the present.  My baby seems to be giving the ultimate demonstration of living in the present since he has no solid memories of the past and no concept of the future to muddle things for him.  Following him, letting his schedule and his needs dictate what I do forces me to live so much more in the present then I have ever been able to before- some days it is easier for me to do than others.  Some days his present allows me to get work done around the house, or prepare a meal with two free hands.  Other days he needs to be in arms or his present is not a happy place.  The days that are harder are the ones where I am trying to live outside of my present.


Life is getting more structured and I am just really starting to realize it.  E has pretty much established his schedule though I feel like it varies through out the month.  We definitely seem to be on a monthly rotation that is most identifiable by E's sleep patterns.  We'll have about a week where E will sleep more than anything else and then over the next three weeks after that he slowly starts sleeping less and less and less until he has a few days where he sleeps at night and can only do half hour naps in arms during the day.  Those days are hard because I can't sleep while he is napping if I need to.  And, when I do get the chance to lay down it really doesn't last longer than fifteen minutes and I wake up to E crying.  I think that is the worst part of having a baby- you don't really get to wake up in silence or peace.

The days of bad sleeping make for a cranky little boy so that time is difficult.  Then, the cycle starts over.  In the week where E is sleeping a lot I am too, so the housework isn't getting done as much.  Plus I just spent the previous days with a baby I felt like I couldn't make happy and so my confidence is blown a bit.  This past group of "bad sleep days" are the first I have handled well without a crying meltdown or irrational behavior towards Marc.

I haven't really had time to myself since E was born.  Partially that is because we are living in a new place so I don't have established friends to hang out with or regular activities to continue doing.  In Toronto I played water polo twice a week and I miss it so much now.  Joining the Toronto Triggerfish was something I did kind of on a whim just because I felt like it.  And joining a water polo team is not the only whim I just acted on.  I think about my last few years in Toronto almost as a past life now.... having a baby kills selfish parts of you that you didn't even realize were selfish.

This past weekend I did the first thing "for me" in Denmark.  I went to a gospel choir workshop in Aarhus with a group of ladies from church.  A new friend, Ida, invited me in front of my mother to come along back before E was born.  My mother encouraged me and in the end I think God really pushed me to agree to go.  I was afraid to go because I knew E would have to come along since he needs to be fed during the day.  And, I had to decide whether or not to go when E was about a month old so I had a really bad "worst case scenario" in my head.  The workshop ended up going really well.  I think E loved being wrapped to me all day as I sang and danced.  Any time he got fussy, he was happy to take my hand and munch on a finger of his choosing.  He actually removed the finger he was sucking on and inserted another into his mouth a few times.  I was very impressed with how he behaved and I was able to learn all the music.  On Saturday we are performing a concert.  Obviously, Marc will have E for the concert and hopefully for the hours beforehand.  I am just hoping E behaves as well for Marc as he did for me.

Life in Denmark, as hard as it has been to relocate, is getting more busy and I am starting to see what "normal" will hopefully be like.  I will be able to learn Danish.  I will have good friends with children of similar ages.  We know more people our age here who are having babies, newly married or about to get married than we did in Canada.  I will have too many activities to go to.  I may even work a full time job before I know it.  But, it's all going to take time to coalesce.  I have recently accepted the fact that I can't make any of the adjusting happen faster then it is going to happen and in doing so have found an overall peace that I didn't have before.  I really feel like I want to stay here and build a permanent life.  I feel like in a Danish life I will be able to raise E and any of his future siblings in the ways that before were just the ideals in my head.  So many aspects of raising children you don't have control over and in Denmark, the parts I can't control are done the way I would do them if I could control them.  It does suck that our family is far away, but I can see a Danish surrogate family being put together around us- God is great.  I am overwhelmed with how great everything is and I want now what I see can be in the future.  But, the lesson that nothing great comes easy is being reinforced in me these days over and over again.  It would be easier if everyone in the world spoke one single language, but human brains would not be as dynamic.  It would be easier if I bottle fed my baby, but I want to be all he needs.  It would be easier if I lived near family and old friends, but I would not be in a community where my ideal expectations are realities; where my children can grow up in as close to perfection as I can imagine there being.  Possibility feels so good.

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