June 2007

June 08

Time to baby proof

Bronwyn is 10 and a half months old, and I have only done a the most basic babyproofing in our home.  I haven’t needed to.  She never moves from the place I leave her.  That all changed about 2 weeks ago.  I don’t know what prompted this sudden burst of mobility, but once Bronwyn figured out that she had teh power to control where she went, she is like a whole new baby.  No longer does she lay on the floor while I change her diaper.  Instead, she screams while I wrestle her down and one-handed try to remove her sodden diaper.  As soon as she is free (and often before) she has flipped over and is crawling frantically over to her crib where she attempts to pull herself up onto the rails.  I have had to adjust my strategy and now usually place teh new diaper on her while she is standing.  Sometimes distracting er with a toy works, but usually that is just more incentive to get away from the chore that is having to have her diaper changed.  When did this turn into a chore for HER I ask you?
 
If she hasn’t pulled herself up to standing I leave her on the floor to play while I take care of the diaper.  Today I brought it downstairs thinking I could add it to the laundry that was already started.  By the time I returned, Bronwyn had flipped over, turned around and had headed for the door.  She was stopped there though by the fascinating properties of said door.  Meaning it swings.  I found her enthralled pushing the door open and then closed again, squealing each time it swung by her face.  I don’t think the inventor of hinges was more smitten with this concept. 
 
After changing her I placed Bronwyn on the kitchen floor to fend for herself while I cleaned up after breakfast.  When I envisioned her fending for herself however, I meant with toys- as in to play by herself.  Instead she found half of yesterday’s graham cracker.  I can only assume to finished it as I cannot find the remnants anywhere!  She then proceeded to scoot across the floor to bang on the door, thusly summoning the dogs to her great and unending delight. 
 
This new found freedom is nice for me as it allows me to do other things while watching her instead of the usual having to sit with her to help her play.  However, with every foot she crawls away she is realizing that she and I are not one person like she thought.  “It is a scary world out there on your own” is what I want to scream, but instead I cheer her on, because that is what good mothers do.

Not your typical saturday

Saturday started of atypically right from the get-go.  When I rolled over to look at the time on the clock, it was an amazing 8:45am.  I listened closely, but no noises emerged from the room next door.  So far so good.  I got up, got dressed, tidied the kitchen and took my breakfast out onto the porch where I ate and read until 10am.  At this point I had started to hear the rest of the household stir, so I resigned myself to the real start of my day.  But no sooner had I installed Bronwyn in her high chair outside for brunch then the new neighbour arrived bearing an invitation to spend the day at her friend’s house on the water.  Sounding promising, the day proved to only get better as we quickly piled the kids in the car, threw the necessaries into bags, and slathered sunscreen onto our unprotected parts.  When did I get so careful in the sun?  I don’t ever remember even applying sunscreen to myself let alone making sure I tote it everywhere I go now.  I must be growing up.  The house was indeed on the Ottawa River with a decent beach and a nice lawn to lounge on.  We spread out food and drinks and baby toys on blankets and chatted.  Bronwyn played in the sand for awhile and then, necessarily, took a swim!  The water was chilly, but doable and Bronwyn seemed to like being swished back and forth through the shallows, scattering minnows right and left. 
 
By the time we left it was getting late.  Bronwyn went down for a quick nap without even eating or being changed.  When she awoke a couple hours later, she was cheerful and playful again.  We decided to check out a restaurant in Cobden for supper, which turned out to be very classy, very delicious, and pretty crowded.  However, crowded is what Bronwyn does best, and we were soon attracting admiring stares from our fellow diners.  While waiting for our entrees, Bruce showed me how he was trying to get B to clap.  It hadn’t proved successful yet, but it was fun to see her interest in the noise she could make.  When our food arrived (really good!!), and after I had cut up a few carrots and bits of garlic bread for our budding food critic, we paid less attention to our surroundings, and much much more on our food.  I looked up from a bite of smothered chicken to see Bronwyn staring at her reflection in the door across the aisle and clapping softly to herself.  From that point, we couldn’t stop her.  She clapped all the way home, and this morning when we presented Bruce with his Father’s Day gift.  She clapped on the way to church and afterwards while we chatted in the sanctuary. 
 
She is learning so much, and so quickly.  She truly is a “sponge”.  While I was watching America’s Got Talent last night before bed, this 11 year old boy came on the stage.  They gave some of his background.  He had been abused when he was younger and been sent to live in foster care.  He was adopted by 2 women, who have worked tirelessly to draw him out of his protective shell.  It is hard to believe that the boy who I saw last night was anything but a wonderful, self-motivated, confident child.  How could anyone treat such a treasure in any way but with love and respect?  He probably won’t win, but I admire his spirit, and hope his new guardians realize what a gift this child is. 
 
 
 

June 17

Colossians 3:21

Fathers do not embitter your children.  Pastor Ernie had quite a bit to say on this verse and the preceeding one.  Most was old, but he generally has a different take or a new way to approach these things.  All in all a good sermon.  But what I remember most about the lesson is a comment right at the end where he talked about discipline.  He reminded new fathers (and mothers) that we can’t lose the battle of the wills.  He said that in this generation we are raising children to expect a payback or reward for every action.  We are training our children to be sullen and discontented with life. 
 
I was jarred to reality in a heartbeat.  What were we playing at, Bruce and I?  Raising children?  I thought back to the boy last night on America’s Got Talent.  What happened to his parents?  Why should God allow me to have a child/children?  What am I supposed to do with them?  I am no Hannah.  I couldn’t give Bronwyn to the church at weaning age.  But am I any more qualified to raise and train a young mind? 
 
I won’t pretend these aren’t just musings.  As my own mother could (and will) tell you, I have never been one to be plaugued with low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy.  I also take my responsibilities seriously and would never knowingly jeopardize God’s Gift through lack of proper knowledge or laziness.  But it is something to think about, even if fleetingly.  I know that I can get pretty “mama bear” at times.  When it comes to Bronwyn, I feel I am her categorical protector of well-meaning persons who don’t understand my philosophy of child-rearing.  Maybe I need to let go a little?  I don’t think so.  Not yet.  When I chose to have her, I unconciously made a promise to do my best.  And, ultimately, I am a winner.   
June 20

Almost a toddler

Literally.
 
Since Marlys has been here, Bronwyn seems to be learning something new everyday, if not every hour.  She is a competent creeper by now (even though she only started approximately 10 days ago), and can motor pretty fast when she wants to.  She is also adept at traversing obstacles such as pillows, toys, and daddy’s legs.  She has, several times now, let go of whatever she was holding on to to stand momentarily so she can clap her hands together.  It is hard to clap when one or both hands are otherwise engaged in holding onto the couch.  She crawled outside the other day.  I went to hang some laundry on the line and left the baby in the kitchen with the door open so I could hear her, and she crawled over and out the step.  She got both hands and one foot down before becoming stuck and crying for help.  Not too shabby for a newbie.  She also climbed up the “stair” step stool Stef made.  We were all hanging out talking when Bruce pointed out that her feet were no longer on the floor and her knees were both up on the first step.  She would have continued, I am sure, if there had been more steps! 
 
It is exciting to watch her learn and remember what she has learned day to day.  She is also happier now that she is not so dependent on me for entertainment and mobility
June 27

Things worth mentioning

Well, it was a busy weekend. 
 
We had Marlys over at our place for the week preceeding the Oakville trip, and it was fun!  Bronwyn really took to her, and Mar got to see what she is really like since she was comfortable in her own setting and in her own routine.  Garage saleing was not bad.  We came out on top with some baby toys, and new booster seat and some things for the garden.  But best was the tupperware meat marinader for $1 and the crokinole board for $10.  Definitely a good haul.
 
We also went to visit my friend Kristie and her new baby.  Amelia is 3 weeks old and super cute.  I held her for a while until Bronwyn started to get jealous.  Boy is she in for a surprise this winter!!
 
We also went to see Joan and her brood.  Bronwyn and Anne had a blast sharing edible sticks (apprently from the way they were chewing on them!!) and clumps of soil from the garden.  Our little terroirists!
 
When we arrived back home, it only took a few days for the call of the new lawn tractor to drag Bruce outside to try it out!  He cut the lawn in a third of the time, and still had time to prune the garlic, mulch the blueberries, tomatoes and saplings and tend to other garden related chores.  He found my lone rose plant that I thought had died has grown a solitary bloom of the most gorgeous reddish orange colour.  Also one of the apple trees is so laden with fruit that it will need to be staked so it doesn’t fall over!  Our strawberries are as big as store bought ones and even more tasty (way bigger since last week Mar).  And our potatoe plants are HUGE.  We are so thrilled with how well everything is progressing. 
 
Bronwyn started letting go of furniture to practice standing on her own.  She lets go with both hands and then grabs back on if she feels she is falling.  She did this on purpose twice today.  It won’t be long now!  She has also added “again” to her vocabulary.  She can’t quite get the “g” sound, but it is still recognizable. 
 
Baby Brulie II is also showing some personality.  Bronwyn started kicking late and it was mostly just flutters until about 26 weeks.  This child is KICKING.  HARD.  And he is only 17 weeks.  Either I have a really large baby inside here, or we are in trouble because he will be so active.  Either way- I can’t wait!
 
 
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