Co-Sleeping and (In)Dependence

cosleeping

This blog is a response that was written for someone asking for perspective on co-sleeping, more specifically whether or not co-sleeping leads to (in)dependence – translated from Dutch.

Personally I have found that it provides a good foundation from which my son can explore the world more independently. When children/babies are very small, they have so many needs – both psychologically and physiologically; where within meeting these needs you in essence create an environment of “you’re welcome here”, “you’re being supported”. Which rests the child assured and nurtures self-trust. Versus the scenario where you are very small and at your all-time most vulnerable phase, not having your needs met with a response – you’re creating an environment which begs the questions “why am I not being supported?”

Where we as parents, are essentially ‘Gods’ that have all the power to meet their needs or not; and when we don’t, the conclusion forming in the child easily becomes “it has to be me, there’s something wrong with me, I am at fault”.

This type of environment or atmosphere breeds distrust in the child. This can later on manifest itself in dependent, insecure behaviour but just as much in ‘confident behaviour’, but where this confidence is more a perversion of actual confidence. In the sense that the inner angst gets balanced out through a big ego, where one utilises superiority to hide/cover up the actual experience of inferiority. From the outside as an observer, the parents are rest assured because from the outside ‘it all looks okay’, but on the inside there’s all kind of things going on which will tend to come out / channelled through in more secretive behaviour.

I don’t see co-sleeping in itself as a guarantee, but more of a ‘symptom’ of a more conscious perspective coming from the parents towards the needs of their child(ren); where sleeping together is only a single aspect of daily life where this kind of conscious awareness is taking place, but where there are so many more moments/aspects in every day life which require conscious awareness in your presence and response as a parent – where if this is not in place in all the other aspects, you can still facilitate dependent behaviour.

On the other hand I have also found that children have a lot more needs than what I was personally aware of before I had my son. I was really baffled that this wasn’t part of my reality and that this was ‘known’. Within this context, it can be quite scary to see this sort of ‘dependent behaviour’, in the sense that it’s easy to think that “Shit, I must be doing something wrong, because this isn’t normal right?” Where it’s not that the child is being ‘extra dependent’, but that we, overtime, have forgotten what it entails to raise a small child and what it takes to really be involved and present in raising your child. Where the dependence is not the say, detrimental kind, but simply a fact of inter-dependence and inter-connectedness.

The child is not at fault here, but our conception of what is considered ‘normal’. What is normal, is to produce a good, obedient working force to keep the machine that is our society running, and in the light of this: personal involvement and presence of parents in tending to children’s needs, is well, inconvenient and cumbersome.

Going against the current of what is considered normal can arouse fears as the bulk of information that’s being produced is to maintain the status quo – not to change it. Our own conditioning, having internalised the outer precepts as our own, is very skilful at stirring doubt and leading ourselves to think that we’re being irrational. That if we persist with x, y, z (fill in whatever your parents, teachers, media etc have presented as the worst case scenario you’ll manifest should you continue with this other path, to strike fear into your heart in the hopes you’ll give up).

It’s not a simple matter, and there are many dimensions that come into play once you start opening it up!

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Co-Sleeping en (On)Afhankelijkheid

cosleeping

(***English translation coming soon***)

Deze blog is een response naar iemands vraag toe over co-slapen, en meer specifiek of dit naar (on)afhankelijkheid leidt.

Persoonlijk heb ik ondervonden dat het een goede fundering in plaats zet waaruit mijn zoon meer zelfstandig zichzelf in de wereld kan verkennen. Wanneer kinderen/babies heel klein zijn, hebben ze zoveel behoeftes, physiologisch en psychologisch, dat het ontmoeten van deze behoeftes in essentie een sfeer creëert van “je bent hier welkom”, “je wordt hier ondersteund”; wat het kind gerust stelt en zelf vetrouwen ontwikkelt. Versus als je heel klein bent en het meest kwetsbaar en je behoeftes geen response krijgen, krijg je een sfeer van ‘waarom word ik niet ondersteund?’

Waar de ouders in essentie ‘God’ zijn in dat ze alle macht hebben om die behoeftes te ontmoeten of niet — en als ze dit niet doen, is de conclusie snel “het moet aan mij liggen, er is iets fout met mij, ik doe iets verkeerd”.

Dit soort milieu broedt angst en wantrouwen in het kind. Dit kan kan dan later manifesteren in afhankelijk, onzeker gedrag maar evenzeer in “zelf zeker gedrag”, maar waar het eerder een soort pervertie is van zelfzekerheid. De inner angst wordt uitgebalanceerd met een groot ego, waar men superioriteit gebruikt om een gevoel van inferioriteit te bedekken / verschuilen. Aan de buiten kant zijn ouders dan gerust gesteld want aan de buiten kant ‘ziet het er allemaal oké uit’ , maar binnenin is er heel wat mis en komt dit uit in meer geheimlijk gedrag.

Co-slapen is geen garantie in zichzelf, ik zie het meer als een symptoom van een meer bewust perspectief van de ouders af naar de behoeftes toe van het kind, waar samen slapen enkel 1 aspect is van het dagelijkse leven waar dit soort bewustzijn in gebruik is, maar er zijn zoveel meer moment / aspecten in het leven van een kind dat bewustzijn eisen, en als deze niet in plaats zijn kan je nog steeds afhankelijk gedrag bevorderen.

Aan de andere kant heb ik ook bevonden dat kinderen veel meer behoeftes hebben dan wat ik persoonlijk gewaar van was voordat ik mijn zoon had. En hier , het zien van dit soort ‘afhankelijk’ gedrag kan wat schrikjagend overkomen in de zin dat het makkelijk is om te denken dat ‘shit, ik doe iets mis, dit is niet normaal toch? ‘. Waar het niet echt is dat het kind extra afhankelijk is maar dat wij zelf overtijd hebben vergeten wat het inhoud om een klein kind te zijn en wat dit juist inhoud om als ouder echt betrokken te zijn in het opvoeden van een kind. Waar de afhankelijkheid niet echt een ‘slechte’ afhankelijkheid is maar een feit van inter-depentie en inter-connectedness.

Het kind is hier niet in fout, maar onze conceptie van wat ‘normaal is’. Wat normaal is, is om goede werkertjes te produceren om het machine dat onze maatschappij is continu te laten lopen, en hierin is betrokkenheid en aanwezigheid van ouders in de behoeftes van het kind, wel, ongelegen en lastig.

Tegen in gaan in wat algemeen aanvaard is als ‘nornaal’ kan makkelijk angsten opwekken want het bulk van informatie dat wordt geproduceerd is om de status quo te behouden, niet om het te veranderen. En onze eigen conditionering is hierin heel goed om twijfel in te brengen en te denken dat we niet rationaal zijn, dat x,y,z (vul hier in watook je ouders, onderwijzers, media hebben gezegt als worst case scenario dat je gaat creëeren moest je het in je hoofd krijgen dingen anders te doen om je schrik aan te brengen in de hoop dat je je idee opgeeft).

Het is geen simple matter en er komen heel veel dimensies mee te spelen.

What is Love? (Baby don’t hurt me…no more…)

what is love

One of the pieces of advice I often received as a first time mother – was that if I just “love my child” = everything will be alright.

While the advice is well meant, it’s also extremely vague and abstract. Does Loving my child mean giving him lots of hugs and kisses? Does Loving my child mean that no matter what I do, it will all be okay in the end – because I ‘Love’ him and in the name of Love, all will be forgiven?

What is Love?

For some, Love means protecting those who they hold dear to the extent that they are controlling and limiting their child or life partner – out of fear that anything might happen to them that might ‘take them away’. Or perhaps we fear that they will make mistakes that they will regret and want to be involved in every single decision their life contains. While well meant, it has dark consequences.

For some, Love means making another the center of their universe, putting the loved one first, and self always second. While the loved one shines on an altar of worship, self diminishes and compromises every day – while the loved one feels smothered and in need of space.

For some, Love means beings hard on your child or partner – even if it takes aggressive physical measures – because the world is a hard and cruel place, and the sooner they know their place the better they will be off for it in the long run. The hurt now is justified by hurt prevented later. It’s only because ‘I love them’.

For some, Love means being super conscious of every single move one’s loved one makes. Keeping an eye out for competition, drowning in one’s own paranoia and suspicion, being strangled by jealousy when your loved one spends time with someone else.

For some, Love means leaving another alone, giving them freedom without boundaries – where even where the behaviour becomes obviously questionable or abusive, the loving one won’t step in out of fear of coming over ‘controlling’. Her mother used to love her through control you see.

For some, Love means investing a lot of money in another, getting the best and most expensive education – at the expense of their dreams. Because you know what the world values and while deep down you know ‘it’s not right’ – you’ve given up on your dreams a long time ago and submitted to the idea that the world is just the way it is and we better just deal with it.

 

Love – has many faces. And mostly our definitions of love are born from a reaction to the type of ‘Love’ we received as a child. If our parents were controlling, we will tend to give more freedom (and often don’t set boundaries where they are needed, in fear of being anything like are awful parents – God forbid! As much as we try to learn from the ways we’ve received Love, we tend to remain stuck by throwing ourselves into the extreme opposite polarity in the spectrum – where we still make mistakes and create consequences, but simply of a different kind.

In many if not most cases – Love remains but a feeling, a good intention – but the actions and consequences that follow pave the way to hell.

What does it mean to really live LOVE in action? What does it mean to TRULY LOVE your child?

  • For myself Love, means living by the principle of what is Best for All – guiding me in thought, word and deed. Where I not only look at myself, but consider everyone involved in my reality and how my actions may affect others presently or in the future. That whatever decision I make in the end result in the best possible outcome for all. So I can stand as an example for my child to treat others as I would like to be treated.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate myself as all the aspects that currently make-up ‘me’ so that I can take responsibility for any behaviour or perceptions that do not serve me nor my environment. So I may stand as an example of self-accountability to my son.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate all that is presented to me and to keep what’s good. I am open to perspectives and what others have to share and to test things out to come to my own conclusions. So I may stand as an example to my son for critical common sense reasoning and to not take anyone’s word on face value, not even my own.
  • Love, means to be present and aware in every single moment so that I may direct myself and my reality to the best of my ability. So I may stand as an example of self-love to my son and show in fact that he is to be taken seriously.
  • Love, means to admit my mistakes and to stand up from then rather than throwing my towel into the ring. To change myself to the best of my ability, so I may stand as an example of endurance, persistence and faith in self for my son.
  • Love, means to take care of my physical body, my temple to ensure that I may express myself as my body to the best of my ability. So I may stand as a nurturing example for my son.

This wasn’t always my definition of Love or go-to practical guide of action. I struggled with my own inner demons disguised as Love. Traveling and working through your inner landscape can be challenging and difficult. If you enjoy taking on these type of challenges, check out this free course: http://lite.desteniiprocess.com/

What is your definition of Love?Which faces of Love have you battled and struggled with?

IceBoy

ICEBOY(1)

Cesar decided to test out the pool waters in winter season… Just before we went to Europe the sun was out a lot and we’d swim in the pool practically every day. When he saw his blow up crocodile in the laundry room, he excitedly asked if we could go for a swim. I explained to him that the water was going to be much colder than we are used to and that I am not going to swim, but that if he really wants – he can give it a go. Down we went, to the pool – armed with towel and crocodile. He put his feet in the water and said ‘Woooah, ok that’s very cold’. For a moment I thought he was going to back off then and there. But nope, he followed with ‘Ok, put my crocodile over me’. Another deep breath followed as he pushed himself off the step to float into the water.

‘Oooh, too cold, too cold – I only want little bit of cold’ he says and peddles back to the step to get out. He does this whole process one more time to make that indeed, the water is too cold for him.

Cesar has surprised me and many others in his ability to withstand temperatures and climate conditions that no other ‘sane’ person would consider to face naked – or with very little clothes (only because he had to of course, if he could do things his way he’d go out in public spaces naked).

The moment he could express his choices more, certain things started happening. With increased motor function, came increased ‘tap’ control. No more nice warm relaxing co-baths for us – ice cold baths became the norm. (Needless to say, we soon started taking our own, separate baths and showers – occasionally sharing a lukewarm version we could both kind of agree on).

Diapers? Clothes – why wear them? I don’t see the dogs wearing any – and besides, it limits my movement!

We go out to play in the fields around midday. I put a hat on myself and Cesar, which has become pretty futile because he keeps taking it off. Fine – get a sunburn and heatstroke so you can learn the dangers of the sun! (Never gets heatstroke or sunburn…. In evenings I suffer from headaches and dehydration even though I covered myself up, used sunscreen and drank plenty of water).

Cesar really started pushing all my ideas about the limits of my physical reality and whether they were really limits or conditioned beliefs that I simply went along with.

I started playing with putting on less layers, going into the pool when it’s just a tab bit below my comfort level, stop complaining about whether it is too hot / too cold and see whether my experience changes as I change my attitude.

What I have found is that my ability to be comfortable in a wide variety of weather conditions depends a lot on my internal ‘weather’ system. Meaning that, if I am going through an emotional storm, I’m in conflict, I am tense – and I’m so consumed about what is going on inside myself and my head – where I am pretty much oblivious to my surroundings; that I am a lot more ‘sensitive’ to weather conditions. It’s almost as if in the act of being so internalised and self-absorbed, you’re literally creating a wall of separation between yourself and your surroundings, where you not being here, WITH your surroundings – GROUNDED in your environment – friction gets generated between yourself and your environment where you become more ‘sensitive’ towards your environment, where in a way you experience the conditions in your environment as more ‘hostile’ in having a greater influence and effect on you.

I also noticed that when Cesar starts wading through ice cold pool water – he doesn’t make a sound. Whereas I am going in all ‘AAAAah! HMMMM!!!” Desperately holding in my breath in the hope that somehow holding my breath will produce an invisible power shield that makes the transition less noticeable. #FAIL

Instead I tried going in with release my breath as I enter the water – and to in that moment completely let go of all the tension and stress stored in my body. Much better.

I started to realise that Cesar lives and breathes this letting go. Not so much letting go, as an inner peacefulness – he doesn’t have anything to let go of in the first place, he doesn’t hold on to anything. He’s just here, alive, exploring and learning. He doesn’t have any baggage that he walks around with – whereas I have stored many thing inside myself over the years which I have been holding on to. I’ve been living in conflict with myself, with my environment.

Whenever I see Cesar in absolute contentment with himself and his surroundings – I am remembered by a passage from ‘The Message from the Horse’ by Klaus Hempfling:

 “Humans are strange beings, even though we are the crowning glory of God’s creation. For a start, we seem to have no natural home. Certainly there’s one we no longer share with animals: the direct attachment to the forces of nature. In your search for the message of the horse you will come up repeatedly and painfully against this barrier. In the course of human development we have extended the area of our actions and gained greater freedom, but at what cost? The loss of our close connection to the natural world. We have to wear clothes, live in protective dwellings, and cannot survive without fire. We heat our food and feed principally on cereals and grains that we have to cultivate. An animal, by contrast, lives in the immediacy of his world and survives by his instincts. In other words, he is in direct contact with nature.
“Consider humanity! How do we live?”

And it reminds me that I’ve been losing myself in so many things and that it’s time to settle down with and in nature – both getting in touch with my own nature and striving to live my utmost potential and to slow down and ground myself with the pace of nature.

 

It could have been easy to brush Cesar’s behaviour off as an awkward quirk, or to force him to conform to the standards most of us have gotten used to. I’ve been challenged many times on his clothing topic (well, lack thereof) – been promised many times that he will get sick. There have been times that doubt overtook, that others are probably know better, the fear of making a terrible mistake – budging Cesar to please put some clothes on for the sake of the comfort of knowing that I am going with the stream.

But then I wouldn’t have gotten to these lovely insights. I wouldn’t have realised that there is much I can learn and integrate from seeing Cesar’s living. That there’s such a vast potential still left unexplored – or perhaps explored, but given up on – which is still ever so present in our children, if we foster it, nurture it and let it grow.

Conserving Energy is Exhausting

The Playground

I am standing by as Cesar runs off to the playground in total excitement. An occurrence which has been taking place rather frequently while we have been staying here in Spain.

Cesar starts to tackle the playground, climbing up and down, running from side to side, sliding down and wrestling his way back up the slide, stubbornly resisting gravity and the lack of friction between the soles of his shoes and the slide.

Cesar Playground-edit

He goes up to some kids and soon a game of chase develops. I am perplexed at his outgoingness and what seems an abundant, never-ending supply of energy and zest in whatever he participates in. I catch myself in a lie, as I realise I’m not all that perplexed – I can remember my own childhood, where bedtimes were plain evil. Why do I need to go sleep?

What do you mean, ‘I am going to be tired if I don’t go sleep now’? I went to sleep at the exact same time yesterday and look! I am still not tired.

I contrast the experience of defeat and sadness of having to go lay in bed as a child, to the longing experience I have now towards my bed – a yearning for the welcome warm embrace of the blankets whose subtle weight help sink me into a state of total unconsciousness and oblivion.

Mmmm oblivion…

I wonder what happened between now and then. All the eagerness to explore and meet the world has been replaced with a fear and desire to get away from it all. I know it used to be much worse. That I used to live in paralysing fear and loosened up quite a bit. Even though the fear is less, it still bothers me in quite the same way as it always has.

I make another commitment to learn from Cesar. To use my practical experience and knowledge I’ve run up in the years, but replace my apprehension with the same innocence and wonder of a child.

As I make this decision, Cesar calls for me. He wants me to engage with his play in the playground. Dread, resistance and fear rise up from inside me and clasp my body. I don’t want to. I am perfectly content standing still right here, where only my eyeballs move around to track Cesar’s whereabouts. Now he wants me to move. Bah.

I recognise the mood I’ve just placed myself. Where it feels like I have no energy, that everything’s just wrong – a flame that’s been muffled and dampened by sand being thrown over it, slowly but surely, having lost most of its oxygen to breathe and grow. The dull flame of adullthood.

As I am about to give in to the dreariness, I remember the commitment I had made a fraction of a second ago. Wow, a fraction of a second and I had almost immediately forgotten, like a dream you had forgotten about until it suddenly comes back to you in the middle of the day, not being quite sure if you really dreamt it or are making things up.

I let a deep breath out. I had felt so inspired when I made that commitment, and it only took a simple request from my son to throw it all out of the window. It’s easy to make a commitment, but a whole lot harder to actually follow through. Right, let’s get at it.

As I breathe in I activate every single part of my body and walk up to him with a face that’s ‘gonna come get him’.

He sees me and his sparkly eyes get even bigger. He knows I got the message and smiles.

 

free-line-clipart-images1

How many times a day do we forgo a certain decision or action based on how much energy it will take? How many times do we decline an invitation because we already project ourselves into the future and how exhausted we will be? How many times a day do we imagine all the things we need to do – and the very thought of it makes us feel drained?

As a parent, I’ve come across these scenarios many times. I’ve only got so much energy, I better use it well and sparingly – I can’t expend it now, I need it for the future!

Witnessing my son Cesar – I’ve been forced to reconsider my logic. At three and a half years old – he has shown me that his limits far exceed mine. That what I thought was careful planning of my energy expenditure, was actually costing me more and leaving me with less energy to do all the things I want to do.

Cesar lives in the moment.

Cesar doesn’t care about how much energy he is going to expend for the rest of the day or whether something will tire him out or not. He sees an opportunity and he seizes it. Full on – no holding back. Rather than his activities depleting him, they replenish him.

When I see an opportunity, I first see all the things that can go wrong, what a mistake it could be. I discourage myself. I might give up on the task completely or do it half-heartedly. The result is less than what it could have been and I confirm my sense of inadequacy and lack of self trust.

It’s not that the actual task at hand depleted my energy – it’s all the thinking, imagining, stressing and worrying about it that drains. I may do very little and yet feel as if I’m done for the day. Being frozen like a statue by the playground, would have probably tired me out more with all my idle thinking than running and chasing Cesar for fun.

Whenever I think I am being cautious and ‘practical’ in my approach – are the moments I am wasting the most energy. The fearful thinking in the decision to not do something, like joining Cesar in playing on the playground – because ‘I might be tired later’ drains me more than the actual act of joining him.

When I am constantly on the lookout of what to do and what not to do, a mind set of ‘conserving my energy’ and ‘treading carefully’ – I am consistently and continuously affirming a state of lack within myself. The very act of ‘saving my energy’ – costs me more energy than freely expressing myself and giving it away.

Like a body of water that becomes stagnant – it becomes a breeding pool for parasites and bacteria. When we hold on to our energy it provides the breeding ground for other miserly behaviour and thinking patterns.

Every day I now challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, from my energy saving zone. It can be as small as getting out of my chair and picking something up for him from underneath the table – which he can probably do himself, but he insists I do it – and most of the time, he has a good point asking me – because I don’t want to do the effort of getting up and getting down on my hands and knees into a small space underneath the table. But once it’s over and done with – it’s not that big of a deal. Or perhaps I push myself to run around the farm, as we play ‘super fast train’. Or perhaps I take on a project I’ve been hesitant about, thinking that I can’t do it, that it will be ‘too much’ – to rather do it and afterwards come to a real conclusions – rather than speculating and assuming to know the conclusion beforehand.

Just as I’ve surprised myself with seeing how much energy I can actually expend, and how there always seems to be just a little more left – I’ve surprised myself with tasks and responsibilities that I didn’t think I would be able to complete or handle.

Challenge yourself a bit every day, don’t be afraid to give yourself away freely – and you might be surprised just like me!

 

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Do you Enjoy Motherhood?

Somewhere, in the first two years of Cesar’s life (and my new life as a mother) – I had a dream where Bernard visited me.

While he was there, from the get go I had placed myself in an experience of dissatisfaction, where my whole body language was clearly conveying that ‘I wasn’t enjoying myself’. Then suddenly he asked ‘So Leila, how are you enjoying motherhood?’

I was with my body turned away from him, making a pouty mouth – ready to make a complaining comment. But – there was something about Bernard asking you a question, which made the truth of you ring just a bit clearer for you to not be able to deny it.

As I wanted to open my mouth and speak – my whole demeanour dropped and softened. And I looked at him and said: I’m enjoying it. And he responded with that big grin smile of his.

And that was it.

What stood out for me in this dream, is how I have the tendency to want to complain, pity myself and seek ‘empathy’ from others – while if I look at my actual experience of myself: I am fine – and I am not just fine, but I am actually enjoying myself. This especially so for things that are challenging and trying – which the first two years of walking with Cesar definitely was.

Where, it’s almost as if just because things are hard and challenging, that I have the right to, and deserve to complain. That I should complain. That it’s expected of me to complain.

And the funny thing is – is that when I keep reacting this way, and keep playing out this pattern, then soon enough – the burden becomes real. It’s no longer just something I am playing out, pretending to be – I become it.

For myself, it was quite something to acknowledge, accept and embrace what I enjoy. That I, ‘out of all people’ was the one to have a child. That I, ‘out of all people’ really enjoyed walking with a child.

To stop fighting myself, where instead of keeping up with the idea of myself, to simply embrace and acknowledge that I do enjoy this. That if this experience is here and it is real – well, then it must be me! Lol.

The Scariest Part of Parenting

baby bed parenting leilazamoramoreno

The scariest part of parenting is not having a child to look after. The scariest part is seeing yourself and who you have become as a person. Before having a child, I could seek comfort in knowing myself through various aspects of my life. I was able to define myself according to ‘what I do’, as the ‘job’ or ‘career’ I assigned to myself. I could experience a sense of worth and value in what I was doing. I could define myself according to my self-image, being happy with ‘how I looked’ and that I generally fit in what is deemed as ‘normal’ within society. I could define myself according to the relationships in my life, the amount of time and activities I spent with other people. From that, I experienced a sense of belonging and acceptance.

When I got my son, this all changed. Suddenly, all my time was spent breastfeeding, nappy changing and scrambling for sleep. Who am I without my work to provide me with a sense of value and worth?

My body was still stretched out from pregnancy with stretchmarks displaying deep fiery red colours as my body’s limits got reached towards the end of pregnancy. Who am I when I cannot find solace in what I look like, knowing that I don’t fit ‘the norm’ anymore?

Interactions with others were reduced to glimpses, and whatever activity or interaction which did occur – swiftly ended by the call of the little one requiring attention. Who am I when I am disconnected from those I depended on for a sense of belonging and acceptance?

I love my baby with all my heart, yet these inner frustrations and irritations keep nagging inside myself. I must do more, I must do something else, why can’t I just sit down and have dinner with everyone else, why is my body still out of shape, why do I cringe each time he wakes or needs me?

It’s not like he is actually, physically torturing me. All he asks is a lot of my time – my physical needs are met. Then why do I want to run away? I do not want to run away from my baby – this is clear. Whenever I meet him and look into his eyes, I just see innocence. He is here, simply expressing his needs as they come along. What I want to run away from then?

Myself

Although my child is dependent on me for his physical survival, I encountered his superiority every day, in many ways. He was able to move, slowly but surely, taking the longest time – to start crawling from one side of the room to the other. One – tiny – little – shuffle – at – a time.

He could sit for an hour, moving the same object around, in absolute peacefulness.

He does not know of work, friends, body image – yet he lives in total self-acceptance.

It’s frightening to see and encounter. So busy have I been my entire life, to find all the things for myself that he lives to readily. So simply.

All my achievements and successes I cherished, seemed pale in comparison to what I was witnessing daily, in a child simply living, being here.

But – it cannot be, right? I mean, he’s a child, a baby. How can a child – POSSIBLY – hold the answers to Life. Children are wild, irrational, savage creatures. They know NOTHING! How could this child possibly have anything for me to learn. It’s tough to lay aside your ego and admit you’ve been on a wild goose chase. That a babe is more strongly connected to itself and its life force than you are. That while you are the responsible one, you are also the most ignorant.

So what to do with all of this? So much inner conflict. Yet only one thing was certain: I know that I do not know.

Humbleness is the only option.

Not Sharing the Whole Story

toddler hiding crying leilazamoramoreno

Cesar has been going through some new developments as of late. When he goes through an experience of being ‘wronged’, he’ll run off to the closest person to cry and complain about his great misfortune. While he cries and moans, he’ll only give ‘his story’, only sharing a part of what happened, and leaving out any information indicating how he played part in creating the story, how he contributed to his own misfortune. If the person is aware of what happened and what the whole story is, they’ll challenge him to get all the information, challenge him to consider all sides/aspects of what happened so that he can learn and prevent such a situation from playing out again; rather than indulging in victimization and powerlessness (and thus inviting a replay, as he then won’t see how things could have gone differently).

Here, he slid off the couch (very softly) and went into an emotional experience about it, demanding I help him get up. Seeing what had happened and seeing he was totally fine physically, I told him to get up himself. He wasn’t very pleased with it but got himself up, and as a way of retaliation for not getting his way, where I didn’t indulge him in his emotional experience of victimization – he took a toy and hit it on my arm. I took the toy away from him while giving him a strong NO.  He then ran off to Maite who was busy doing dishes, crying and moaning about his previous aw, blaming me for the experience. Maite explained to him what happened and we all sat together going over what happened, until he settled down and moved on.

It’s interesting to see and play out – him being a toddler, it is overly obvious what game he is playing. Yet, this game is a game we adults know all too well, but often don’t see it or identify it as such. Whenever something happens where we feel disempowered or ‘wronged’, it’s easier to paint off other people as being ‘the boogeyman’, it’s easier to point fingers and blame others, to gossip about another behind their backs, to only focus and see ‘our side of the story’ – rather than looking at all aspects and dimensions which played out, identifying and seeing where we contributed to the situation and experience we find ourselves in and taking responsibility for it.

It’s fascinating to see how young we already start playing out these patterns, but I am grateful for the support and people around me to equally already start at a young age to show how he can live and incorporate the correction. Not only for him, but a good reminder for us adults too! Through watching him grow and develop, seeing the quirky patterns come up – I get to introspect on myself, see how and who I have become today. As much as I’m parenting him, I’m also parenting – or re-patterning – myself to become the person I would like to be and become.