Sunday, July 11, 2010

Watching My Son Grow

Every day, I watch my son make leaps and bounds in his cognitive, psychic, and physical development and it floors me sometimes. I wanted to document some of the things that I have noticed in the past couple weeks:

1. We live in Oakland, CA- best known this past week for the demonstrations, riots, and looting that took place (after a BART (transit) cop got a 2-5 year sentence for shooting an unarmed black man (who was face down on the ground, defenseless and unarmed) in the back. It was caught on video by many lookers on.) here recently. It's been a somber time here in Oakland.

The day of the verdict, I was out having coffee with a friend and Rowan at a neighborhood cafe. Rowan went down for a nap about an hour later after the verdict was announced- safe at home in the back of the house. I was in the front, working on my computer. At some point,I heard him fuss and cry, so I went in the back to tend to him. It was then that I heard- far off in the distance- the protesters. They were making their way down our busy street to Fruitvale BART, where the murder took place, for a rally. They were not loud and it was several blocks away, unamplified. But the energy was unmistakable and I could hear the distant chants of "No Justice, No Peace" and cars honking in support as they passed by.

I am convinced that Rowan was awakened by the anger, frustration, and sadness of the protestors several blocks away. 

Background: Rowan sleeps through crazy loud noises all the time. Semi trucks, sirens, vacuum cleaners right next to him- nothing bothers him. Noise is not an issue. Energy however, is. He is highly sensitive and has been from the start. Tweakers (people on drugs like speed, cocaine, meth), schizophrenics and bipolar folks (whose energy is spiky and unpredictable), overly negative people, and also creepy people of different stripes all freak him out. Often in these cases, he turns inward and his eyes become unfocused. He's trying to cope/escape the best he knows how. If he's able, he clings to Mom or Dad for refuge inside our energy body to shield him from the unfamiliar and uncomfortable energy coming his way.

Anyway, back to the story. He woke up and was crying. I went back to soothe him and see if he was going to sleep more or get up, and that's when I heard the faint sounds of protesters. He was very agitated, thrashing from side to side in the bed and the only thing that helped was holding him and sheltering him from some of the hurt he could feel and subsequently casting circle and shield and protect the house from excessive anger coming from the outside. After that, he seemed to be better.

He stayed up late that night- probably picking up on Mommy and Daddy's agitation (we both were on live twitter and blog feeds all night, trying to keep up with the protests, what was going down in our town, and what the cops were doing). But he did not thrash in agitation like before, thankfully. I was glad to be able to shield him a little. It's not as if he hasn't been energetically sensitive before, as I said. It's just that up until this point, Rowan seemed to only be affected by energy in his immediate presence. Now his range of field has expanded. An interesting and noteworthy development in my little witchlet.

2. He has become a master manipulator. He squeals and mock cries, only to immediately stop, smile, and have his eyes sparkle as soon as we give him whatever it is he is squealing for. He is learning to master his world (that would be us!) and it is astounding to see how smart he is. At least we know that we can avert a meltdown this way!

3. He is learning language, even though he himself cannot speak or sign well yet. He definitely knows the words "Rowan", "milk", "Ba" (bottle), "sleepy sleepy", "Mommy", "Daddy" and "bird" (we have pet birds). He also knows "up" and we ask him to raise his hands (so that we can get under his arms to lift him easily) if he wants to be picked up. We are working on "change" (as in diapers), "food" (as he just started solids), "more", "hi" and "shower".

4. He is going through a frustrating phase of fighting sleep (naps and for the night) and intentionally works himself up into a frenzy so he cannot fall asleep. It takes a whole routine now, whereas before, he would just fall asleep (twice during the day, and then again for the night). He usually employs the strategy of kicking frantically and moving his arms (one day I want to get him on a blue screen backdrop doing it, as I could manipulate it in some video software and have it look like he is walking through Paris or something.) so that he won't fall asleep with all that movement.

Tonight, I foiled that plan by putting him in his sleepsack (the awesome European one from Nightshade! Thanks!) and then into the swing. Because his legs were encompassed in the sack, and the sack was pinned down by the swing's tray/leg separator, he could not kick. His solution? He went out of his way to pull himself up into an upright position (the swing was in a sleep inducing recline position), holding onto the tray for dear life- grinning in a ridiculously huge way at his triumph over sleep. We tested this hypothesis- to see if this was why he was doing this strange thing. Sometimes he would recline back as he tired himself out and then we would say, "Are you sleepy sleepy?" "You gonna go sleepy sleepy? Or some such thing. At those magic words, he would immediately employ his wakeful strategy again, causing us to laugh.

5. He is sitting up unassisted for longer periods these days- he even had a shopping cart ride at the supermarket and LOVED IT. It was all we could do to get his mouth away from that nasty cart. We lined it with a blanket, but still. Eew.

6.  His love of solid foods is amazing- he squeals and demands more and is actually starting to have some minor fits of pique- I would not call them temper tantrums quite yet- more like a precursor of what loveliness is to come- if we are not fast enough with the goods. So far, he's has carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, blueberries, blackberries, and rice cereal. He eats about a third of one of those baby food jars at a time, gleefully.

7. He had another doctor's visit and is 27 inches long, his head is 17 inches around, and he weighs almost 18 pounds. These are his stats at 5.5 months.

8. Yesterday, we took him to the county fair. I was excited to see if there was any spectacle there that would catch his attention. Mommy likes the animals. He wasn't too interested in sheep, pigs, or cows in pens. But he liked the peacock and turkeys strutting in their pens. His favorite thing was a kids event- a two clown circus show. He was mesmerized by their juggling and their crazy toilet paper launching machines. As we were leaving, we stopped to get daddy some cotton candy and he got to see some of the carnival rides. He was entranced by the flashing lights and movement of the rides and screaming people. It was cute to watch.

Ok- enough mundane things. Next post will be about teaching kids the Craft, promise!


  1. We are not of the same tradition, but for me Lughnasa is about the first harvest of the year, specifically grain that is made into bread. The Sacred Loaf is the center of my ritual. You might consider making hand-made bread and letting him enjoy eating some as part of the ritual celebrating its harvest. It is so different from store bought. Each year then you can include him more and more in the ritual of making bread.

  2. That's a lovely idea, Judith! Our Lughnasagh is partly about those concepts of fertility and harvest, and those are probably the ones that a smaller child would be able to understand as well.


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