Today our daughter slept till half past nine. And it was just the right day. We didn’t get into bed before late. She had already slept for five hours when we joined her. That usually is a good plan to get a short night’s sleep. Not so tonight.
The reason we stayed up late last night was that we watched the third and final part of the miniseries “Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter” (our mothers, our fathers) or “Generation War”. It made me thinking, this is what my grandparents lived through. Maybe not exactly, but the things going on around them were the same. It made me think of grandfather’s diary that he wrote during his imprisonment in France. It made me remember the things grandmother told me of the time, mostly the time after the war. How they had to walk home. How life changed.
I can really recommend the series. It’s three 1½ hours episodes so it takes some time, but it is time well spent. And you get a free lesson in German, as the series is a German production. Here is the link to the IMDb site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1883092/
As winter came back the joys of winter returned too.
The first is that it’s not as dark anymore. The snow lights up everything.
The second is that it is fun to play in the snow, especially with my daughter. Last Thursday my brother and I had some time on the slope next to our house with her. Going down the hill with and without my daughter is great fun.
Here is a short film of us going down the slope.
The third this is the sound that walking on snow makes on a cold day, like today. It’s a kind of squeaking or crunching noise. It has to be below -5°C.
The forth thing is the fog over the lake on a cold morning after a ship has passed by and broken the ice.
Bicycling in the snow is the fifth. I really like it. It’s just a bit tricky when it is snowing. I did bike 17 km with the trailer last Tuesday. (For you who weren’t in Stockholm that day, it snowed more than 20 cm that day). My daughter has a swimming class and I had made up my mind to go by bicycle as I like that more. On the way there I had a real workout. On the way back it became a bit too much, so I had to stop and get some food. My daughter seemed to enjoy it though. (She slept on the way home). That’s how the bicycle and trailer looked like at the stop:
So, now I’ve been home with our daughter for one and a half week. I’m starting to get a hold of things. I’m starting to understand the work involved in entertaining a kid all day. I’m having a hard time thinking of easy and good food, but thanks to some of my readers I still have a few ideas that I can use.
One thing I’m realising is that no day is like the other. One day I’m getting all the signals right and I don’t have to change one used diaper. Other days I’m missing all of them. (She has been using the potty a long time, but for safe we use diapers too). Some days I can eat in peace with her enjoying her food at a comfortable pace without too much a mess, other days she just throws things around, leaving me cleaning the floor, table, three chairs (including hers), wall, windows and sofa. I always have to clean her, sometimes less, sometimes more, then I just put her into the shower.
It is amazing how she has become so much more attached to me. She now comes over to me and wants to be lifted up while I’m cooking even when Susanna is at home. That didn’t happen before. I’m getting stronger in my left arm; it’s kind of tricky to cook with only the right arm free, but doing it with the left is even trickier. I do have to put her down for some task and she does somehow understand it too, but as soon as I’m done with the thing that made me put her down in the first place she’s back between my legs almost trying to climb up.
I thought the hardest thing would be not meeting people all day. And I think it is. I’m trying to get out every day, some days for some shopping, others for some activity (we have her swimming once a week now), or just to go to the playground or to the open preschool. Later, when Susanna is working full time I will come and visit her at work too.
Sleep is a bit of a problem still. I can get her to sleep, but it requires a long walk or bicycle tour. I have to time it right and have to be on the move for at least half an hour. Then she maybe sleeps for one hour, but if I stop it’s not sure that she continues to sleep. Twice she did sleep a while after I got home, but every other time she woke up.
This last weekend was beautiful, so we had a little walk around our house:
As I was writing Susanna was looking at some toy-car-thingy: http://www.swingcar.se/ (She didn’t look at that page I’m sure of, because I couldn’t fine the film she was looking at there. It had a song as soundtrack; see film below; which made me remember a walk I made midsummer 2004. I made a walk in my neighbourhood that night, thinking of how my life was. Back then I was just doing the last parts of my master-thesis. This was a period in my life when I had lost myself. I felt like I wanted to run from everything. I was thinking I should move to a new place and start over. I just knew I wouldn’t get rid of the feeling anyway. It felt hopeless. Still I had many things I was really happy about. I had a few good friends and I really looked forward to visit my brother later that summer.
Here are a few pictures from that walk:
After looking at those pictures I started looking at other old pictures. O have I changed. I showed some of them to Susanna, I think she is really happy I have changed. I’m happy too. I found myself again. Now I have a happy family and the feeling of wanting to run from it all just doesn’t come anymore. I live so much more right here, right now. I think that’s the only way of living taking care of a child.
Today is your first birthday, you might not think so much about it, but you have lived in this world for one year now.
One day you will understand the fuzz about it and enjoy the special things we do for you on your birthday. You might even understand this text if we do some things right. Today you just enjoyed the cake, pancake cake with raspberry jam, strawberries, chocolate and whipped cream, the new toys and your parent attention.
It feels like yesterday, the day when you came. It was a beautiful day, a bit strange, maybe because of the fatigue. I just loved you the moment I saw you, just like I love you today.
At first I didn’t know what to do. I was scared. But then, when I could hold you to my chest all that disappeared. Today a year later you are greater than ever. Now you walk, enjoy food and like moving things to new spots.
I’m so happy you take us on this journey. I couldn’t imagine half the things I have seen happening this year. Some were hard, some fun and some just plain. Still even the plain things are special.
I’m so happy when I get home and I hear your voice, “papapapapa”. When you give things to me, even if it’s a half eaten piece of pasta.
Here are some memories:
When you just were born.
Enjoying our first trip together.
Visiting our relatives in Germany.
Sitting in the bicycle trailer
Eating your birthday cake.
Opening your birthday gift.
And some film too:
A small film form you when you were one half year old.
A film of you walking over to your wagon.
I’m so looking forward to being your dad for many years to come and for the time we get together when I’m home taking care of you that starts soon.
Today was a special day. On Thursday, Susanna bought Ellinor a bicycle-helmet. Today we tried it out.
This afternoon we installed the seat in the bike-trailer. Now we can go for bike-rides all three of us. This will be great, so much better than to walk and take the bus or subway.
Afterward we had a little short test; we took a short trip of a few hundred meters to try it out. Ellinor seemed to be okay with it. I just have to be more careful crossing speed-bumps and curbs. Her head with the helmet on wiggled a bit much.
Here a picture of us when we got back in.
So many things have happened the last month. Ellinor eats more and more of the same food we eat. Sure we have to chop it up, but some things she eats whole. I don’t really know what her favourite is, but she really likes potatoes and tomatoes.
Her technique to move around has been perfected. Now she can get around the entire flat. We really have to be watchful, just looking away a short moment and she’s in boxes or pulling cables. Luckily her technique of moving around has the pro that a standing chair is a barrier she can’t get past, but for how long? We have started to remove things from floor-level; some things remain to be removed still. We don’t want to take all things away; she has to learn that some things just are not to play with and some things we just can’t remove; the electric outlets, luckily they are protected so that small fingers can’t get hurt. We don’t want her to learn that it’s okay though, one day she might get to an outlet that isn’t protected and we don’t want an accident then.
A short film of Ellinor eating tomatoes:
When I get home from work, if she is on the floor, she looks around the corner in the cutest way, leans forward to check, not having to take two or three more hops to the front.
It is just wonderful to see her learn new things almost every day. Just a few weeks ago she learned how to sit without support. She does tumble over every now and then still, with a complementary cry after hitting her head on the floor. Sitting with her is plenty of fun and we can play together with her toys.
Ellinor and I sitting on the floor.
She has also begun to move around. So far it’s only backwards, something she is very frustrated about. When we build her tower that she likes to tear down and she tries to get closer but it just get further and further away.
Ellinor on the floor, soon to crawl all over the place.