On 19 October our sweet baby Ivan turned 2 months old. It feels like just as we were getting comfortable with sleeping through the night and starting to get our youngest out of diapers, WE HIT THE RESET BUTTON! It’s been a busy time adjusting to being a bigger family and it seems that each of us are experiencing change and growth in one way or another.
Being a mom of a newborn again while paying attention to the needs of each one in the family and continuing to maintain a household is a bit of a crazy job description, if our house were a circus, I’d be a juggler! The adjectives that come to mind are exhausting, awe-inspiring, hilarious, exhausting and enriching. I am reminded that every breath we take, every new morning we wake up to is an opportunity to learn and grow or to stop and stagnate.
I have been re-reading all our baby books on feeding, development and sleep cycles. It’s amazing to note how different each child is, how much “parenting stuff” one forgets and even though we’ve had two kids already, there is always so much more to learn! In this season, a new learning curve for me is figuring out how to use cloth diapers.
A generous friend passed on their stash to us and I’m so grateful for all the money it’s going to save us. I’m also in a “try-fail-learn” cycle when it comes to figuring out how to give personal attention to each family member. Their needs are so unique – Ivan needs milk, diaper changes and cuddles, Kiran needs wrestling, tickling and “play-with-me-outside” time, Vinnie needs puzzle-building, watch a movie with me, hug me tight when I have meltdowns time and Nicholas needs wifey, best friend, partner-in-ministry and let’s talk about family logistics time. It’s a busy time but a kaleidoscope of joy – every spin in my day has a unique mix of hues and tones (joy, frustration, calm and moodiness). How do I manage? I’m grateful that every second or third day I get a morning where I’m awake before everyone else is and I get the beautiful combination of silence, coffee and time with God. Friends, this is the real immune-booster, sanity-pill and energy drink all in one.
By the grace of God Nicholas was able to take his paternity leave and sabbatical at the same time, giving him 8 wonderful weeks at home to help with baby and to recharge spiritually. A sabbatical is a 6-week period of rest from ministry that we take after every 7 years of service in CCC. It was wonderful having him home – especially to give the two older boys the attention I couldn’t while healing from the birth. Potty-training Kiran and walking Vincent to and from school were all very special dad-son bonding times and I’m so grateful for all the love he pours into our kids.
Vincent is continuing to enjoy grade RR. He is now showing a greater interest in class participation and has greatly developed his puzzle-building skills. He amazes me with his skill and focus. We’ve recently begun the process of applying for admission to a primary school for kids with special needs. The waiting lists for such schools is usually quite long so even though Vincent will only begin primary school in 2021, we were encouraged to apply now. The application process involved lots of paperwork from all his healthcare providers including his speech therapist, paediatrician (who helped diagnose his autism and is currently treating him at Steve Biko hospital) and his nursery-school teacher. We were also required to take him for an IQ test which was conducted in a non-verbal manner because of his speech challenges. Hopefully we will hear from the Department of Education soon regarding their recommendation for his placement. At home, he is a very sweet natured child who enjoys playing imaginative games with his toys, physical rough-play with Kiran and he is incredibly affectionate towards his baby brother Ivan. His speech at home is developing slowly but surely.
Kiran is in the process of discovering his voice and the strength of his will 😊 He enjoys telling us all what to do, including making sure I drink my water and eat my food when we’re at the table! His little antics and the things he says are hilarious and adorable and sometimes a bit much to take in (like when he occasionally calls us Nicholas and Pravani instead of papa and mamma!). Nicholas and I are learning the balance of discipline and encouraging his independence. He is currently potty-training and it’s going well! He is very eager to go to school just like his big brother.
We have often been told that the youngest child tends to raise himself and Ivan is proving that to us even though he is so tiny! He has very strong neck control and has a sturdy little body. He is showing himself to be the social one amongst his brothers – he loves the company of others and is very generous with his smiles and baby giggles. Healthwise, he is thriving – gaining weight and drinking his milk and sleeping well (except for when there are people to chat to!). It’s so special to observe how much affection his brothers shower him with. It is our prayer that these three will always be close. We also had the precious privilege of our family (the Pillays and the Keldermans) and friends surrounding us during his baby dedication on 6 October at our church – Doxa Deo Hatfield. This was a time of our church and family praying over Ivan and bearing witness to our commitment in raising him according to God’s Word and the wisdom and grace that He supplies. The ceremony was lead by our pastor Jo Strohfeldt. We feel so blessed, loved and supported by our church family, knowing that we are not raising our kids alone, but are rooted in a community that cares for us. To see the video of that special moment click here
I also want to take this opportunity to thank YOU for your love and prayers and for even visiting us as a family during this season. I’m reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 when he says,
This has been an amazing time of seeing how friends, family and even complete strangers have generously come into our space to share in our lives. That’s where the gospel of God truly shines – not just in words but how we share in each other’s lives.