Thursday March 23rd, 2017 (Week 7, Day 6)

cognitive-development8.29am

Bea slept for 7 solid hours last night! Incredible! After a crazy, fussy period, where I honestly began to envision nothing but a stretch of sleeplessness and the inability to exist beyond a mere “function”, she whips up a surprise gift and I feel great for it. One night of uninterrupted sleep is of course a mere speck of what I actually NEED to catch up on the deprivation of the past couple of months, but it’s a start. Boy, am I learning the value of a full nights’ sleep. Actually, seeing how much it affects a baby when she doesn’t get the sleep she needs really brings it home. She suffers so much from crankiness when she doesn’t nap properly, and I’m sure it hinders her development when she can’t sleep because she wakes from a decent period of rest having magically acquired some new skill. A new sound, a new smile, the sudden realization that if she moves her arm and touches something, it actually exists, and she has the ability to move and manipulate it. How incredible is that? I don’t know when we lose touch with our bodies, when we begin to neglect the importance of rest or “still” time, gazing out into space, letting those connections create themselves, or when we forgot the miracle that is our physical “being”, but everyone should spend time with a baby to observe how much it affects them when they don’t sleep, how fascinated they are by their own anatomy, and how much time they spend apparently gazing into nothing but then wake up a few hours later having made a demonstrable leap of ability. Who knew that you could spend HOURS staring at your hands, taking in every detail of how they look, every sensation of how they move? Arguably, this is only ever going to be of interest to a baby, but I must admit that I have often found myself imitating her, mainly as a means of communication, but also because I want to be in her world. I used to do the “baby rolls” acting exercise religiously, but now I realise I didn’t ever quite “get” it. Now I kind of do, and I get to do it every day with a brilliant teacher as my guide. The effort she puts into communicating – every cue she receives goes through a visibly intense, conscious procedure of comprehension, and when she responds… It’s beyond incredible! To be able to WATCH the human cognitive process in action! Lucky me.

She is so HONEST. Every one of her responses is completely pure – it doesn’t come from anything other than her instinct – there’s no bullshit hampering what she wants to say. That purity of expression is wondrous. Granted, it’s a bit limited at the moment, but the essence of something is it’s complexity stripped down to it’s core, right? I’m seeing that. The core of a human being. And over the rest of my lifetime, I’ll see that core become enveloped, evolve, into deeper and deeper layers, or something, obscured by more and more emotional armour. I don’t know. Either way, what education. And the wonder of seeing someone so unabashedly expressive, wailing, smiling, grimacing, all in the space of one moment is enough motivation to do everything possible to help this little bundle to love everything that she is, and to never allow the harshness of this crazy world to make her feel that she has to hide.

Ha. The difference a night of sleep makes. If I’d had the time, or the energy, to pen my notes yesterday, they would have been quite different. It passed in a haze of sleep deprived anxiety, backache, neckache, frustration, and the mad feeling of excitement every time the babe would awake and smile, or make a sound, or even wail in my face because she NEEDS milk, dammit! Argh. There’s SO much to talk about. Good, Bad, Crazy – but time of the essence, and there is too much to cram in while the baby naps for me to indulge myself in any one sitting. It would be amazing to have that luxury. To spend a full day in a writing frenzy. But, if I didn’t have this experience going on, I’d be learning so little. I feel like I’m learning those fundamental lessons that life drained out of me – and although I’m tired, anxious, cranky and confused a lot of the time, I’m also sure that I’m finally learning what life is about. Understanding hasn’t formed yet, and maybe it never will, but there’s a shift happening. Like I had some stuff wrong before, and now I’m moving towards a more complete and sincere state of equilibrium, somehow. “I” don’t matter quite so much, but I still exist. I’m just… I don’t know.. Moving away from something. I don’t even know what that thing is, or even if it is a thing, but something is happening, and it may just lead me in the right direction, whatever that is, if I allow it and don’t let my mind get in the way too much. I don’t have all the answers, and never will – but if I can just learn to listen.. REALLY listen, and get my ego out of it.. Let go… Whatever it all is, will be.

Hmm. Onto more tangible things. Some stretching. Can I cram it in? Let’s see.

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