Skip to main content

My Erik...

Erik was born at 42 weeks gestation. The last three months of the pregnancy were tough. For some reason (possibly because he seemed so big to everyone, including me), I believed he would come early... When he didn't come around 37 weeks gestation, I was mildly disappointed. When he didn't come by 40 weeks, I was very disappointed. By 41 weeks, I was starting to go crazy. Three days later I was BEGGING with tears streaming down my face, for an induction. The OB and midwives weren't interested, they laughed and joked about scheduling an induction for the following Monday (it was a Thursday), because there were no slots before then, and how he would probably arrive over the weekend without the induction. I knew he wouldn't, and I was NOT happy. I bet them I'd be there on Monday night, and I secretly wish ill on the young midwife who was so cheerful about him coming in his own time, probably well before Monday night...



I was never more frustrated to be right... On Monday night I came in to have gel applied, and found out the midwife I had wish ill on had been in a car accident and broken her ankle... Oops...

The following morning I was back for a drip induction. He seriously didn't want to come out yet, and was still high, and the registrar didn't want to start an induction just yet, but I refused to go home, so she broke my waters and inserted the drip. Eight hours later he was born. After 2 hours of resisting pushing because I wasn't dialated enough, and 2.5 hours of actively pushing with all my might... He was 10lbs, with a 38.5cm head, and wide open piercing slate grey eyes that gave me a chill the first time he glared (yes, glared, he wasn't happy to be born yet!) at me!!! From the get go, Erik Keith Michael was switched on and had an evident personality!


Erik suffer a few minor maladies as a new born, he had fairly severe jaundice in his first week that required 48 hours under the phototherapy lights. We never took any pictures of him there because Dave didn't want to remember that time, I sort of regret that now because it was a life event that was part of his first week, even if it wasn't a pleasant life event...

He also suffered undiagnose atopic eczema for the first 7 months of his life. It got quite infected and caused sleeping problems, that I was advised to deal with by starting solids just under 4 months of age, and by do Controlled Crying with at 6 months of age - two more things I regret about his infancy, both unnecessary and scarring in their own ways...

Erik followed people with his eyes, across a room at just over a week old, and he smiled socially at 22 days of age. Of course, as his parents, we were sure he was a complete genius! We still think he's a genius, though now we see the areas in which he shows profound awareness quite clearly...


Erik really is an amazing kid! Everyone who knows him, likes him. He is always full of enthusiasm for life, and always has something to say on any topic. Erik loves people, and sees only the good in people.

Erik is very sensitive to energies, auras, if you like. From a very young age, it was evident that he was quite empathic. All children are, they pick up on the energies in a room like a tuning fork, but Erik seemed even more sensitive than most. He was very obviously affected by the number and intensity of energy in a room. If he was alone with one other person with a quite energy - for example, an adult in repose, he was quite and calm. If the adult was quite simmering, he would start to get aggitated in an excited sort of way (Erik doesn't usually react with negative emotions, but rather positive emotions like nervous excitement)...


If the adult suddenly got excited, Erik would explode into frenzied excitement and chase around the room for about 15 minutes. The same would happen if 1 or more people suddenly entered the room with their own excited energy. Erik would always be hyper-excited if more than 3 energies occupied an enclosed space. As he has gotten older, his tolerance for other people's energies has grown, but even now, if there are 4 or 5 or more energies in the room, it only takes a spark of enthusiasm or temper from someone in the room to set Erik off; giggling, arms flailing, running about, and it takes a while to simmer him down again...

People often would comment to me that Erik had a large energy that would kind of assault them when they met him, and it would make me laugh because what they were seeing was their own energy reflected back at them but magnified a couple of times, which is what Erik does... Erik's own energy, the energy Dave and I see when we're alone with him, is very quite and gentle, sensitive and introverted, and when he speaks, he uses this small, delicate voice you can hardly hear, almost a whisper, even in a quiet room - but this is our private Erik, that few other people get to see...


Erik is a highly visual child, for whom aesthetics are very important. He likes to look good, and will often say, "Do I look cool in this mum?", "Everyone will tell me I look great in this, won't they mum?"... He will refuse to wear something he doesn't find aesthetically pleasing, and goes to great measures to make sure his clothes "match"...

His visual persuation also comes out in his artistic prowess and flair for construction. He was a "builder" from the moment he could hold a block. His ability to find balance in a duplo structure astounded us. When he was 25 months old he all but single handedly built a tower of duplo block that towered over his head. He designed the tower in two parts, the bottom half and the top half, and then he got his dad to put one on top of the other (he couldn't even speak sentences yet, he just pointed!)... We told him the tower was too tall and would fall over, but he insisted we try, so Dave put the top half of the tower on the bottom half, and lo and behold it balanced! Our constructive genius! He didn't really start to draw "things" until he was over 2.5 and for almost a year, he drew eyes, nose, mouth, ears and hair, but no actual "head" to place these things on... Then suddenly his drawing lept forward in development, and he started drawing all sorts of thing in interpretive detail; flowers from the garden, animals, and bugs, all sorts of things...


These days, he uses cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, sticks, cardboard, sticky tape, whatever he can find, to construct anything from a camera to a lunch box, to a jet backpack... His imagination seems to know no bounds...

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he replies an artist or a builder or a vet...

We got a couple of cats when he was 3.5 years old and he was so in love with them, but particularly the reticent male cat, Rastus. Erik was incredibly gentle with Rastus and seemed to sense that Rastus needed to be treated very carefully or he would run off and hide. Erik and Rastus formed quite a bond. Just recently we had to give up our cats, and that saddened Erik greatly. Since then he has often mention getting a dog or some other animal...

Cats, especially big cats, are his favourites. His long term "lovey" has been a small plush tiger. He got his first tiger, by the name of Tigey, when he was 15 months old, from the Adelaide Zoo... Unfortunately, Tigey got lost a shopping centre and was never seen again... Many months later, I found replica "Tigeys" in a shop in the city and bought two, they were name Tahni and Tibet... Then on another trip to the Adelaide Zoo when Erik was 4, we found a tiger the same as Tigey, only white, and Erik fell in love, so since then his best lovey has been "White Tigey"... He later gave Luey his other tigers, though he often plays with them still, Luey prefers Tahni, which mean Bryn will probably inherit Tibet...


Erik loves to use his body, he is constantly on the go. Even when he is sitting still he is moving, fidgeting restlessly... When he is on the go, his whole body is in movement. Erik doesn't *just* run, he runs and swivels his arms around his head.

Erik is better development in fine motor skills than gross motor skills, and yet he loves to dance! Not just jumping around, but actual dance moves.

We've long planned to try him out in dance classes. We're not sure how he'd go because Erik is more the observer than the joiner. He loves people, but is also shy around people he doesn't know very well. He takes his time getting involved in a group. He is more comfortable with adults than children, but watches other children play with great longing, wishing to join in but not being sure how. If he is invited to play with another child, that child is instantly his new best friend and he naively believes the other child automatically feels the same way, he has often been crushed to find on the next getogether that the dynamic has changed... So, he can be shy about starting new groups, he wants to, he longs to, but he is also afraid of rejection. For a 6.5 year old this seems all to adult a way of thinking, and often it breaks my heart...


Erik loves people. I worry often that he will put up with anything from anyone as long as they show him occassionally that they like him. He has been called names by other little boys, and yet won't see that the child who bullied him (in my view) is not nice. He will defend his "friend" to the death. Erik is very loyal.

When Nanna threatens to smack him and his brother with the wooden spoon, he just laughs, his brother refuses to talk to Nanna for the rest of the afternoon. If Nanna ever smacked him with the wooden spoon, he would be very upset, but if Nanna then smiled at him and told him he was wonderful, all would instantly be forgotten... It worries me, at the same time, it warms me that he is so forgiving and understanding and willing to see deeper into people than just their actions...

Erik responds to Bryn as fast as I do, and sometimes faster. "Bryn needs you mum!" the moment Bryn gets a frown on his face... "Aw, bubba" if Bryn sounds sad. Erik's heart is very big.


Erik is fascinated by the workings of everything. "How does energy make the lights work, Dad?", "How do the vegetables I eat make my body grow?"

He also loves to teach others the stuff he knows, "Luey, you know the food you eat goes into you stomach, and gets mushed up, and then goes into your intestines and all the important stuff taken out to make your body work, and then goes into your bottom, and then you poo out what's left?"

He has been teaching himself to read for the past three years, first he learned all the names of the letters, then he wanted to know how many letters in different words, then he wanted to know how to write the letters, now he wants to know how to spell words. He still hasn't fully grasped the sounds that correspond to each letter, but he is working his way there...

So, that's Erik.

Loves people Positive outlook on the world Empathic Generous Inquisitive Observant Gentle Enthusiastic Joyful Passionate Determined Focused Restless Charming Reticent Noble Aesthetically aware Naive Sensitive

Beautiful in face amd heart


Comments

Leah said…
beautiful lovely boy :) Seeing that last photo made me realise who Erik has reminded me of - one of my best friends in year 11 and 12, his name was Chris, he was a real character as well, same big smile and smiley eyes!
katef said…
Oh that was so lovely to read... so nice to know more about the young man I have really only known as a preschooler! What a special boy you have there!
HipbubbyMama said…
Oh what a lovely post about a lovely boy :) I have a big ol'soft spot for Erik, maybe partially because he is so similar to Liam in many ways :)
Heather said…
That was just beautiful! What an amazing little boy you have there! :)

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?



As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …