Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Restricting the little one

Whilst Bali is stunningly beautiful, with its mountains, rice paddies, palm trees and majestic views, it is proving to be very tough for my little one of 15 months.
In our other life where we had a huge home, she was free to roam as she saw fit from room to room, from person to person… all the while being safe and at ease and without restriction… like a real continuum child, she was happy, placid and relaxed in her environment and within her self.
Here in Bali where the pathways are cracked and uneven (upon which she fell and smacked her head so hard that she immediately had an egg on her head the size of a small melon and the colour of deep purple) and that have huge uncovered man-holes, where there are motor bikes and cars whizzing around seemingly without road rules and with unfenced swimming pools (something so foreign to Australians) in every place we stay….
For the first time in her life, my little one is finding her-self very restricted and worse than that, it is her mama that is doing the restricting.
She is so very independent and so very insistent to walk on her own, which is wonderful when we are somewhere that is safe but here it is proving to be somewhat of a nightmare!
She is having to hold our hands which she generally loves but only when it is her choice.
She is having to be carried at times when she just doesn’t want to be.
She is being steered away from danger and I mean REAL danger a lot of the time and as a result, she is just not happy!
She is screaming and throwing tantrums like never before and she is biting my nipples during feeding with such ferocity and intent that I am actually frightened to feed her.
It was only this morning that I put two and two together and realised that the she is biting me because she is angry with me for restricting her movements so much.
She is frustrated so deeply and so am I.
It is so easy to follow the continuum way when your child is in a known, safe and familiar environment.
I can see all too clearly what happens to the child that is restricted….so much frustration and despair.
I only have a few days left here so I am not too worried about Bali but I am on my way to a new life in Berlin…a major city.
How will I allow the freedom there?
Where will my little one find the spaces and gaps she needs for exploration of her inner self?


  1. I can so relate to this, I don't know as I would consider myself a continuum parent but certainly there are many continuum ideas that resonate with me, and with my first child it was wonderful to let her wander unrestricted within and around our home...but then when she was 19 months old I had twins, and boy did that change our world. I was spending so much time locked in a chair nursing and needed to keep her in sight, so had to implement restrictions that way. And then when we were out of the house I needed to have her in our double stroller with one of the twins, with the other twin in a baby carrier, or else we just couldn't go anywhere at all. So I think there are adaptations that have to be made, whether because of place or family configuration...I did find several parks with fenced in areas where at least within that area she could roam within sight of me, so I could let her away from me a bit more, and to her those were huge and fed some of that need for freedom, so hopefully in Berlin you will find such places for her as well...

  2. I like mommymystic's idea of finding a park. It may help to give yourself extra time, so that when you do find yourself in a place that's safe to let her down, you can let her do her own thing for a bit.

    Have you thought maybe of encouraging her to vent her frustration in a way that doesn't hurt you?

    Good luck.