Blend together over a low heat –
one cup of organic or raw milk,
one tablespoon of honey
and one egg yolk.
Remove from the heat and add 5mls of a therapeutic oil (lavender or arnica etc.), then stir into the bath.
Allow the child to have a bath for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then wrap the child up in a large warm flannel sheet (do not towel dry first) and then carry the child to the bed and allow the child to rest in the bed while you tell the Butterfly story:
“Once upon a time there was a little caterpillar who longed to fly. The little caterpillar would see lots of beautiful butterflies every day and wonder at their wings which seemed to be made of sunlight. So the little caterpillar started to eat all the leaves that were covered with the warm glow of sunlight and gradually the caterpillar grew and grew and became very sleepy. Then the little caterpillar thought it would be nice to weave itself a warm cloak very tight so that it would feel safe and go to sleep and cream of flying in the warm sunshine. After some time, the little caterpillar started to wake up and could feel that somehow it had changed and so it struggled out of its cocoon and stretched itself. What a surprise it had when it discovered that during sleep the little caterpillar had grown two wonderful wings full of colourful light. But then the little caterpillar felt really sleepy and decided to go to sleep until the next day when the sunshine would come out and it could then fly in the warm new day and tell all the other little caterpillars that it would meet what a magical thing had happened to it.”
After the child has struggled out of the cocoon you can put on some pyjamas and create a nice “nest” and further sleep.
Written and prepared by Irmhild Kleinhenz 2010.
Blend together over a low heat –
Wednesdays begin with a delicious sense of anticipation at our house. Once our morning household tasks are completed, we pack some fruit and our woollen hats & coats and head down the mountain to “play at Etienne’s.” At 9.30 Bettye welcomes us to a warm, cosy and loving home. We place our fruit into the basket and the children wander outside to play and see the chooks, play inside or just remain close to their mothers for a while.
This is the Gabriel Conversation Group for mothers of young children. We greet old friends and new ones. Mothers may cut fruit for the children’s morning tea or chat whilst making sure that their children have enough warm layers for outside play. At 10 o’clock Maryanne and Bettye gently gather us inside in a “circle, round like the sun” to say a verse and sing some beautiful songs for all the children. The children follow Maryanne to the kitchen where morning tea awaits (fruit and a little snack). Maryanne and Sharmian have taken on looking after our children whilst we are there. A candle is lit; the children sing a blessing and morning tea is had. Many children burst outside, and some still choose to stay inside close to their mothers.
Meanwhile, we mothers do some glorious stretches for our often neglected tired bodies and also a little breath work. We make cups of tea for each other and share freshly baked cake. It used to be that there were between three and eight mothers and we could sit around a table, but we are growing and now sit in the living room in a ring. Bettye shares a little of her wonderful vast wisdom with us, and we listen intently, try to find somewhere inside myself to retain it, so that I may revisit her words later when I am alone. People ask questions, offer examples and share experiences. Around the ring the conversation goes, each mother in turn. Do I have a question about parenting that I need answered, do I wish to air my parenting frustrations or would I like to share a joyous moment from the past week or do I just want to listen?
Towards 11.30, the children become noisier, and start drifting inside. They are telling us that our work and play here is nearly done until next time. We embrace all the children in our ring and sing a lullaby. I gently gather up my children knowing that our whole beings have been nourished.
We meet for six consecutive weeks a term. Bettye occasionally organises for other professionals to come and talk to us. We have had an Anthroposophical naturopath talk about managing a child with a fever, this included a practical demonstration of a fever reducing compress. An experienced mother and grandmother inspired us with the value of storytelling for young children. She shared a story that had us all captivated then encouraged us to tell our own.
Bettye Palmer the Director of the Gabriel Centre is a Midwife and Maternal Child Health Nurse with many years experience working with families. She approaches her work from a lifetime study of Anthroposophy. Bettye consults as a MCHN privately at the Melbourne Therapy Centre and we feel so privileged and lucky to have found her and her wonderful, sensible, uncomplicated wisdom.
Sue Rundle Maslin