Aaron’s family came to visit today. Well, actually, they didn’t come until about noon, so let me tell you about our morning.
We got up, went through the usual morning routine and then went to Target. The kids did well. Someone came over and told Lena how pretty she is. We got in the car and were driving down this road which has a 45mph speed limit and no places to turn off– 31st street, for you local friends. Well, Aaron looks down and notices the open door light is on. He pulled off the the shoulder and I hopped out, guessing maybe I had not shut the back all the way after putting the bags in. Nope, Ilya’s door was open just a tiny bit. Weird, Aaron had shut it, but I guess he must not have been paying attention. So, we get home and back into the garage and then I heard Ilya open up his door. My response was “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!” Obviously we realized what happened back at Target and just need to figure out our child safety locks. I didn’t think either kid could reach the door handle from their car seat, but apparently he can. Scary. This is one example of how his “helping” can be dangerous. He also loves to “help” with the stove and oven, obviously things we’re trying to work on. It is not things I think about, because the kids I’ve been around have already been taught that the oven is a no-no or step away when they feel the heat, but yesterday, he reached for it. It is hard to be aware of these sorts of things sometimes, because not only are they unfamiliar with so many things, but they’re also always right at our sides. If we tell them to step away, they get upset and seem to think it is a punishment. In fact, Aaron got slapped today for that reason. Very surprising because it was the child who is not normally violent. I am glad that they want to be with us and consider that a positive step. Yet sometimes we just need a little distance to get something done safely. And of course, violence is a HUGE no-no.
So, anyways, Aaron’s family came to visit today. We had lunch with them, the kids took a nap which took 2 hours start-to-finish and only 20 minutes of sleeping. And then the kids opened up Christmas gifts. A lego train set, a lego firetruck, hungry hungry hippos, don’t break the ice, lincoln logs, two cute snow globes with their photos, and two small stuffed animals from Aaron’s grandma. The kids thought this was just great. They really had a lot of fun playing with everyone and their new toys. Both kids seemed very fond of their Uncle Micah helping them build things. I can see why they would like Micah easily. He is very easy-going and passive with the kids. He just handed Lena Lincoln Logs and when she’d turn her back, fix it so they would not fall over. If he didn’t have one ready for her, she’d throw up her hands like “what are you doing?!” The kids did very well with everyone today… Ilya obviously likes men better. Lena doesn’t seem to care much either way, but like I said, she really liked Micah a lot!
When she was playing Lincoln Logs. I think this is cute… she just looks so tiny here. My in-laws were joking with me that finally I finally have another short person in the family. Someone shorter than me! I am not sure I was this tiny when I was 3, though. Mom, want to go check the chart?
After we got the kids done with the evening routine, we put on the movie “Babies”. I was a bit surprised by some of the content (ie. watch it yourself before showing it to your kids), but they loved it. Both of them sat nicely for it until they fell asleep. We’ve tried cartoon children’s movies and they don’t care, but they seem fascinated by documentaries. We are planning to try March of the Penguins and Planet Earth next. Anyone else have kid-friendly suggestions?
I’d like to say that I write this blog to share our experiences with us– first with adoption, now with parenting adopted children. I am being honest with you all about some of the stuff we are dealing with– struggles with the kids and struggles as we try to figure things out– things like child safety locks on the car and that they don’t know that the oven is hot. While this is embarrassing, I think it’s good food-for-thought for other people. I really, really love all of your helpful tips and encouragement. We love sharing this experience with you and it is nice to hear your more objective point-of-view. But, please keep it respectful.
BTW, sign language was not my idea. We first heard about it from our social worker and read about in adoption books and blogs. My friend Amy reminded me a few weeks ago and then when we hung out with Meredith Cornish and her new daughter, Aleksa, she was signing with her. It is very popular and I can see why! If you are adopting, I would recommend learning just a few basic signs, even just “more”, “eat” and “potty”. To help your kids communicate with you. It is way easier than I expected.
Oh, and I also took these photos today. We are hoping to do this weekly. But, next time, I’ll have to do it earlier in the day, when we have natural light and hopefully someone is in a better mood.