Monday, September 8, 2008
September 7, 2008
Today was a good day (not that we’ve had a bad day here yet…well, SDA appt day was disappointing but still wasn’t “bad”). We visited our sweet angel twice and visited center city Kharkov between visits. We had a good lunch there and LOVE that it only cost us about $11.00. Can’t beat that!!
This baby house (not sure about others) rotates through caregivers quite a bit. I have found my favorites :) Today 2 of my 4 favorites were working. These two women are SO happy we are here for Nadia and really seem to like our family. When we came for Nadia, both times today, they told us we can take her to the other side of the baby house (outside) to the “playground” (hard to call it that but it is what it is supposed to be) away from the groupa to be alone. The groupa loves us so much that they scream and cry when we take off with Nadia. The kids are cute but are wanting so much attention they are grabbing at us, running and slamming into my backend with their faces (that would mostly be Nonstop Nastya), or trying to eat my passport purse (that would be the Irish looking kid). So it is nice to have alone time with our princess.
By the way, that Irish looking kid tries to bite EVERYTHING. I was showing our photo album to Nadia the other day and he came up and bit the end of it!! Then when I was tickling Nadia on the swing (you saw the video), another kid came up and started “tickling” (more like grabbing chunks of her skin…she thought this was hysterical too…weird) so the Irish kid came up, laughing and start wacking her (she continued to laugh like this was SO funny) then he tried to bite her bum!! I saw his mouth coming for her so I put my hand over her bum and he got me instead. Luckily it was not very hard but I’m thinking the kid needs a muzzle.
And of course, we will always remember Nonstop Nastya. Holy heavens, this child needs some valium. She is a wild woman! She is tiny but, whew buddy, she is all over the place. I can’t help but think of Nastya and wonder what it would be like for a family who would request a healthy girl under 4, and receive Nastya’s referral. I mean, she is healthy. She is under 4. The caregivers even say she is smart. So how could a family come and NOT accept her referral (I’m just imagining, I have no idea what her status of availability is). Just made me realize that even literally healthy young girl is not always the best pick. Of course I am biased but I’m pretty sure we got the best one of the group :) That’s not to say there aren’t some really cute, sweet kids there. Just that my kid is the best one LOL
I forget the details (I hope to get them again later) but Nadia was with the much younger kids for quite some time and her progress was quite delayed. Then (not sure when) they finally put her with her own age group and she quickly caught up (genius idea to put her there, huh?). We believe since she has spent so much time on the sidelines, sitting with adults (caregivers) just watching and observing (she is very observant), that it has done a lot for her. We believe this is what has really helped her vocabulary and ability to observe and comprehend.
The sad part is, it seems like the kids spend many hours a day (at least 4 hours a day in this warm weather) outside running around. That means Nadia is sitting and watching, NOT playing. I suppose they may push her on the swing from time to time but not that I have ever seen. I really don’t think they did very much if at all.
While I don’t expect that she will be the “perfect” child (whatever that is), she does seem like she is more of a go with the flow kind of girl (remember, I am Anthony and Yana’s mom. These 2 are very strong willed and active kids ---Yana more running/jumping/climbing and Anthony more talk, talk, talk, wiggle worm). For instance, today since we were able to be alone with Nadia, we busted out the crayons (those toddler triangle ones seem great by the way) and the Elmo coloring book we brought. This kept Nadia entertained for over an hour. Of course she was sitting on my lap, we were interacting with her (Papa across from her making silly faces, etc.) but still, she was relaxed and into it.
It was a great day for Nadia and Papa’s interacting. She will interact with him but still does not allow him to get too close. He was able to kiss her cheek a few days ago and it totally freaked her out, his prickly skin was more than she was ready for. BUT, she loves “talking on the phone” with Papa. She holds my cell and Papa holds rolled up cellophane or the camera to his ear (a hand won’t do) and they chit-chat. You will see in a picture below, I am talking on a toy fish. That only worked for a short time because I broke the “rules” and kept commenting on the fact that I was talking through a fish. LOL We will have to get her a toy cell phone when we get home. It would be cool if we can find one that is like a walky-talky so she can talk to someone through it. I think she would LOVE that.
So while we colored, Papa and Nadia would stop to do this copy game. They would mimic each other with their glasses. The glasses would go on and off, on the head, back on the face. They seemed to be having a lot of fun and I enjoyed just sitting back and watching. I know Papa is dying to snuggle her but he knows she just needs time and it will come.
We are about 10 pages into this post and you are wondering about the title. I had lots of titles come to mind, none of which covered all I ended up typing about. So I chose the title that describes what I found most interesting today.
While darling Nadia was sitting on my lap coloring, I smelled something funky. It was obvious what it was, so I was concerned she needed to use the too-al-i-et (toilet). I would ask and she would say, “nyet” (no). In time, that “nyet” turned to “da”, so off we went to find her groupa so I could take her inside (Ha!). I went to the front door of the orphanage (where my favorite spitting old lady usually is) and asked the old lady on duty today, about taking Nadia to the toilet. She told me to go “tom” (there) and pointed up the hill to the groupa, away from the building, at the playground. I pretty much knew what would come next but hoped I was wrong.
You see the other day we watched Nonstop Nastya as she went over to the sidewalk, near the hill and pulled down her pants to squat and pee. That was then followed by another child, a CUTE little boy, pulling down his pants to pee. I had hoped that since Nadia was unable to do this herself that she had not picked up this habit (I am imagining these kids getting adopted and the parents having to break the kids of this habit…imagine the school playground, OY!).
So I went up to the caregivers and told them that Nadia needed the toilet. They said something like, “Oh, tom” (Oh, there) and pointed to the hill. I am sure I had a crazed, disgusted look on my face (sorry, I just really hoped she could use an indoor potty…or even just a potty outside but a potty none-the less) and said (in my fabulous Russian) “Oh, maybe….” and patted her bum. Both caregivers insisted that she does not need to poo just peeska (pee). Again, surely I had a perplexed look on my face as I tried to explain that she was stinky but they insisted she did not have to poo (uhh, I guess pooing is not on the schedule for 6:30pm).
Then one of the caregivers took her from me, pulled down her tights (she was wearing tights but no skirt today) and squatted down with her on the hill. It was quite interesting see how she held her to aim her peeska but never-the-less she did not go. Guess it was a waste of squatting time.
Anyway, I suppose that is all of my interesting news for today. Although I am happy to also share that these caregivers (okay, just one of them lol) complimented me twice on my Russian. As horrible as I know my Russian is, a foreigner can’t help but feel good about such compliments.
Oh one more thing, I forgot. Our facilitator left us for a few days. He should be returning on Wed. He said he had to go home to buy worms. Yes, worms. Apparently, Sunday is the best day to buy worms and it is better that he do this rather than his wife because women cannot haggle for the price of worms as well as men. They need the worms to feed their frogs. ROFL Umm, okay….. LOL