Friday, August 29, 2014

USA! USA! zzzzzz

We have completed Primrose FangFang's first full day as an American!

I had planned to try to keep her up through her nap, but she pointed at the bathtub and then pointed to a fresh diaper and then pointed to her bed. She's not one to hang back and waffle about what she would like, this kid. Then again, most toddlers know what they want and they want it now.

This is after we woke her up the second time.
So our sleep schedules are still all jacked up, but we did manage to keep her up a bit longer in the afternoon by taking her to her first Beaverton park and then to that most American of family restaurants, Red Robin.

While we waited for our meal, we regaled the boys with tales of food in China. There are generally no napkins given there. And the bathrooms: no towels for hands, and sometimes no toilet paper and sometimes no (Western) toilet! You can't have drinkable water without paying (Isaac looked intrigued at the idea that he might be able to have sugar drinks more often if even water costs money) and you should avoid ice even though it sounds soooooo good when you're hot and thirsty. Whoa! said they. I also told them that they should practice trying lots of unusual things when they eat because when we take them to China or anywhere else, the food will be different. Toby pointed out that we should bring hand sanitizer (so my child, that one).

Primrose eats like a champ. She had teriyaki grilled chicken and the tomatoes and cucumbers from my salad. She tried a fry but mostly liked the chicken. I think we are giving her more variety and she enjoys that. On her discharge report the foster family listed Congee (kind of a soupy rice) at least twice a day. We found that she will eat that, especially at breakfast, but I don't think she really wants it as often as they had been giving it. It's pretty cheap to make. The sweetened yogurt & milk drinks she came with and loves are also cheap- cheaper than formula. She has never taken a bottle from us, and doesn't show any interest. I gave our box of formula & bottles to the orphanage before we left Wuhan.

We'll try not to wreck that tendency of hers to be open to so many kinds of foods. We've already accidentally undone all her potty training. In China, many kids wear split-pants at home. Their moms hang them over the toilet at regular intervals and they get used to going there. If they have an accident, they squat where they are and it's on the floor and can be cleaned more easily than a spoiled outfit. In the train stations I saw people hang their children over the trash can more than once, and there were kids peeing just about everywhere outdoors. In the fancy marble-floored museum in Wuhan, I'm almost certain I rolled the stroller right through a fresh puddle. A few years back, both of our boys would have loved that opportunity. (To pee freely, not to roll through puddles.)

FangFang has given me a long direct look a couple of times over the last 10 days, and I think it was her way of telling me she would like a turn in the loo. Unfortunately, I'm a bit dense and it wasn't always convenient to take her. With the diapers we had on her, and her early insecurity with us anyway, we just went a bit more with our comfort level than keeping up her early training. I still hold her over the pot if I've just taken off a dry diaper, but she's clearing going with "when in Rome". I think using diapers will be simpler than explaining her cute little tushie hanging out in church or in the supermarket. Besides, I'm happy to put off cleaning accidents from the floor until we have a fuzzy little puppy to show for it.

The adoption of a child is such a miracle, in a different way than the miracle of birth kids. All their potential is given to you, as it is with a biological child but in adoption it's somebody else's hopes and dreams on top of your own. It feels even more weighty a responsibility to me today, her first day on the other side of the planet. She is so incredible. She fits so well. I hope we'll live up to that.

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