Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Post You've Been Waiting For

Well, probably not.  I assume that y'all have been waiting for the post that has a picture of all of us together as a family.  Sorry, not today.

A more accurate title might be, "The Post I've Been Waiting To Write."  Because it is.  We went an entire day with neither Ken nor myself having to hold any of our children down.  It was a good day.  It didn't start out that way but it ended up being a really good day.  That's not to say that we didn't have any confrontations or corrections, because we did... it's just that with every one we had, said children chose to listen before it got really bad.  I had to hold Yuli's hand at the park today for a little while because she wouldn't listen to me about getting too close to the road.  She took it reasonably well, relative to her usual behavior, and we were able to move on rather quickly.  I had a short spell this evening when Diana chose to disobey me and get out of her bed to play, but when I enforced the consequences (no video games tomorrow) she was relatively bummed but went and got back into bed and did not rage against me or try to break stuff like she usually does.  It was a good day.

The best part of the day was that I had two separate opportunities to bond with Diana.  The first was when Ken was ready to put John down for a nap.  He went into our room (Ken, myself, and the three new kids sleep there) because the other room is what we use for 'family space.'  The girls had built a fort and were playing quite well.  Unsure as what to do, I asked the girls if they wanted to play in this room in the fort or go play in the other room.  They said they wanted to play in the fort.  So Ken got John to sleep and laid him on a bed in the other room where the three big boys were playing video games.  Thankfully (and I've been grateful for this many times), John can sleep through a pretty moderate level of noise so the boys on their devices weren't going to bother him.  Ken took his computer and went downstairs to work.  I laid down on the bed in the room with the girls thinking I was going to get some quiet time... ha ha ha.  They came out of that fort in 2 minutes and got on the bed with me.  Yuli just wanted to cuddle, but Diana wanted to tickle.  Then she started playing with my ponytail and started to braid it.  I don't know why I didn't think of this before, as much as she enjoys doing her doll's hair.  I took my pony tail out so she could play with my hair.  She was soooooo excited.  It was really cute.  She went and got all the combs and hair doodads that I use in their hair and came and jumped on the bed.  I had told her before that my hair doesn't like lots of little braids like their hair does and she set out to prove me wrong.  However, by the end of the hour or so, she conceded, "Tu pelo no le gustan tresas."  (Your hair doesn't like braids.)  She had so much fun and, honestly, so did I.  It was really nice to giggle and joke with her without some major thing looming over our heads or being worried that we were going to get into a fight.  It was really nice to see her be seven and not some mixed up, exposed to too much, dealt with too much, don't know who I am or how old I am or how I should act child.

The second was when we were at the afternoon park visit.  It was right after my issue with Yuli.  I had sat down on the grass and made Yuli sit with me.  After that we had some snacks and when Yuli was finished, I talked with her about it being dangerous by the street and she cannot go down there.  I asked her if she wanted to go play and she said yes.  I asked her if she was going to listen to me if I called her back and she said yes.  I let her go play but I didn't get up.  I was really quite cold and I was trying to conserve body heat... I know, I'm sure I would have been warmer if I had gotten up and chased some kids, but I didn't want to move.  Anyway, Diana came and sat on my lap.  We talked about non-important stuff first, clouds, birds, animals.  Then we talked some about Tumaco.  She seemed ok with it but I didn't want to push her, I just wanted her to know that I am interested in her life and that I don't want or expect her to forget or pretend like it never happened.  I asked a couple of questions and then we moved on.  She wanted my notepad that I keep in my purse and she started writing down names of animals.  We played like that for probably 45 minutes or more, her on my lap, just like any other mom and daughter.  Again, it was really, really nice to be able to enjoy her.  I like hearing what she has to say, even if she has to say it three different ways before she finds vocabulary that I know.  I like that we can joke around about my Spanglish.  I like that she's trying to pronounce English words.  I like how expressive she is (except when she's angry with me).  I think she's really funny.  I really like her.  I'm hoping for more days and times like this one.

Things with John progress a little more each day.  He's getting more and more comfortable with me.  He still prefers Papi but when I tell him, "Papi is in the bathroom." or "Papi is working." he is all like, "OK" and goes back to what he was doing before he realized Ken was missing rather than the panicked search and screaming that he used to do.  It's progress.  I imagine he'll be ok by the time Ken has to return to work.  However, he loves, loves, LOVES his big brothers.  It's interesting to me that he seems to like them more than the girls.  Anyway, today at the park we were all playing see-saw.  One of the unexpected bonuses of a big family is that no matter who wants to play see-saw, you can always figure out some way to balance the weight well.  There have been times when there were five of us on one and it was perfectly balanced.  At one point I was on one side and Cody and John were on the other (not really balanced but it worked).  All the boys are really good about keeping John safe.  Cody was sitting behind John and had his arms around John's waist like a seat belt and his hands holding onto the handle of the see-saw.  John was having so much fun but the cutest thing I saw was that Cody bent down and kissed John on the top of the head several times.  It melted my heart.

After Ken started bedtime with the new kids, the three big boys wanted to play Hearts with me.  I'm trying to spend some time with them in the evenings after the newbies go to bed to make sure their love banks are full... so far it's going pretty well.  I remember that tidbit from when I gave birth to Rylan and Cody... consciously trying to spend some good time with the 'previous' children to make sure they knew that I still loved them and that they were still important.  Anyway, I don't know what happened during this card game but it turned into a rip-snorting brouhaha... if that's how you spell it.  There was farting, snorting, and I laughed so hard I cried and almost peed myself.  (Let the record reflect there's an 'almost' in that sentence.)  We had a really good time.  At one point (this is one of those times that you had to be there but I'm gonna tell you anyway because Cody said it needed to go on the blog), I found Cody picking his nose.  If you are a mom, I'm sure this is not shocking to you.  Add to the average child that we've all been having some weird stuff going on with our noses here.  (Look out, TMI)  I don't know if it's the elevation, the weather or the pollution (the cars let off a lot of nasty emissions here), but our noses are full ALL. THE. TIME.  So I said to him, "Go to the bathroom, get some paper, and deal with your nose."  Well, Rylan was dealing the next round of cards at the time and he said, "Deal with my nose?"  I was a little slap happy at this point and mimed shoving a deck of cards up my nostril and then holding the other nostril closed with my finger and started snorting at all the boys.  That was it.  It was over.  We were all laughing so hard I was afraid Ken was going to come scold us for waking the baby.  It took ten minutes for us to get it back together and finish the game.  And now, you'll never look at me the same way again.

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