armchair psychologist invited

2005-01-22 - 10:21 a.m.

so both over here and in the small group, people have been curious about the behaviours the Dumpling has that may or may not be bonding/adoption related....

The first thing is that when she wakes up, she doesn't make a peep. We know she's up because she turns on her musical box, but she just sits in a corner of her crib and waits for us to come get her. Great, right? No screaming baby in the morning. Except, not so great. turns out, she's probably afraid to cry or make noise, she doesn't want to displease us. Also, she probably cried her little heart out in her chinese crib and nobody came to her, so she doesn't know we would come if she cried. We make a point of getting her as soon as we know she's up, but that might not be the right thing either.... Soon, she'll be big enough that we will take down the side of the crib and turn it into a toddler bed (still a few months away), it'll be interesting to see if she gets up or still waits for us.

Second is feeding. She doesn't eat. It's a nightmare to get her to eat. And she's constantly feeding the dogs. We thought she was imitating us, as we are terrible dog parents and feed them table scraps. But recently, we noticed that she feeds us, her grandparents, anyone in the vincinity. Case in point, last night we had dinner with friends fro Shabbat and she sat at a kiddy picnic table with a little boy her age from her playgroup. At first, my husband attempted to feed her, but then, it was our turn to eat and the kids were doing good on their own, so hubby got up to sit at the big table. Within seconds, she was spoon-feeding the little boy. super adorably cute, but not quite within the norm of toddler behaviour. Everyone keeps telling us she's sucha good share-er (she always gives her toys away during play group), but again, that's not within the norm for kids her age. She's making sure everyone else has, not thinking of herself.

Also, suddenly, her legs don't work anymore. She wants to be carried EVERYWHERE. (OK, even *I* recognise that one!) It's not a problem, we were prepared for it, but it's intersting that she went from being super independant, I want to do it all myself, to super clingy and almost insecure.

The final one is somethign I only recently noticed. She's a big hugger. She's always giving huge hugs, but lately, she wants group hugs. She wants two people to her her at once, and once she's got us in the hug, she insists that the two other people hug and kiss each other. It's cute when it's my husband and I, but it's ackward when it's my dad, or worst, my husband and my dad! We thought it was just cute, but it turns out not all kids do this, seems to be only abandoned kids....

So that's it, those are the behaviours, let the armchair psychology begin!

Anything to add? 7

a fair warning

2005-01-21 - 1:59 p.m.

This is a fair warning to NYC area women, size 6/8, who like Anthropology, JCrew and funky independant stores in the mid-price range.... you have one week to do your spring shopping, because I will be descending upon your island next week for 4 days of store-related trade-show shopping and Mommny-needs-some-spring-clothes-and-some-new-shoes shopping. You have been fairly warned, there will be nothing left after I'm done.

Yesterday, I went to grab a 6 piece sushi box at the take-out on my street and found out that someone is opening a franchise of a Toronto-area dog-store not one block from my store... I was fuming! Grant it, we are a gift store with lots of stuff for humans, sog things are only a small part of what we sell, but it's our gimmic. The store is named after the dog. The logo has a dog on it. I just spent all kinds of money to go online next week and start selling US exclusivities in Canada and Canadian exclusivities in the states.... So I am pissed. I called the guy in Toronto who sold the franchise, he claimed to have no knowledge of our existance on this street. That means one of two things: he's lying, or he really sucks at research, because I CAN SEE their door from my door!!! Must come up with really clever dog-marketing strategy in the next few days before he manages to open his doors.....

I did calm down long enough last night to watch the book smarts make complete clowns of themselves trying to sell a really yucky looking burger. Maybe it's the whole Kosher thing, but tht triple cheese thing looked gross to me. And that prmotional game they had going? P-lease! Glad the street smarts won, and so far, it's redeeming the show for me, much better than season two, thus far. Also, Danny, Mr. Farley called, he'd like his wardrobe back.

Anything to add? 3

I come to conclusions

2005-01-19 - 3:14 p.m.

Well, we are really getting back into the routine, although I haven't even touched the suitcases yet, maybe I can just leave them packed for the next trip.... which will be NEVER!

I did come to a few conclusions following this vacation, some are funny, some are serious, some are just entertaining.....

CONCLUSION #1: my daughter LOVES music. of any kind. I know she loves to listen to music in the car and do the car-seat dance, but on the ship, we realised just what a music lover she is. If she could speak, she would tell you that her absolute favorite part of the vacation was the classical music quartet from Poland, the members of which can best be described as C-students in the music program of a Polish community college, where they apparently don't teach English. Their job on the ship, as far as I was able to figure, is to play in the atrium in front of the shiny glass elevators twice a day for about an hour, usually around 7 or 8 pm, when people are coming and going to the dining room. They once had a lunchtime gig planned for the 14th floor buffet, but they got cancelled because the 4 tvs in that room were on a soccer match in Europe and there were 2 guys watching it.... So they can read music and keep a beat, but we're not talking the philharmonic... however, my daughter LOVED them. She would dance her little booty off to classical music and string-quartet renditions of the Beatles and the Beach Boys. They had never had a fan/groupie like that before. It got pretty bad though... She would scream her heart out between songs if they paused for more than 2 seconds, demanding that they start again. And she would run into them elsewhere on the ship and just run right up to them and make all kinds of funny noises and point, as if to get them to start playing on the spot, without instruments!!!!
(also, on the one night when the big show was at 7, we took her and she boogied to Broadway for the entire hour, without making a fuss, and she adored that too!)

CONCLUSION #2: after those first two weeks in a hotel in China, I was pretty prepared for living with a toddler that I now know well in a closed space like a ship cabin. I feel she is well bonded to us and she never seemed freaked out about the trip because we were right there with her. But when we got back, and she lined up every single toy in the basement, as if taking inventory, and she ran from room to room, checking that everything was still there, I understood. She thought we weren't coming back home. She thought this was yet another huge change in her life, only this time we were with her. So when child # 2 comes, we won't be taking any trips over a few nights in the first year, not until they understand that we will be coming back.

CONCLUSION #3 I need a vacation from my vacation. Every one says that, but I really do. So much so, that we will be heading to NYC in two weeks, to shop for our store, but to get away for a couple of nights, because 10 days in a cabin with a baby is about 4 days too many....

OFF TOPIC: G-d got out of the tub and took that nasty nasty man off my TV last night..... Thank you, G-d. I won't ask for anything for a while.

Today, we had our first week of the post-adoption class we enrolled in at our local social services office. All I can say is, I dont' have a clue what I'm doing. Turns out that a lot of the behaviours that we find endearing or great about our daughter are probably masking issues of abandonment or rage. Look, I wasn't kidding myself, I enrolled in that class BECAUSE I want to help my daughter be well adjusted, but I really thought we were doing OK. Then I heard all the other people's stories, who started out just like us, and then BAM! Huge trouble a few years down the road because they didn't recognise what we are now seing as signs of possible trouble. At least, we are starting it now, not in 3 or 4 years, but geez, that was a bit rough on me this morning.....

Anything to add? 3

the best and worst of packing

2005-01-18 - 1:39 p.m.

The best thing we brought on the vacation: the DVD player. We watched Baby Einstein's Baby DaVinci about 100 times, saw at least 2 Seinfled DVD's including all the extras and I'm almost done watching the entire first season of Alias, which totally still kicks ass after all this time. (I had completely forgotten Danny, Eloise Kurtz and fumbling Syd!!!!)

The most useless thing I brought on vacation: a tie between my logic puzzle book and my cross stitch project, because whenever I had down time, it was after the baby was sleeping, and both those things required better lighthing than what I allowed in the room after she was asleep, hence why I watched so many DVDs.

It figures that we would have a vacation with relatively sucky weather, miss the big thaw at home (imagine that, nice winter weather) and come back just in time for the coldest day of the year.

The PVR on the tv didn't work perfectly, we are missing hour 3 and 4 of 24 (don't tell us what happened, we'll try to get it from someone) and I don't think it recorded Alias either (must still go to attic to check second PVR to see if anything taped up there), but I'm already caught up on Desperate Housewives, TAR (another non-elim??WTF?!?!) and Medium (I'm liking this show, more on that next week).

Don't bother calling us this week, we'll be catching up on everything else we taped while we were away!!!

Anything to add? 4

I'm Baaaaaack!

2005-01-17 - 11:37 p.m.

The suitcases are still in the front hall, there is no food in the house, I've been back less than 6 hours, but babe, I'm blogging!

What can I say, I missed the computer, I missed tv, I missed my bed and my shower (actually, I LOVED the boat shower), I missed my car and my job and my winter sweaters....

It was a nice cruise, but the weather totally sucked. It was so windy and the waves were so high that we could never take Dumpling to the pool, 'cause it looked like one of those huge wave pools from the water park. So when we had adventures ashore, she (mostely) had a good time. But the sea days were long.

Some quick highlights before I collapse into bed and resume my real post-trip essay tomorrow:
*under my husband's supervision, Dumpling managed to get her hands in some wet paint, boat paint.... Which she then proceeded to rub in her eye. It's true what they say: they really do have a fancy emergency room on board, complete with operating room and a Doctor from England who apparently can do pediatric ophtalmology! (She's fine, the fumes made her eye swell but the tears flushed out the paint.)

*Even the kindest and most patient waiter will loose his patience after several nights of having to pick up food off the floor and putting on a show to keep your toddler from screaming at the top of her lungs in the dining room (even if you eat with the blue-haired crowd at 5:30)

* there are two kinds of older folks: the ones who like little kids, inquire abour their age/weight/country of origin/likes and dislikes, etc AND the ones who resent you for bringing a child onto what they feel is an adult-only playground. The former will try to make your kid smile when waiting in yet another line, they will call out her name when they run into her in the elevator or will make funny noises to keep her from crying when she just can't bear to spend one more minute sitting quietly. The other kind will make rude comments about children, will tsk-tsk you when your kid throws her goldfish on the ground and will just about choke on the martini olives when you get invited to the Art Buyer's wine and cheese party WITH your kid.... That revenge was a little sweet!!!!

More tomorrow!

Anything to add? 3


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