I actually had to look at the calendar to make sure my dates were right because I cannot believe we met him only one month ago. He's come so far so quickly.
*He gives love and affection very readily. As a matter of fact, some days he wants to be hugged all day long. Today he came to me and held up three fingers and then put his arms out for a hug. He hugged me three times and then ran off to play, totally satisfied. If his love tank can be filled with only three hugs as opposed to hours on the porch swing, this is major progress.
*He wants to "help" with everything. Like EVERYTHING. This is great and this is tiring. He carries in groceries, he loads and unloads the dishwasher, he sets the table, he vacuums, he cooks..... whatever I'm doing (or Lyle's doing), he wants in on the action. In a photo I have of him in the orphanage, when he was two years old, he appears to be helping in the baby room.
I get the impression that he earned his keep in the past. Having a child who knows how to work is a wonderful thing, but I hope he understands that he doesn't have to work......or at least he doesn't have to work all day long.
*The tantrums are still with us, but as his English is improving, the tantrums are subsiding. I feel like he understands us more often than not and he's spitting out English words faster than I can keep track. In China, I bought two seasons of "Dora". You thought she spoke Spanish, right? Not in China she doesn't. Our guide saw me at the checkout counter and said, "He doesn't need that. In three months you'll be e-mailing me and telling me he understands perfectly. You will see that I am right." I can already tell, she's right. And besides, Dora's English stinks.
*Food is mercifully not a big issue. It certainly was in China, but he's mellowed significantly since coming home. It's interesting that almost all of the newly adopted kids I saw in China were literally clinging to food and water. It's like they were thinking, "I don't know who these people are. I don't know where I'm going. I don't know what anyone's saying. But I do know water, so I'll hold onto that."
*He's healthy as a horse. He had his first doctor appointment in Seattle and the doctor said to a resident who was observing, "I know I'm supposed to be showing you what a child raised in an orphanage looks like, but this is definitely not it!" He's in the 75th percentile in weight and just under the 50th percentile in height. His labs look great and there were no unwelcome surprises, which is a huge relief.
*He loves the dogs and they love him right back.
*The relationship with Cholita is evolving. Honestly, I'm more worried about her right now than him. We picked her up from school today and XiXi enthusiastically said, "How are you doing?" Nothing. He asked again, this time louder, "How are you doing?" And again, nothing. Finally, I asked Cholita to please respond. She made a face and said she didn't want to talk to him. She's really struggling with not being the baby anymore and it's sad to see. I know she'll come around and I do see moments that lead me to believe they'll be great friends. Yesterday they wanted to open a Gatoraide bottle that had just a little bit left in it. Cholita was trying without success to open the lid. XiXi pointed to himself and said in Mandarin, "Help?" Cholita relented and XiXi grunted and groaned trying to open that lid. Cholita cheered him on and he was so obviously determined to get it done. When his hands weren't doing the trick, he held it in his teeth and then Cholita tried turning it. Their dentist father would not have been pleased, but it was teamwork and I was thrilled. Eventually though, they said uncle and I opened it. There was so little left in the bottle and I told them they'd need to share. I first gave it to Cholita, having faith in her that she wouldn't gulp it all down in one swig. She didn't and she handed him the rest to finish. What he did next was so sweet. He took the lid, poured half of what was left into the lid for himself and then gave the rest to Cholita. She told him thank you and gave him a hug. I wished I'd videotaped it. I could play it back when their interactions are not so ideal.
It's late and bed is calling.
Next post....Bruder. Prom, track, a birthday, being awesome. So much to say.