Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tennis Shoes or Flip Flops?

This morning when I picked Rylee up from school she stopped by the Directors Office (Ms. B) to get a sticker and say goodbye to her. Well, today there was a visitor in Ms. B's office (which by the way did not dissuade Rylee in the least from barging in and getting her sticker), who turned out to be the Regional Director. We spoke with him briefly and then he mentioned that Rylee should not be wearing flip flops to school. Rylee loves her flip flops and does not like closed shoes because they make her feet hot. I had already discussed this with the Director and we had compromised to let Rylee wear her flip flops to school but take her tennis shoes for outdoor play or any other time that they may be needed. I explained this to the Regional Director as well as telling him that I am choosing my battles right now, but he was pretty insistent that she not wear those shoes so I said okay, well then feel free to tell her that. He looked at me a little strangely and said "You want me to tell her?" I said "Sure, if you don't mind" at the same time I was biting the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing. I glanced at Ms. B but she could not even stop the grin from entering her face! So he turns to Rylee and tells her that she cannot wear those kind of shoes to school because her toes might get hurt. Rylee, who was concentrating on picking out just the right sticker looked at him, planted an amazingly adult looking scowl on her face and said "Huh? Mine no have ouchie!" He explained it to her again and she pointed at him "Where's you house? Xiao Bao no ouchie, Xiao Bao have dis one shoes, YOU NO SAY ME OUCHIE!" She proceeded to stare him down until he looked at me and told me that he has little kids of his own and that you just have to use a different psychology - at this point I am barely holding it together because I KNOW what is coming!!! I just managed a sort of grunt and turned back to Rylee. He tried again but Rylee stopped him mid-sentence "Where you house? You go you house and no tell mine no shoes!!! THIS NO OUCHIE!! Xiao Bao like Ms. B she no say ouchie, I smoocha her, I NO SMOOCHA YOU!!!" She went over and hugged Ms. B and gave her a kiss and pointed her finger again at the R.D. "DIS NO OUCHIE, Common Mama lets GO!!!" She grabbed my hand and pulled me out the door, shaking her head and sputtering the whole time about this man!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Xiao Bao wanna Mama!

Yesterday I unpacked a box that had a bunch of photos in it. Rylee saw this one and squealed "Oooooh mine love this one Mama! Can I have it?" We looked at the picture together and she told me that she loved this one (she is the assistant director at the orphanage). I asked Rylee what her name was, she thought about it for a while and then said "I dunno? Hmmmmm...", I asked her what she called her when she talked to her, she said "nothing". I don't know if she has forgotten or if she really never had a name to call her. Rylee was looking at the picture and the said "see this one smile Mama? Xiao Bao no smile." I said that I know, how come she looked so sad, was she sick or tired? She said "No, Xiao Bao not smile because Xiao Bao wanna Mama and you no come! Xiao Bao wanna you!"

She is very proud to have a Mama and I think she is starting to understand family. When we go somewhere if anyone even looks at her she will point to me and say "Dis MY Mama!", now she is starting to ask other people if they have babies. If they are with kids she will ask them "You dis one Mama - dis you baby?". Yesterday she asked if our dogs were her brothers. She is really thinking about this and trying to understand the connections.

We had our 6 month post placement visit the other night. It has only been 5 months, but we needed to get it started so we can be sure to get it in on time. When our social worker came in the door, Rylee immediately pulled her hand and told her that she wanted to show her "mine room". She showed her the bedrooms, playroom, a bathroom and then took her into the kitchen. She showed her were the food is, where we cook, where the water is and how we get it and the dishwasher. Now we did not tell her anything about this visit except to tell her that someone was coming over for a visit. It was so funny because she does NOT routinely show people around the house like that! After that she told everybody to sit down (told us and showed each of us where we were required to sit) and she disappeared into the bathroom to prepare herself for the performance. She called Jia Jia into the room and then Hanna popped back out to announce the famous horse rider that was about to make an appearance. She came out at full canter on a stick horse, made a few passes and waited until she heard the appropriate amount of applause before she disappeared again. When she came back out she turned into a cat. Now we would not have been surprised at a dog or a horse - but she has never been a cat before - not ever - and she has not been one since?!?!?! Our social worker didn't seem phased by any of this at all, so hopefully she will tell China that Rylee is adjusting very nicely to her new life as a performer/kitty!

A few photos from the past couple of months:

Rylee attended her first horse show!

Loving the new "bubble tub"!

First snow, Hanna has waited 2 years for this!

Hanging out with Minnie

Doesn't she look bigger?

I think her personality just shines through in this photo!