Sunday, May 24, 2009

How we learned to pronounce our son's name correctly, part 2

We thought we had this figured out back in January of last year. The Thai waitress at our favorite restaurant spent a lot of time helping us learn to say T's name correctly in Thai. (It's not pronounced as it appears.)

Today, we were lucky to be invited to the Thai American Association picnic. There is good news and bad news.

The good news: We had a blast and met a lot of really nice Thai families. We also ate our fill of amazing Thai food.

The bad news: Everyone we introduced T to pronounced his name differently than we do (but the same as each other). They all recognized the name and knew the meaning right away (some even shot an imaginary arrow from an invisible bow to demonstrate).

It is kind of embarrassing to have 20 people all correct the pronunciation of your kid's name. Although, in Thai fashion, everyone was extremely gracious and no one actually told us we were wrong. But it was clear. Our non-Thai friends heard it too.

I assume our waitress friend must have a different accent or dialect. In all honesty, our social worker in Thailand also used the alternate pronunciation, but at the time, I assumed *she* was the one with the different accent. We even listened to an online dictionary say his name in Thai about 50 times tonight. To my ear, the dictionary-voice is somewhere in the middle between the 2 pronunciations.

So now my only question is, how long will it take me to remember to say his name correctly? T is totally fine with the change - we used it once or twice and now he's already referring to himself with the new sound, as if to say, "what took you guys so long to get with the program?" (Although perhaps he's just confused, because our little comedian is also telling us his name is "Jim" and "Chicken", with a sly, satisfied smile on his face.)

In the long run, the new pronunciation will be easier for people, as it sounds a lot more like how it's spelled. I feel a little silly, but I'm glad to be able to make the correction when he's only two.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

T is for Two

Warning - picture-heavy post for the grandparents ahead.

We celebrated T's birthday today. We can't quite believe our little guy is two. Since he was still living with his foster family on his first birthday, today was extra special for us. I keep pinching myself at how lucky I feel that we adopted our amazing T. I am sure his birth mom was thinking of him today. I hope she knows how much he's loved.

Last night as T was being extra difficult, we realized that, due to the time difference between us and Thailand, he had actually hit the terrible 2's 12 hours early.

After hearing stories of what his birthday would entail, he woke this morning and the first words out of his mouth were a request to eat cake for breakfast. No dice there, but we did let him wear his shades during lunch, which, for some reason, he thought was the best. thing. ever.

A delicious Thai lunch was followed by an elephant-shaped chocolate banana cake. Unfortunately, T's enthusiasm for chocolate cake was overshadowed by his apparent fear of candles and the Happy Birthday song. After cake (and a much needed nap) the real fun began. The mailman brought him a package of cookies from Grandma Cookie.

He played with his spoils, including a play kitchen that I think may actually allow us to cook meals uninterrupted, and the coolest. non-bike. ever. My dad designed and made it in the space of a week (or two?). T has already managed to use it unassisted, and I think we're going to have to drag him off of it kicking and screaming once he grows another half inch. I wish *I* was the one turning two. What fun!

T is now taking orders for dinner. Call to make reservations.-Robin


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Video fixed

If you came by our blog Thursday afternoon and saw the video Robin posted, it was probably the wrong one. The right one is there now. My bad.

-Kyle

I must have a speck of dirt in my eye

because my eyes are mysteriously tearing up. It couldn't have anything to do with the CatholicVote.org's new media campaign.

I am not Catholic (although many people in our family are). I disagree with many of the positions of the Catholic church. There was a lot of controversy over this group's previous ad that I don't want to touch with a ten foot pole on this blog. But the ad below is pretty darn cool. And me crying over a commercial? I'm my mother's daughter after all.

(oops, if you looked here Thursday afternoon, you probably saw the wrong video...Kyle's fault!)



-Robin

Monday, May 11, 2009

When Grandma Cookie's In Charge...

...T's meals are a bit unorthodox. He doesn't seem to mind.

Ice cream for breakfast


Sharing the table with Punkin


Lunch in the windowsill

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mama Day


Today was a special day for me, as we celebrated "Mama Day" (as T called it) for the first time since T joined our family. T's Nana, Bob-Wow, Auntie M, and Great Grandma all came over to join us for brunch. T enjoyed the many laps he could snuggle into for stories. It was a beautiful day and I am so thankful for my little boy. Kyle and I thought a lot about his birth mother with grateful hearts today. Her decision allowed us to have this amazing little boy in our lives. I can't think of words to describe what that means to me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Attachment Update

I'm often a little unsure exactly where T is, attachment-wise. What I do feel confident about is that his attachment continues to progress.

  • It used to be a struggle to get him to make eye contact with us. Now, he loves to look in my eyes and play with my face.
  • Not long ago, he wouldn't play on the kitchen floor for 1minute without begging for me to hold him. Now he'll play long enough for me to brew coffee (this is really more important for me, personally =) ).
  • For months, he wouldn't let me take a shower without sobbing on the floor the entire time. Now he'll happily grab a book and a toy to occupy himself while he waits for me.
  • Until recently, he wouldn't wait for me in the kitchen while I let the dog out in the morning. Now he runs to scoop out her breakfast while I let her out the back door.
  • The first time we left T with my parents for a few hours (at 6 months home?), he was anxious and didn't stop clinging to my dad the entire time we were gone. Last weekend, he happily enjoyed the park with them while we took a Thai cooking class.
  • Last summer, T had to be in the Ergo for me to hang diapers because he was too scared to play on the lawn.  Now, well, see the photo above, with the Ergo lying on the lawn behind him.
He's clearly making big strides. I also think that his language development is helping with his attachment. He's at the point now where he can use words to clearly ask us to hold him, even to hold him "tight". He asks for the Ergo when we have our hands full and he wants to be near us. He asks for snuggles, and for lotion, and for hugs. On some level, he knows that he needs these things from us, and I'm glad he's asking.

When we're in public, though, I sometimes worry that he's "mommy shopping" (a behavior kids with multiple caregivers may exhibit, where they try to charm all potential caregivers in case they are left by their current caregiver). At storytime at the library, he clings to me for dear life. We've been going weekly for 4 months, and it still terrifies him. But after story time is over and we're back in the kids section of the library with fewer people, he seems very comfortable approaching strangers. He grabbed another mom's legs and looked up to yell "HI!" and then tried to continue the conversation (which for him, means repeated "HI!"s, of course) (while she looked at him funny and backed away). He eagerly worked puzzles with another mom (with me nearby, of course). His personality in these situations isn't any different than at home, I just don't know how common it is to be so out-going at his age.


One interesting bright spot, however, occurred recently when good friends stopped by to visit. It was their first time meeting T and he warmed up to them well. By the end of the visit, he was on our friend's lap, begging him to read story after story. They are expecting their first child (YAY!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!) and are considering an Ergo carrier but wanted to try one out "in action" to see how comfortable it is. We were happy to let them try ours with T, especially since he seemed to be totally comfortable with them. Our friend started to put the carrier on and T instantly broke down crying, begging him to take it off. He was not about to allow himself to be placed in that carrier with our friend. He would happily sit on his lap to be read to, but the Ergo was out of the question. I don't know if he thought they were going to take him, or if that was just too close for his comfort. I felt bad that my friends didn't get a chance to try the carrier with a chunky kid inside it. I also felt like it was probably a positive thing for T, attachment-wise, that he wasn't willing to be worn by someone new. It hadn't occurred to me until he was unwilling to do it, but then it made sense.




I don't ever expect to reach an "a-ha! he's totally attached!" moment with T. For us it's a very gradual process that is so much easier to see in retrospect. I am, however, encouraged that we seem to keep moving in the right direction.


(I also expect to make up for my infrequency of blogging by the length of the posts I write. Sorry about that.)


-Robin