Friday, November 23, 2007

Me and My Shadow

Had this post all written the other night and it disappeared. With three kids at home again, there just hasn't been time to re-write it until now. They all just ran up to the hardware store with Richard, so I have 10 minutes. I just mopped the floor, and now I have one minute left to write.

I had read ahead of time how older kids tend to follow mom around the house when first home. They just don't have any idea how to entertain themselves, so attach themselves to someone to stay busy. I just didn't have any idea of how that would feel. I'm used to Taylor and LiAnne keeping each other busy, happily playing for an hour, and sometimes two, without needing mom for something. Or, if I really need to get something done, I can put a video on, which is a rare treat, and they will watch that. For the past week or more I have had a constant shadow. There are days that MinMin doesn't get 15 inches away from me. At first I thought, great, she is getting used to me and finding out that I am not so bad after all. But, after a few days it gets hard to take. The day before yesterday, as I was preparing pies, salads, etc. for Thanksgiving dinner, she didn't leave my side. I mean, if I carried something from the kitchen counter to the kitchen trash, no more than 5 steps, she took those 5 steps with me. Part of the time it is fine: she is learning to chop veggies without cutting her fingers, and is great at washing dishes. But after all day it gets nerve racking.

If I sit down on the couch with the laptop to check mail or look up a recipe, she sits with me. If I go to the bathroom, she follows, until I close the door. lol
I'm not really complaining, but please pray for patience for me. Like I said, a couple of hours is ok, but 10 hours a day gets nerve racking.

We had a nice day yesterday, with 10 friends over for dinner. We had bought a couple of turkeys in Texas to bring down with us, as turkeys here start at about $30and we didn't want to pay that. Just before our company arrived everyone changed clothes to something a bit nicer than around the house clothes. I laid out clothes for MinMin, new jeans and a blouse my sister bought her, and she said, no thanks. I said, fine, but if you want to eat dinner with us, you need to put these one. She changed right away. Now, I'm not being mean, but I only ask her to wear certain clothes about once a week, and she needs to learn to dress for the occasion, and to obey.

MinMin seemed to enjoy the dinner and company. This girl continues to eat more than Richard, and we wonder where she puts it all. I do remember that Taylor ate like a horse for about 6 months, so I imagine that MinMin will too. We'll see. (So far we are not winning the war on the slurping and burping. She has learned to say, "Excuse me," after a burp, but the slurping of all food is pretty annoying.)

After dinner the young people got out Hungry Hippos, and played for about 3 hours. I'm not kidding. Do you know how much noise that game makes? They started out in the living room, but it wasn't long until we sent them to Taylor's bedroom. MinMin enjoys the game, and it was good for her to be with kids her age.

A couple of days ago Richard got on MinMin for tormenting the dogs. Now, our dogs are Chihuahua's, pretty small, and don't take much tormenting. We don't treat the dogs like people, but they do deserve some respect, which they don't get much these days. MinMin isn't mean to them, just annoys them to death. I have told her many times to leave them alone. I have explained it on Babelfish, so I know she understands. She just doesn't do it. Richard spoke sharply to her about it the other night, and she sat down on the stairs and started crying. We left her for awhile, but then tried to comfort her. The wailing started, kind of like the first couple of days. Caleb called on the computer phone, right next to where she was sitting, and she just got louder. An hour or so later, she finally went to bed. Next morning everything was fine again. We have found that even when she gets angry or doesn't like something, she gets over it quickly.


Ladyblog said...

It sounds like there are many adjustments still going on. I wish you the very best and pray that you will have the patience you need to cope. I can't wait to see some new pics of Min Min.

Linda said...

I have to ask if you are spying on our family - lol! I could just about cut and paste this entry on my own blog, and it would be accurate with our 8 year old Joanna. We had just reached a point that Ruthie & Abby (our two younger adopted children) were playing good together and often in another room by themselves, and then we added Joanna, who is stuck to me like glue. Even when I shut myself in the bathroom, she continues to talk and make certain that I have not escaped! I'll pray for you and ask that you pray for me too.

Even the reaction to discipline sounds familiar. She pushes things to the limits but then becomes very overly dramatic when finally called down for something.

My older kids had the Hungry Hippos game, and I have thought several times about getting it again for the younger ones. However, until Joanna stops following me around constantly, I think I will wait on that particular toy.

I'm glad your Thanksgiving went so well! Blessings.

Robin said...

Starla, I feel so bad because I have gotten behind in reading your blog. I know talking on the phone you have filled me in on most things, but reading your blog gives me more of a mental picture. I'm not able to access it from work anymore so I'm behind. Can't wait to see more pictures. You can always email them to me though. :).

Love, Robin

Paul and Jackie said...

I want to add that your post hits home with MANY of us. Patience with behavior that does not quite fit the age body wears thin. I really had to lower my expectations and all to not get too frazzled. I am sure this is her way of bonding with you. Ava became my shadow for awhile. I laughed when I thought of how much I wished she even touch me when we were in China. What was I thinking!!!:) Praying that you all adjust quickly. The stages just keep going. We've hit a new on here. Temper tantrums like a 2year old....and we are almost 6. :)
Can't wait to see pics of Min Min in her new clothes!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I love to read this and see what MinMin is doing now. It is a little like being there, which hopefully we will be next year this time. Give Taylor and LeAnne hugs for us (and MinMin if it doesn't freak her out too much).
Love, Kathleen

Velma said...

Our Thanksgiving meal with the Cambodians was rather loud with all the slurping and smacking of lips while chewing (no burping). I even commented to my sis Sylvia to listen to everyone eat!! I am enjoying your postings. Keep 'em coming!! We love you!!

Anonymous said...

Just sending prayers your way for you, your family, and MinMin. I'm sure in time things will feel normal again. Hugs - Marie

Journey2LilyRose said...

I just wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Can't wait to see pictures of MinMin. Hope things even out for you soon.

Lisa (Adoption House)

Donna said...

Starla, I love following along with you all. Min Min has been through so much and seems to be doing so well, although I know certain behaviors try your patience. My DD has been home 3 years and still follows me around! LOL! Of course she is only 3.5 years old and an only child. We hope that when DD#2 comes home (in the next 4-6 weeks) they will play together after the initial transition.

I'm sending prayers your way. I can't wait to see new photos. :)


Anonymous said...

Wow, I have to agree with the other posts! Our 12 yr old daughter now home a year is my shadow!! I promise that if I stopped suddenly then she would run into me! We talked about personal space ( what's that??) So we try to keep an invisible person between us... we don't want to squish him I tell her! ha! This is from a girl who preferred to stand across the room than to sit beside me while we were in China! My how things change! She is also very "helpful" almost too helpful at times. She will climb over my back inorder to get to the can opener before I do or shove me to the side so that she can use the plastic wrap! I give our daughter craft supplies or activities to do at the kitchen table while I am working around her. Then she can still "be with me" and not be in my way! I also do not allow her to be bathroom monitor. When I have to go... I get to go by myself...without any time limit! It is amazing but you have to set up rules like this!
Hang in there!
Thanks for keeping us posted!
Linda T