Hmmm... we've been home a week and things are going so smooth it's scary. Is it wrong of me to think that at some point the other shoe will drop? I know that I haven't been at this long, but I think the jump from 1 to 2 kids was waaaaaay harder than the skip over to 3 kids- adopted or not.
Sadie pretty much thinks that Miles is a real live baby doll sent here just for her to squeeze on and take care of. She does an excellent job. She practically begs me to let her feed Miles and play with him. She has even set up her bedroom as "the nursery". She'll yell down the steps, "Moooooom (sound familiar to anyone?)- the nursery is open for business!" This is my cue to take him upstairs to be babysat. She even makes me sign him in on her sign in sheet- complete with information about where I'll be (ummm, down the hall?) just in case she needs me. And Miles just eats this up! He trusts Sadie completely and loves being left alone with her for short periods of time. Plus- Sadie gets to feel like the most rockin' big sister ever!
Noah is a different story. Noah has always been our kiddo who just needs some extra attention. Now that Sadie is directing all her attention to her new little brother, I think Noah is feeling a bit left out. We've been trying to compensate all over the place but I can tell the adjustment is hitting him hardest. I know it's difficult for him to no longer be the baby, but I didn't think that middle child syndrome would kick in as quickly as it has. Don't get me wrong- he loves Miles and plays great with him, but I've heard a lot of, "Mom just play with me for a little while" and "Mom- carry me instead of baby Miles." Miles is typically content to be put down so I can give Noah all the cuddles he needs, but still I know that Noah's world has been turned upside down. I see lots of one-on-one dates with mom and dad in that boy's future.
Miles is picking up all kinds of new skills. The longer that he is here, the more I begin to wonder if he might be even older than the estimated 12 months. He has awesome motor skills and can even stand on one leg and kick a ball. I'm pretty sure my other kids couldn't do that until way later. Or maybe it's just the Congolese soccer star trying to come out in him! He has even started to sleep a little better in the last few days- only waking up once or twice in the night instead of 320 times. He eats great and is just the happiest little boy. He reminds us both of an old man. He just has some wise old ways and is so deliberate with all his movements. Of all the kids- he is by far the calmest one. Thank you Jesus for finally giving me chilled out baby! Our main problem with him is getting rid of these stupid parasites in his stomach. The boy has a bad case of giardia from drinking bad water his whole life. It took the lab 4 days to figure that out for some reason and it has so far taken the pharmacy 4 days to get the medication ordered. (Collecting all those poop samples has been the highlight of motherhood for me, let me tell you! Lots of dry heaving was involved) Hopefully we'll finally get to start treating it this afternoon so the kid can stop exploding. And by exploding I really do mean exploding. As in- it's about 8 AM and he is already on his 4th set of clothes for the day. This is a problem that Miles has had since the day I met him. It is much easier to deal with here in the US where I have a washing machine and running water. In Congo, these spontaneous poop combustions were a nightmare- except for one time that turned out to be the most humorous part of the trip...
Did you notice the fabulous Congolese dress I had on in the pictures of my visit to the orphanage? The dress was bought out of serious necessity! When we went to the market to buy the beans to take to the orphanage, Miles had the worst blowout in blowout history. Unfortunately, he was on my lap when this happened. To say that I was covered in poop would be the understatement of the century. It went from my knees to my chest. Yep- I was knee deep in it. I had a change of clothes for the baby, but nothing for myself. After about 3 minutes in the heat, flies were beginning to swarm all around me. We were at a food market and there was no clothing to be bought. Once the driver got a good look at me, he drove us to the closest street vendor selling dresses. I walked up to the lady selling her wares in all my poopy glory. I could see in her eyes she didn't want me anywhere near her goods. I made some gestures to her that I obviously needed to get something to change into. She grabbed something off her display and drug me by the hand back into this abandoned building. She took me into a room the was all empty and concrete and shut the door. This was maybe not the smartest move I ever made, but seriously- a girl covered in flies and parasitic diarrhea will do whatever necessary! Once we were in the room together the woman just kept staring at me. She didn't say anything- obviously she knew it wouldn't do any good to talk to me since we didn't speak a word of the same language. This staring at each other game went on for a good while. Finally I didn't know what else to do, so I just stripped. When I say stripped, I mean everything- because I was poop soaked all the way through my skivvies. Then the woman made some sort of gesture with her hands that alluded to "the girls". I'd like to think she was paying them a compliment, but more likely she was thinking something like, "Wow- I've never seem anything that white. Those are so white you can almost see through them!" or "Man- those things are seriously droopy! Poor stupid American!" Once I was naked, more staring. Really- when someone is staring at you naked, 5 seconds can feel like an eternity! I was starting to think, "Ummm, maybe getting buck in an abandoned building with a strange lady in Congo was NOT the right thing to do."
So after standing there completely exposed for a good while while the lady took me and all my lily whiteness in- she finally slipped the new dress over my head. It was enormous, but after the whole experience, I didn't really care or want to try to bargain for a smaller one. And that is the story of how I came to be the owner of my native Congolese duds.
It is like that nightmare where you are standing naked and people are making fun of you. Only add in the third world and tons of poop and that about sums up the experience. Yep- good time in Africa!