Saturday, June 13, 2009

Here, did it, hoping...

**Edited to say: Please forgive the horrible spelling and grammer. I wrote this when I was jet lagged. And in general, my brain just doesn't work quite as well while I'm in Ghana!**

I'm not sure if a single blog post is going to get up before I leave. Prospects aren't looking good that internet will be up at the new Eban House before I have to leave. And I just can't reflect well during the day (which is what I use my blog for). I write at night, on my computer, then send the emails during the day, at Eban. Usually.

Kendi is.... funny, smart, particular, spoiled, happy, challenging, tiny (size), big (personality), bald, and beautiful! I've just never met someone else like her. The closest, I think, is our daughter Taevy. Taevy is so challenging to parent, but work every second of it for the joy she brings our family.

The aunties at Eban House were told the new name that Eric and I chose for her. I guess Ghanaians like the name Kendi, because they truly have started adding Kendi to her name. They call her Kendi, Mabel, Mae, or any combination thereof. [I never even told our staff that we were thinking of Mae as a middle name--they just naturally shorten it to Mae.] The aunties that I've spoken to about her name (so far) have voted that we keep Kendi Mae over Kendi Mabel. We'll see. She's heard Kendi enough that it doesn't feel weird to call her by her new name her (others do too), and she responds to it just like she does Mae and Mabel.

One cute thing is that when she sees a picture of herself she says, "Mae! Mae!" I'm not totally sure whether she's saying "me" or her version of her name Mabel. Either way, it's totally cute. Today we were looking at pics on my camera, several of which were of her and I. I'd say, "Who's that?" and she'd say, "Mae!" Then I would point to myself and say "Who's that?" She said, "Mommy!" I said, "Give mommy a kiss." (meaning the picture) and she kissed the picture. I said "Oh nice! Give mommy another kiss." She turned around and kissed ME!

Now, honestly, I think she probably thinks Mommy is my name. She doesn't associated with primary caregiver. She likes me, but at any given time she could like someone else better (Brad Dildine!!!!).

The child is really smart. She's 4 months older now than Bright was when he came home. But developmentally she's light years ahead. She is really in tune with what is going on around her. She makes very conscious thought-out decisions about things. She's very deliberate about everything. She pieces "puzzles" together. She says mama alot. Sounds like like one of my kids saying mama. But for her, I think it is a "I want to get your attention" word--having nothing to do with primary caregiver. Of course I want her to associate mama with ME. So everything she said, "Mama" today I immediately said, "What?" By the end of the day...and I'm laughing even writing this...she started saying "mama what!" Guess she thought I was trying to teacher how to say a word! Little stinker!

I carried Kendi in the sling for the first time today. She seemed quite comfortable in it. Not so sure about how comfortable I felt, but whatever. She was in it for maybe a few hours. Then we took it of and went on with our day. Later on, after our alone time was complete I said, "Let's go now." She looked at me, looked back at the sling on the bed, and brought it over! I don't know if she was asking me to put her in it, or just making sure that we didn't forget to sling. Either way, it's smart!

There are lots of descriptives words that you could use for this child....Miss Attitude, fire cracker, diva, sassy, Miss Thing, ornery child, OCD! We'll focus on the OCD part. This child does NOT like to be messy. Everything has to be just so. One of the heel straps fell out of her shoes. "Mommmy!" "Mommy!" Nothing else can move forward until the shoe is corrected and that's that! Last night I gave her a drink of water and a few drops of condensation dropped on her arm. She was so BOTHERED by that water. She looked around to see if anything else was available, but things got critical quickly. She had to take matters into her own names. She promptly picked up the hem of the dress wiped off the 3 small drops of whatever. Today I gave her a wet wipe to keep her hands busy while we were in a very yucky place. I'm telling you, that wet wipe was the best thing sliced bread!!! She would take a bit of food, she would wipe with the precious wet wipe. She was drinking out of a pop bottle and the liquid came up and got into her nose. She took that wet wipe and oh-so-daintily cleaned out her nostrals one at a time. After she didn't need the wipe for more important matters, she discovered the joy of washing Joha' care for him! Needless to say...mommy will bring wet wipes for hours of enjoyment when I come back to pick her up!

I spent my first hours alone wit Kendi today. My other times with her have all included company. This was my first chance to have a bit of one on one bonding tim, mixed with a reality check. With a child THIS spoiled (she is like SUPER spoiled) I don't thinks it's ever too early to start learning what no means. She knows the word, but to her the definition would be, "Oh, you don't like it? Sorry. I like it. Better luck next time." No does NOT mean "Oh, I can't do this. Someone will not allow it." So we had our first little power struggle today. Just a tiny taste of what is to come, I think! I had to tell her know and take something away from her. Her first reaction was like, "Fine! You won't let me do it? Then I will have nothing to do with you!!!!" But what a good opportunity for a little attachment parenting. I didn't letter her get off of me. She's have to have her tantrums in my arms. After a few minutes of flat out reach we entered the part where she's still crying but the head is resting on the shoulder. She actually fell alseep for about 30 second. Then it was happy Kendi again. Oh. Except for the part where she holds a grudge! Things were "okay" between after that, but she was more than ready to let me go once we got to Eban House. That's what a "NO" gets you sometimes! Last night she cried as I left Eban House (the "I want you" cry). To night, forget it! She hopped into that aunties arms and never looked back. But you know what? I like tonight better because I know that today we did some tiny work on learning that THIS particular Mommy says no and means it


Cora 9:48 PM  

sounds like you have had some wonderful times with Kendi! I am so happy for you.

Bingaling 10:03 PM  

Kendi sounds like such a firecracker! I love it! She'll keep you on your toes. So glad you were able to spend some time with her...

How did escorting go? I bet it was wonderful to be a fly on the wall when the kiddos were united with their forever family!

Laurel 10:06 PM  

Thanks for giving us such a fun glimpse into Miss Kendi Mae.

Sorry to hear that the escorting didn't work our for Deborah's kids.

Hope your travels home go well. (Don't know exactly when you are traveling.)


Kristin Jag 11:27 PM  

Ha!Miss Kendi Mabel, she is a tough but delicious cookie! I am so happy that you got to spend some more time with her as MOM finally! Congrats and can't wait to here more!

whenpigsfly 12:07 AM  

So good to hear from you and to share in your first experiences with Kendi-as-daughter! She sounds WONDERFUL!!!! (but then, what would I do with a quiet, non-fire crackery child!!?)
So, you didn't end up escorting kiddos or yes?

Ericka 6:22 AM  

Oh my goodness Anita, you are going to have your hands FULLL!!