Things we have encountered 1st week at home:
1) Payal has adjusted to our schedule. She is sleeping through the night. For two nights now, there has been no more crying in the middle of the night. She did not really wake up, but cried for 3-5 min 3-4 times a night...missing her foster mom, I can only guess. I have been sleeping in her room. When she would cry, I would rub her back or feet until she went back to sleep.
2) She since yesterday, she is no longer freaking out when I go to get something in another part of the home. We have practiced "mommy is coming back".
3) It took three to four days to bond with other members of the family. Now, as long as one of any of the others are present, she can be without me.
4) She stopped asking to see the photos of her foster family two days ago.
5) her potty-trained status has completely regressed to diapers. Initially, she would use the toddler potty at home (she wanted to use the shower drain). Now, she wants to go 1 and 2 in the diaper. She knows exactly when she has to go. I will ask her if she needs to use the potty and she says yes. We go to the potty and she clutches her diaper and says "no Potty" I will ask her if she wants to go in her diaper and she will nod yes...she will then go in her diaper and then motion she is ready for a clean one. This is a battle I do not feel we need to have right now. She is 22 months. She will let me know when she is ready to use the potty again...I am sure it will be before kindergarten. She wakes up dry in the morning.
6) She wants a bottle. She came from VCT with a sippy cup. She can drink out of a regular cup. The sippy cups I have came with nipples and you buy the sippy spouts for them. She saw the nipples on the counter and said "BAA" I held up the nipple and asked her if that is what she wanted and she nodded. Now, she wants bottles...I am happy to feed her a bottle. This is a good bonding time for us... I am sure her brain is on over-load. The sucking should be therapeutic.
Again, if she wants to go to kindergarten with a bottle, we might intervene. For now, the kid has been through enough. We are going to let her "start over" if that is what she wants.
7) She likes to ride in the car. She is not especially fond of the belts. We practiced buckling up in the stroller first. I would make the stroller ride "bumpy" (which she loves) and say "bump Bump" and secure/tighten her straps. When I have to buckle her seat belt, I just say "bump bump" and she seems to understand that this is necessary.
She LOVES the water and baths. This is a huge change. I do not think she had ever been in the water. They just bathed her out of a bucket. it took us about four baths before she sat down and really enjoyed the water. We used successive approximation--a little bit more each time, but never pushing her beyond her comfort. Tonight we took her back to the country club pool. Saturday, she was only willing to get her feet wet. Today, she was jumping to us in the pool. In the tub, she likes to relax floating on her back with my hand behind her back supporting her.
9) She does not complain when we do not add sugar to her milk as they did in India.
10) She fusses and has trouble when I give her water instead of milk to go to sleep with. We are still working on this one. She now is great at saying "ah" so I can brush her teeth.
11) Her receptive language is progressing well. She says 5-10 new words a day, but I do not know how many of these she is retaining. She mimics well.
12) She wines more than my bio children did...we just did not allow it with them. We do not give her a lot of attention for the wining, but show concern and say "show mommy so I can help you" usually in less than a minute she will start pointing to things to help us figure out what she needs...sometime this becomes a silly game. When we cannot figure out what she is asking for, we do something silly like " Oh so you want mommy to put the diaper on her head?" She will laugh...sometimes I think we entertain her enough, she forgets what she wanted. Thankfully, she is pretty good with charades and we can usually figure out what she was asking for.
13) She calls her sisters "Aka"...means "big sister" So we use this: Aka Claire, and Aka Morgan. We are still using Payal. We were considering keeping this, however, all of our Indian friends suggested we give her American first name because their children had some trouble in school. I guess statistically (according to research done by a parent there) children whose names are easy to pronounce and at the front of the alphabet "do better". Eventually, we will probably transition her to _____Payal. We have not decided yet. Right now, it is still Payal--which she knows well.
14) It is busy, busy, busy keeping up with her exploration. She does not like TV (we do not plan to change that). She is not really interested in toys. She IS Interested in everything that is not a toy! You do not know if you have baby-proofed well until you test it with a toddler. She has already figured out how to open the cupboards by opening them part way and pushing down on the "child-proof" latch! So, I would not recommend this type...
15) Both my girls...11 and 13 have reached periods of frustration where they have asked "Can we take her back" We have installed baby proof door knobs on their bedrooms so they can escape when they have had enough. Now, however, Payal is figuring their disappearing acts and calls for them. We are building an "Art Shack" outside for the older girls. Both of them paint seriously with oils...not something we want Payal into. I sure this will become their new escape. This is not to imply that they do not love her. They just have never had exposure to a toddler before. They had no idea! They take their "timeouts" then come back for more. The younger daughter has asked to go to the montessori school with Payal. She likes not being the baby in some respects.
16) The house is trashed. Payal has run out of clothes...forgot with my preparation how many outfits a toddler can go through in one day--about three! I just have let it go... but I am thinking about flying my mom in for some help with cleaning and organization over Labor Day. If she cannot come, I may have to hire a cleaning team...or two to get things back in shape.
17) Payal loves to feed the dog. Not that our bulldog had any lack of nutrition...he will need a treadmill and weightwatchers soon! Payal loves yelling "puppy come". The dog drool is probably responsible for soiling 1-2 outfits/day. I think we will just have to save for Leroy's liposuction, because his love and interaction with Payal is therapeutic for her. I just bought 20 clothing items at $1 a piece at a second hand sale...the dog drool just does not deserve a new outfit!
Off to bed my oldest starts 7th grade in the morning!